My Furniture Buying Sagas... long NC/SC info
Its funny how our taste in furniture has so changed over the last 30+ years!
When we were first married (mid 70Âs) our first home was a 50Âs ranch. We liked antiques; before they were expensive, early American, as well as anything that was free/cheep ok looking.
In our early 30Âs we bought a new 4br 2 story with lots of room, but were still young, had 3 kids, and no money. We started liking contemporary and I found some incredibly great deals buying used furniture, I sold our Early American BR set and one Antique secretary and filled our whole house with proceeds and less than 5K! When we moved from that house I sold much of the furniture I bought used for the same price I had bought it for 12 years prior!
At that time, in our mid 40Âs (2000) we built again, a little more upscale. By this time we finally were able to afford new furniture to fit the home. We still liked the contemporary look and found a quality contemporary line for the master BR & dining room set (Excelsior). After shopping, I donÂt remember how I found furnitureland south, but on our BR and DR set we saved over 5000, if we had bought locally. As much as I would have liked to support the local storeÂ I could not believe the savings. We also purchased new a Lane Venture Kitchen and sun room set from Ellenbergs(I think they are still around) and the saving also were very significant. Back in 2000, most if not all NC stores offered free shipping no sales tax.
Now, after over 3 years of planning/building, (also acting as owner/general contractor) our dream home is almost complete. Our new house is old world and our contemporary/ transitional furniture does not work. When planning this house we also budgeted for almost all new 1st floor furniture, consisting of family room, living room, dining room, den, kitchen and master br. We are now mid-50Âs and this is our forever house.
Pre-groundbreaking in May 2007 we took a trip to High Point, going to Furniture Land South as well as many other stores to get ideas. Nearing completion, in June 2008, with a set budget we went back to High Point to buy 6 rooms of furniture. Since our time in NC was very short on this trip, on our way to FLS, I called to talk to a sales associate telling her what we had hoped to accomplish.
During our first visit since we had no intentions of buying THEN, we had no assigned sales person. Wandering through FLS for 2 days, there was always a sales person around to help.. Some we found were nicer/more helpful than others.. Some you just like better than othersÂ
This year when we were heading down, we were on a mission to buy, so we called to talk to a sales associate, telling her our needs. When we got there and met the person who answered the phone, we just did not ÂclickÂ. I think all she saw was $$$ signs, as we did want to buy lots of furniture. After spending about an hour with her, showing her plans/pictures, etc, she flew us by lots of furniture we had no interest in. We then said we would probably be better on our own. She gave us her cell, we were to keep in touch. We said fine, and weÂd be back the next day. The following day we wanted to hit a few other local stores in the morning, we got back to FLS early afternoon. Our assigned sales person was very perturbed that we returned so late(between 1-2) said she was waiting for us, and she missed other customers. We had never given her an exact time we would be there. At this point we were pretty annoyed with her. At the end of our shopping day, sitting down we got a few prices but she was rude to us and we were annoyed with her and ended up not buying anything!
Lesson learned: In dealing with any store, instead of calling ahead, just go visit, wander around and find a sales associate who is knowledgeable and you like
FLS IS probably the best place in the world to see tons of furniture. It takes a least a day to go through the whole store, and thatÂs walking really really fast. They also have a great place for lunch there.
SO we get back to Illinois, disappointed we didnÂt order, and disappointed in FLS, but we did find a FR sofa we really liked. SO, I went to the boards here on Garden Web to see where else we might want to check out. I found 3 places seemed worth a try, who most people rated favorably. Lexington Furniture, Elite Interiors, and DCollie. Dwayne certainly had the best reviews, but he did not carry the brand sofa we wanted. So I contacted Lexington and Elite. And for the heck of it I went to a local furniture store that boasts the lowest prices and could order that line. WOW... the price diff on 2 sofas !!!! Elite was the lowest, Lex was about 12% more, FLS, 21%more and our local ÂdiscountÂ store 36% more!
In pricing the BR set we chose, once again Elite had the best prices, with local store costing almost 30% more.
I ordered the 2 Classic Leather Sofas from Elite in July. Since then I have ordered a bedroom set, desk for den, BR vanity and mirror, 6 kitchen chairs and 3 barstools from them. I received my first shipment this week and everything from them was perfect. I have checked prices on all items ordered and compared apples to apples. They do charge shipping... so in my comps it includes their shipping charges. My sales person there (Cheryl) has been very helpful.
My only minor complaint is not with them, but the shipping company they use. Since I had been ordering a bunch of stuff at different times, some came in earlier and I requested they hold until more came in, so I would get a lesser shipping rate. We had also bought an entertainment center at another store in High Point and we wanted that shipped with all our other stuff. All our Elite stuff was in as of 9/18, but it took almost a full month to get it shipped. We just recvÂd it all this week, on 10/14. All Elites stuff was in perfect condition, but the bottom half of the entertainment center came damaged. The guys on the truck were blaming the store... and from my understanding when trucking firms pick up furniture, they sign off its good, so when items are received damaged, itÂs usually the trucking firms fault. And my husband saw this piece fall over while unloading, but the guys were saying they would have to take it back to the store and get a new piece, and since this delivery was after 5 there was no one to contact. We opted to keep the damaged piece and try and have it fixed locally, so we donÂt have to wait forever for a repaired piece. And they scratched my wood floor on delivery.
Sorry this got so long! Long story short.. I would highly recommend shopping around for prices; the amount of money I have saved is considerable. I would also highly recommend Elite Interiors. They have been great to deal with.