Furniture retailers are savvy. They know no one wants to pay full price, so just because the price on the sticker is what they’re charging, it doesn’t mean that they won’t accept any less for it.
That means when you walk into a furniture store, you should be willing to negotiate a lower price with them. You might even surprise them by not asking for one! Here are some tips on how to get your bed or other furniture items for that little bit less from stores.
This must be your starting point. Researching the prices and deals competing furniture stores are offering will give you some powerful leverage.
Seeing you walk over to another store and buy there hurts and they won’t want that! Don’t stop at finding out other retailers’ prices and mentioning it in negotiations, though.
Finding out why a retailer is selling an item at a particular price can give you an idea of what you should pay. Knowing if they’re looking to sell the item by any specific date is also useful for negotiating.
Inspect what you’re buying
Take a good look at what you’re buying. If there are any flaws in the manufacturing or there has been some damage to the furniture, you have grounds to ask for a discount.
Check, too, if the product is the end of the line. If a retailer only has one item in the line left to sell, they may accept less for it. Perhaps the last one in the line is a display model and has a few blemishes. You can ask for a lower price if it is.
Know that when you pay, the stores pay
Why are some salespeople so pushy? For one thing, they have targets. For another, some salespeople may not be eligible for any sort of commission until they’ve sold a minimum number of items or achieved a minimum value in sales.
This drives some to adopt slightly more aggressive sales tactics. They might point out to the customer that a special price is only temporary to close a deal sooner, for instance.
This can especially be the case when the market is quiet. If people are holding on to their cash, the stores can become more eager to make the sale. Knowing this can put you in a more powerful position to negotiate a better deal for yourself.
Use the employees’ discretionary 10% discount
Lots of employees have a discretionary 10% discount. They might not tell you about it, but they can offer you the discount when you ask for it.
This can save the employee from having to consult superiors and keeps the negotiations flowing. There’s also the fact that furniture often carries a high markup, which leaves plenty of room to negotiate.
Sometimes it’s more about keeping cash flowing into the store than about losing money, which leads nicely onto the next point…
Pay with cash
Cash is a powerful bargaining tool, precisely because of the importance of cash flow. If you’re negotiating prices at a family business type of store, the employee who’s serving you may have more say in pricing matters and may be able to give you a better deal, especially if you have some cold, hard cash to spend.
It’s also the reason why you should never pay the full sticker price. Regardless of the discount the store is offering, they’ll still be making a profit.
Use excuses to make a deal
Think about why you’re buying the furniture or the conditions of a purchase and use them as an excuse to cut a deal with the salesperson. How long will the retailer take to deliver the items? If they can deliver them the following day, then fair enough, but if you’re going to have to wait a long time to receive them, you could push for a discount.
What about bulk buying? If you’re buying more than one item, you could also press for a discount. Since the items are likely to be bulky themselves, ask the retailer to deliver them for free.
Ask for extras
Any savvy salesperson will recognise this as a negotiation tactic and either stand their ground (if they feel there’s any ground to stand) or look to accommodate you. This is because asking for extras is a sign you feel the negotiation isn’t getting anywhere.
The salesperson may have gone as low as they can possibly go, so now it’s time to ask if they can throw in anything extra. If you’re buying a big ticket item, ask if they can include one or more smaller items in the deal.
You want the furniture. The retailer wants the sale — and they want it more than you want to buy from them specifically. This puts you in a powerful position, but it’s also a last resort.
If you’re genuinely not happy with what’s on the table, close the conversation and head for the door. Sometimes, it’s enough to make a salesperson improve their offer. Note that if you do return, the balance of power shifts from you to them.
The salesperson will realise their new offer has motivated you. They’ll feel they don’t have to make any major concessions after this, so use this tactic with caution.
The power is in the buyer’s hands. Never walk into a furniture store and hand over every penny of the sticker price without question. Stores are open to negotiation and if an item seems unaffordable, don’t just leave the store and look elsewhere.
Speak to a member of staff first. If the furniture really is too expensive, you can also shop online, of course, and the store may still offer financing options to make the furniture more affordable for you.