Why Is Furniture So Expensive? How To Get More & Spend Less

Whether you’re moving into a studio apartment or a single-family home, furniture is expensive! Believe it or not, furniture is one of the most significant investments people make when moving, leaving new homeowners wondering how to afford furniture for a new house.


Before you go into debt buying brand-new furniture to fill your new place, there are ways to find quality furniture without spending a fortune. Before sharing the best ways to buy furniture — and pay less — it’s essential to understand why furniture is so expensive in the first place.  


5 Reasons Why Furniture Is So Expensive

People are often surprised by how much furniture can be. First-time furniture buyers may wonder, “Why is furniture so expensive?!” The truth is many factors make quality furniture a high-ticket item.


1. Quality furniture is made with more expensive materials.

High-quality materials can increase the cost of furniture. Solid wood, leather, and high-end fabrics are all expensive materials. In contrast, inexpensive furniture is typically made of cheaper materials like particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which can lower cost but compromise durability.


Materials can be the difference between having your furniture for a year or ten! Cheaper furniture can work in the short term but be more expensive in the long run due to being replaced more frequently. Even if you don’t have kids or pets that can be harder on furniture, daily use still takes a toll. Investing in high-quality furniture can ensure you have more reliable pieces that you won’t have to worry about replacing anytime soon.


2. Many furniture pieces require skilled craftsmanship.

Well-made furniture can sometimes require skilled artisans who take the time to create each piece. Furniture manufacturers pay these craftsmen a premium, increasing the furniture cost.


A handmade artisan piece of furniture is not only useful for your home but can also be a beautiful heirloom work of art.


3. Furniture manufacturing costs add up. 

The cost of manufacturing furniture includes the price of equipment, facilities, and utilities. These costs are passed on to the customer, which can contribute to high furniture prices.


Even furniture that is not 100% hand-built by artisans can require more effort, nicer machinery, and more time for production. All those costs are built into the price you pay at the store.


4. Shipping and storage can be pricy.

Consider how much space just your apartment furniture takes up in a moving truck – now imagine multiplying that hundreds of times for bulk furniture orders!


The cost of shipping furniture from the manufacturer to the store or customer can be significant, and this cost is passed along to the buyer. In addition, furniture needs to be stored in a warehouse, which adds to the overall cost.


5. Price includes marketing and retail costs.

Furniture showrooms often come with expensive rent and high operating costs for large buildings. Additionally, they must pay staff salaries and other retail expenses.


All of these costs add up, meaning the price of the furniture must be higher to cover them. Don’t forget other business expenses, too – like marketing and advertising. These costs are passed on to the customer, as well.


How to Buy Furniture on a Budget


Despite the high cost of furniture, there are several ways to save money when buying what you need to furnish your new home. Instead of stressing and wondering, “How much does furniture cost?” reframe your mindset by asking yourself, ” How much can I get it for?” Here are a few tips and tricks to buy furniture without burning your budget. 


Shop at a furniture outlet.

One of the best ways to score a deal on furniture is to visit a used furniture store like CORT Furniture Outlet. These discounted stores offer new and used furniture at a lower price point, giving you more wallet-friendly options. Plus, outlet stores typically have a return policy — unlike online marketplaces or thrift shops. Outlets are the number one way to score more for less.


Scour online marketplaces.

Websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay are great places to find inexpensive furniture. However, you need to be cautious when buying furniture online, as there is always a risk of fraud or getting an item that doesn’t match the description. Use cash whenever possible and meet buyers in a neutral location.


Visit local estate sales.

Estate sales are a great place to find high-quality furniture at a fraction of the retail price. These sales often feature antique or vintage furniture that has been well-maintained. However, estate sales can be competitive, and the best deals often go quickly. Make sure to get there early!


Peruse secondhand shops. 

Thrift stores are another excellent option for finding inexpensive furniture. You can find many furniture styles and materials, and the prices are often modest. A significant downside to secondhand stores is that furniture may be damaged or stained. Check the condition of the furniture from top to bottom before purchasing anything. You may not be able to return the piece once you buy it, but with some elbow grease, you can give old furniture a new life.


Bundle furniture (and save).

If you need a furniture set, ask the sales clerk if buying multiple pieces of furniture could yield a discount. Often, it will! For example, instead of buying a sofa, accent chair, coffee table, and side table separately, bundle them together in a living room set and save. Furniture stores need to move inventory quickly, so the more you buy, the more you may save.


Look for local garage sales.

Garage sales are another excellent option for finding inexpensive furniture. You can find a wide range of furniture styles and materials, and the prices are usually low – and often negotiable. The downside of garage sales shopping is that it can be a very time-intensive process. Typically, you don’t know what kind of furniture a garage sale will have, so it’s a shot in the dark whether or not it will have what you need.


DIY when you can.

Furniture can be expensive. If a new piece isn’t in your budget, consider upcycling something you already have. For example, if you have a decent piece of furniture that isn’t the right color, you could paint it, reupholster it, or get fabric covers. You can also upcycle used furniture that isn’t perfect for your home.


If you need your furniture to perform a different task, you can repurpose it. That dusty bookcase could make for great storage in your shed. Have an old table and chairs that don’t get used much? Consider painting them and moving them outside for a fresh patio furniture set. 


Shop CORT Furniture Outlet For The Best Deals on Furniture

When furnishing your new place, finding high-quality, affordable furniture may feel challenging. You can turn to CORT Furniture Outlet for new and gently used furniture and decor for your entire home at up to 70% off retail prices.

CORT Furniture Outlet pieces start their lives as rentals at CORT. After the rental life cycle is complete, our experts inspect, clean and perform any necessary repairs. Then, it’s ready for a new life at CORT Furniture Outlet. That means we can offer great products at a discount while keeping them out of the landfill. Visit your local CORT Furniture Outlet in-store or online today to check out our ever-changing selection.

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