The New York Times has a great article today about how to haggle when you go furniture shopping:
"But these days, the thinking goes that it’s a buyer’s market for anyone looking to buy anything. And, as it happens, I’m currently in the market for everything, having just moved into a new apartment where the sum total of my décor is two card tables and an old leather recliner. I may not be a regular customer of the design boutiques of SoHo and TriBeCa, but if there is ever going to be a time for me to furnish my home in high style, this would seem to be it."
Read the complete article
We can't help but put in our two cents on this subject.
Now, we know the economy is tough. It's painful to watch. Too much so actually. The worst part of it is, we know it will get even worse in the next 12 months. But we hope that the consumers will see the OTHER side. As a consumer, you have the option of to spend or not to spend. As a furniture store owner though, you are much less flexible. There's rent, employees, utilities, overhead, advertising--fixed cost that come out of our pockets every month.
As we talk to our colleagues in the business, we find most of them are suffering, big time! Especially the small ones. Many have taken out home equity and/or maxed their credit cards out just to keep the business open. Most do not pay themselves a salary. Many of them are barely scraping by.
So when you do shop for furniture and decide to haggle, think about this a little. Stores have to make a profit to survive, and even though the common perception is retailers mark up like crazy, the truth is that after all the overhead, most of them are lucky if they can end up with a profit at the end of the month.
Here is another NY Times article on the home furnishing melt down.
Yes, do haggle if you can, NICELY. Keep in mind, though, stores need to make money to survive. And they are suffering just as much, if not more, than you are.
Otherwise, there won't be any place for us to shop!