By Jamie Jefferson
Spring and summer mean the return of barbecues and enjoying the great outdoors with friends and neighbors, and a nice set of patio furniture can make all the difference in your comfort when entertaining and dining al fresco. While a quality patio set can be expensive, it certainly doesn’t have to be. By shopping smart, you can save on your purchase. Here are five tips for securing the best price on the outdoor furniture you love.
1. Know your style. Flip through magazines and sales inserts to get an idea of the kinds of patio pieces that you really want. This is not the time for an impulse buy. You can really save money by knowing exactly what you want and then looking for it on sale.
Plus, you’ll be less likely to want to replace that item in a few years.
Once you know what you love, find out where you can find it, both offline and online by using the Internet. Do a search for the manufacturer’s name, as well as the name of the piece or set. When doing price comparisons at online stores, make sure to take into account any differences in shipping fees or sales tax – so you can be sure that you’re comparing apples to apples. Note that you can typically find the best deals on patio furniture in August, when stores need to clear out their summer items for fall and winter merchandise. But you’ll also find plenty of sales and discounts during the spring and summer.
2. Check your local warehouse clubs. Any store that has huge buying power on these items can bring big savings to you.
3. Check the online superstores. Some of these overstock merchants offer deep discounts on quality pieces. But because these quantities are often in limited supply, the real trick is finding the pieces you want before they sell out. When you shop the big online discount stores, make sure to look for a coupon code first, which can save you on shipping or may even take off a percentage of your order.
4. Find an outlet store. If you have a favorite furniture store or manufacturer, visit the company website to find out if they have an outlet shop in your area (or if you can view the outlet merchandise online.) You may be able to find items that have been discounted because they have been either returned or slightly damaged.
5. Don’t overlook the idea of buying used patio furniture. Often, you can score some beautiful pieces in thrift stores or consignment stores. Check eBay and Craiglist, or join a local freecycle network, in which people will offer their used items for free.
The biggest factor in finding patio furniture at reduced pieces is to be patient. Watch your favorite pieces carefully. Buy your patio furniture only when the pieces you like are on sale, or when you can get a discount with a coupon code or free shipping offer online. Then, once you’ve found the perfect set of patio furniture, make sure to take care of it properly, per the manufacturer’s recommendations, so it lasts as long as you want it to.
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