Furniture and Home Appliances Are Taking a Long Time to Arrive; Try These Non-Traditional Sources Instead
It seems everyone is working on their homes these days — and it’s starting to show.
Since the pandemic started, Americans have been pouring their efforts (and their savings) into home improvements. They’ve also been buying homes and moving at record rates, too.
It’s true: Shopping at big box stores and traditional retailers can mean waiting forever (sometimes up to six months for some items) and it can be frustrating, to say the least.
Don’t have half a year to wait for your new fridge or washer? Here are some creative options
ReStores are home improvement stores operated by Habitat for Humanity, and they can be great places to find not only ready-to-buy appliances and furnishings — but affordable ones, too. The exact inventory will depend on your location (and likely the time of year), but you can usually find a good array of fixtures, housewares, furniture, paint, building materials, and appliances.
Outlet stores are another option, too. These are places that traditional retailers send their surplus or slightly damaged items for sale. There’s usually no wait time on these items, and you can get them at a steal of a price, too. Rooms to Go has outlet stores, as do a number of other furniture chains. You can also try American Freight — formerly Sears Outlet, if you’re looking for appliances.
3. Online marketplaces
Facebook, NextDoor, Craigslist, and other online marketplaces aren’t a bad place to look either. Though some of these will be used items, you might be surprised at how much is actually new there. The key is to make sure you see the item in person before you purchase it. A quick note here: You’ll need to take some safety precautions when buying online from others. Bring along a trusted friend and ask the seller to bring the item outdoors. Don’t go in someone’s house alone.
4. Model home auctions
Homebuilders use new furniture and decor for every model home they set up. And once that neighborhood sells out? They’re ready to sell the furniture and move on, too. Typically, these items have barely been used if at all, and they’re often hand-picked by professional interior designers (so they’re super trendy). In most cases, model home items are sold at auction, either through a specialized auction company (like Builders Auction Company, for example) or through the builder themself.
5. Thrift shops and second-hand stores
If you’re willing to buy items that have been gently used, you can check out local thrift shops (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.), vintage stores, and even flea markets. These will have items you can haul away that day, and they’ll typically come at very low cost, too.
You might be shocked by how much furniture you can get on Amazon. And if you’re a Prime member? You might just get it in the next day or two. The catch here is that you can’t really evaluate the items before buying. To reduce the risk, make sure you watch any available product videos (especially consumer ones on YouTube) and check out reviews and ratings thoroughly. You should also make sure there’s an easy return policy in place in case you’re unhappy with your purchase.
Fill the gap while you wait
Another option is to buy from a traditional store, but find a creative way to fill the gap until the item arrives.
That might mean:
- Renting an appliance or piece of furniture: There are lots of stores that offer furniture and appliance rentals, including Conns, Aarons, and Rent-a-center.
- Borrowing from a friend: Maybe a friend or colleague has an extra TV or mini-fridge they could spare for a few weeks? You could even ask a neighbor.
- Repurpose other items: Find ways to use what you have to make do. Use your pullout sofa as a bed until your mattress arrives, stack boxes to make a coffee table or nightstand, or use your desk as a makeshift dining table. It might be inconvenient, but if it means getting the piece of furniture or appliance you really want, it should be worth it in the long run.
- Use communal services: Waiting on a washer? Find out where the nearest laundromat is and work up a schedule with your spouse. Treadmill on back-order? Hit up your neighborhood’s community center for a workout instead (if it’s open right now).
The bottom line is you have options. Though it can be frustrating to find out that new refrigerator or washer-dryer is six months out, there are ways to get through or alternative sources you can mine instead.
Need help paying for those items once you’re ready to buy? A cash-out refinance might be able to help. Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans team member today to talk through your options.