Shopping for furniture that suits both your style and budget is a tough, but not impossible, task. One strategy that can save you money: Never pay full price for a piece. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to buy sofas, chairs or a new patio set on sale. And with supply chains in better shape than a year or two ago, overall selection should be less limited.
Best time to buy furniture
The best time to buy depends on the type of furniture you’re after. Indoor furniture is a bargain in the winter or summer months, while the best outdoor furniture sales happen between the Fourth of July and Labor Day. The periods for custom furniture deals vary.
Indoor furniture: Winter, summer
The furniture industry tends to operate on a biannual schedule. New styles of indoor furniture hit retail floors every spring and fall, so if you’re looking to get a deal, you’ll want to start shopping in the months immediately before the new styles reach stores.
That means the best time of year to buy indoor furniture is toward the end of winter (January and February) or the end of summer (August and September). Retailers will be discounting their old stock during these months to make room for the new styles.
Presidents Day and Labor Day weekends are especially good times for furniture sales too.
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Custom furniture: Varies
Saving based on the release cycle applies just to pre-made furniture, though. Jerry Epperson, who heads up furniture industry research for investment banking firm Mann, Armistead & Epperson, makes sure to distinguish between pre-made and custom furniture.
“It’s not that much more expensive to get something made just for you,” he says. But since custom furniture is made on-demand, you won’t find the kind of discounts retailers apply when they need to move their older pre-made stock. So if you’re interested in custom furniture, there’s no need to wait for sales.
Outdoor furniture: Summer, fall
As for outdoor furniture, a great time to buy is generally between the Fourth of July and Labor Day. New outdoor furniture usually hits retail floors between the middle of March and the middle of April, and stores are looking to clear out their stock by August. Use late summer and early fall to take advantage of clearance sales when demand for outdoor stuff drops.
General furniture-buying tips
Take your time. Furniture can be expensive, so if you can’t find that perfect sofa at the right price, be patient.
Expect sales often. If the frequent advertising you see and hear is an indication, there’s almost always a sale in the furniture industry. If what you’re looking for isn’t on sale now, it might be soon. Take a look online every couple of weeks.
Consider used furniture. While a 15-year-old couch may not appeal to you, older items made of solid wood might. Online marketplaces, flea markets and yard sales can be great places to find quality vintage pieces at great prices. It won’t hurt to look.