This is a real event for CFT411. As of today, we have posted 600 blogs, but this is our first Guest Blog. I recently came across Ronique Gibson on the Internet. She is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional who took up staging homes for resale last year. Along the way she started a blog site she calls Stagetecture, a combination of architecture and staging. It’s a site that is growing quite nicely, and when you spend some time on it, you soon know why. It has something for just about every aspect of a home, really, from the staging that is often done to facilitate the sale of the old home to how one goes about decorating the new home to sound ideas for kitchen and bath design. Really, it’s an all-inclusive site, and I found it fascinating. So, with that as introduction, I will turn this over to our Guest. -Joseph
“How to Find Cheap Outdoor Furniture That Looks Great!”
Outdoor furniture is not cheap. Since our move into our new home, our outdoor patio has turned into a storage room of sorts. instead of a functioning place to sit and enjoy the outdoors! I was determined not to let the high prices of my favorite outdoor boutique store (shall remain nameless) catalog deter me. I set out to Craigslist, and low and behold – $100.00 later, and a few cans of spray paint later. I’m happy with my purchase, and so is my cat!
I started thinking, there has to be tons of other ways to find bargains on outdoor furniture.
About.com: Pool and Patio has an article on other resources to find cheap outdoor furniture.
1.) Flea Markets:
A flea market can be a destination – something fun and budget-friendly to do on a weekend alone or with friends or family. Most flea markets are held monthly at the same location, although some are annual affairs that are often more like exhibits than places to strike a good deal.
Traditionally, your best bets for finding outdoor furniture at flea markets will be with vintage pieces.
Experts advise flea market shoppers to arrive early when it first opens, or toward the end. Early birds will get first pick at the good stuff. At the end of the day, however, it’s easier to negotiate with the dealer, who may still be anxious to sell more stuff or who doesn’t want to load the outdoor furniture back into the truck or van and haul it home.
2.) Online Resellers: Ebay, Craigslist and others
EBay, Craigslist and others: EBay rattled the livelihoods of antique shops and was one of the online shopping pioneers. Photos, thorough descriptions and a dealer rating system have taken away most of the concerns for even the biggest skeptics. You can find virtually any type of outdoor furniture – new, old, basic, collectible – for various prices. To avoid shipping fees, do an “advanced search” and look for auctions in your region. Craigslist is more what EBay was like in its early days, before everyone caught on. Try a local search under terms like “outdoor furniture”, “patio furniture” or “wrought iron patio” if you’re seeking something specific. Several other online retailers/resellers have appeared on the scene in recent years
The thrill of it all – you never know what to expect when you walk into a consignment store, antique shop or a place that sells architectural salvage. Pricing is often at the discretion of the owner or employees. Sometimes they don’t know what’s valuable or collectible, maintaining the belief that new is better than old. This is when you can swoop in and score a highly collectible mid-century Santorini or Woodard wrought-iron chair or dining set.
Habitat for Humanity has opened numerous ReStores throughout the United States and Canada, where they sell reusable and surplus building materials, household fixtures, furnishings and appliances to the public. Since the financial crisis, consignment stores have increased their business.
4.) Yard, Garage, and Estate Sales: Yard sales are often held on Saturday mornings. If the sale is advertised or signs are posted the night before, diehards often show up early, sometimes before the sellers have awakened or hauled their stuff outside. As with flea markets, collectibles that are good deals will be the first to go, so if you’re want that wicker porch rocker mentioned in the ad, you’d better be there first thing.
If you’re more of a casual cruiser, the kind who slowly drives by a yard sale to survey the merchandise without parking your car, you can cover lots of ground on a Saturday morning. While estate sales are more firm on their prices, you can always negotiate. Be reasonable, though. If they wanted to give it away, they’d donate their stuff to a charity.
5.) Retail Stores – Outdoor Furniture department:Check for sales – both online and at nearby retail stores – that carry outdoor furnishings as a seasonal item: Target, Walmart, Kmart, Sears, Pier 1 Imports, IKEA, Restoration Hardware, CB2 and Cost Plus come to mind. Outdoor patio furniture is usually in stores and available online in March, and retailers start reductions on garden furnishings right after the Fourth of July, to make room for back-to-school supplies.
Discounts on patio furniture – or any seasonal items, for that matter – usually start at 25%, then jump to 50% off. At this point in price reductions most of the furniture is purchased. If you want to hold out for 75% off, you can wait two or three more weeks, although the selection will be limited.
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