Buying ex display furniture is an excellent option. The second hand market is a fantastic way of saving money regardless of what the product is, but it's worth reinforcing that, typically, ex display furniture usually has a price tag 50% cheaper than the recommended retail place. For the savings to be so good from the moment that retailers make ex display furniture available, it's clear that it is a smart move to look in this market if you are in need of furniture for the home.
The Complete Guide to Buying Ex Display Furniture
Of course, there is a thriving market for all types of second hand furniture and there are always some great bargains to be had. However, the ex display furniture market has some distinct advantages. The most obvious one is that ex display furniture isn't really 'second hand' or 'used' at all. For example, an ex display dining table and four chairs set will never have been eaten on at all. It will have sat as a display item in a retailer's showroom or shop. Browsing shoppers may have sat at the table to get a feel for what the piece is like. It's possible that there might be a couple of scuffs or scratches on it, but it won't have been 'used' as such.
What this means is that much of the general advice and guidance that would apply for those considering buying second hand furniture doesn't really apply with ex display furniture. A great example of this would be to do with odours. All homes have a specific 'smell' and, over time, odours will transfer to pieces of furniture. Generally, such odours will air out after a while. However, certain odours, such as from pets or smoking tend to linger the longest and are very difficult to remove. When buying ex display furniture you will never have to worry about such things.
Size and style
With any type of furniture, second hand, new or ex display, the most important consideration should always be the size of the furniture piece and its style. You need to ensure that the piece will be a good fit for the room you intend to place it in at home. By this we mean that the piece is a suitable size. There is nothing worse than a piece of furniture that is too big for a space. A piece that looks oversized will not look good in any room. Whether a piece is too wide, long or deep can seriously affect how it will look. Similarly, furniture pieces can look too small in larger rooms and become lost in them.
Furniture showrooms are designed and organised in such a way that shows off a piece to the best effect. Often they are displayed in open-plan spaces that look quite different to the typical rooms in a home. You should always pay very close attention to the measurements of a piece of furniture and think carefully about the dimensions and shape of the room you are intending to put the furniture piece in.
It's always wise to consider where the doors, radiators and plug sockets are within the room too. The simple fact is that whilst a piece of furniture might look fantastic in a showroom or in the photographs of an ex display furniture listing, you will never know exactly what that piece will look like in your home until it's actually there. By that point, of course, you will bought the piece and if you decide that it isn't right and isn't suited to a particular room, it will be too late.
Considering the size, measurement, shape and style of ex display furniture very carefully is the best insurance policy you can take out to avoid being disappointed.
Here are some useful tips to help you in your search for ex display furniture.
Try before you buy
Of course, buying online means that this might not always be possible, practical or realistic. If the seller is hundreds of miles away, it won't be necessary to travel all that distance to try out a table lamp or a stool - but for larger items, such as sofas, if it is practical, then it is always a good idea to take the trouble to see the piece in the flesh before you decide to buy.
A sofa is probably the best example of this. After all, a sofa is bought to sit on. You really need to check that you are happy with the comfort of it before purchase. It might be too hard or too soft for your liking and you won't be able to tell this from listings and photographs alone.
An alternative, which would make a lot of sense, would be to investigate whether there is a retail showroom in your local area that is likely to have the same piece on display, so you can try it out there to give you a better idea.
Buying ex display sofas
A sofa is one of the most important furniture purchases you will ever make for your home. Although you will want it to look good, a sofa is not just for cosmetic or decorative purposes, so before you buy a sofa make sure you are getting one that fits your needs.
A sofa that is perfect for your living room might not be as suitable for another room in your home. First, think about how you intend to use your sofa and who will be using it. Determine whether the ex display sofa will be a good fit for your space. There are sofas to fit pretty much any style of room so take the time to look for one that satisfies your own personal style. The fabric you select of a sofa is also a key consideration.
More about buying sofas and sofa beds
The time and trouble you take when looking at ex display sofas or sofa beds will depend on what the intended use is. If you want a family sofa or a new sofa for the lounge in your home or flat, then all the above advice definitely applies. If you are a landlord who just wants to furnish one of your properties with decent and reasonably priced furniture, then you probably won't need to check as many things - although the importance of checking sizes and measurement is still vital.
Another option is for a sofa bed or sleeper sofa. As multifunctional pieces of furniture, sofa beds are very useful. Again, the key consideration should be how you intend to use the piece in your property. Sofa beds tend to be more functional than they are comfortable. They might not be the most comfortable sofas or the most comfortable beds than similar separate pieces might be, but most are more than adequate. What a sofa bed gives you is flexibility and options. You need to decide which of the two functions is the most important. So, think about whether the piece will be used as a sofa and a bed daily, or fairly regularly. It might be that the bed function might only be used occasionally - when guests stay, for example.
Either way, you want a piece that offers both comfortable seating and a comfortable bed. Once again, perhaps the most important thing to consider is size. Ex display sofa beds have the potential to turn any room into a bedroom and sofa beds can be placed in many spaces.
They are also come in most sofa types too. From single armchairs that convert into single bed, to sofas that can be transformed into full-size or queen-size beds. Many sofa beds also come with hidden storage capacity too.
Flexibility and versatility
It might be that you have a specific type of furniture - even a specific brand or model - that you are looking for, and searching for ex display furniture will always be a great way of getting hold of your ideal piece at a low price. However, most people will just be looking for something that will tick their boxes and is suitable for their needs.
Having an open mind and thinking in a flexible way is always sensible when looking at ex display furniture. Some furniture pieces are specifically designed to be multi-functional, such as sofa beds. But functionality and multi-use options can come from many pieces of furniture. A dining table, depending on its size, might be used as a family dining table, a breakfast table, or even as a desk. A sideboard can have many uses. Therefore, it's always wise when looking at the listings of ex display furniture to take the time to browse all the listings. Approach your search with an open mind. You never know what you might find.
Buying ex display wooden furniture
A large proportion of ex display furniture will be wooden. It is the most popular material for furniture and most people consider hardwood furniture - solid woods such as oak and maple - to be the best quality. This is certainly true and solid hardwood furniture does trend to be the strongest, longer-lasting and durable that you can buy.
However, veneer furniture is cheaper. It can be beautiful and is usually long lasting too. In fact, solid wood can be prone to problems such as splitting and warping. When a wood veneer is bonded to the solid core wood the chances of such splitting and cracking occurring is greatly reduced. Veneers are highly suited for use in furniture components such as doors and back panels and such pieces will actually be considerably stronger than if a piece of solid wood were used instead. If solid woods were used, the item would be heavier, cost more and have a greater impact on the environment.
All in all, veneer is an important type of wood in furniture and actually has many advantages. Having said that, you should still consider the type of woods that are used in ex display furniture. For example, pine is much better suited to pieces that do not have to withstand considerable weight or pressure over long periods of time. Therefore, pine beds or sofas might not always be the best choice.
As previously mentioned, keeping an open mind when buying furniture and being open to all the potential uses a piece could have in the home is always sensible. Another option is to re-purpose a piece completely. A common trend in home design in recent years is to re-paint wooden furniture to give a piece a completely different look. For example, you might not be thinking about ex display furniture made from dark woods as an option because you don't think it will fit in with interior design and colour schemes in your home - but painting over the piece in all sorts of colours is possible. Of course, the same is true of metal furniture too.
Here are some tips to consider when buying ex display furniture of certain types:
Beds, like sofas, are pieces of furniture that will be used every single day. The comfort of the bed has to be paramount. After all, a good night's sleep is vitally important. However, it is worth remembering that the most important factor in the comfort of the bed is the mattress and not the actual bed frame.
You should also look beyond comfort and make sure that a bed fits comfortably into the room you intend to put it in. A bed not only provides an important daily function, it can also be a real focal point for a bedroom. Beds are available in a wide selection of styles, sizes and heights and always think about the storage space that can be provided underneath the bed. This can be especially useful in homes where space and storage is limited.
Comfort and functionality are both important when looking at which ex display dining chairs to buy. Check the construction of a dining chair as they are likely to get a lot of use. Stronger materials are a wise choice as these dining chairs will be longer lasting and more durable. Think about how the chairs fit under the dining table and whether the legs of the table will get in the way when several people are sat around the table. It's also worth considering how dining chairs might be used in other spaces around the home - possibly as additional seating in a lounge, or perhaps to be placed in the hallway or conservatory.
TV units/entertainment centres
These days TV units have a far wider range of uses then they used to. Gone are the days when they essentially just provided a space to accommodate a television and maybe a video or DVD player. Now televisions tend to much slimmer, much larger and most people have a wider range of media and entertainment devices in the home. As well as a DVD player, you might need space for a games console and digital box, for example. It's important that the design of a TV unit lends itself to your particular needs. The amount of shelving space or drawers on offer is important. You also need to consider how a TV unit will fit into the room. Units that are specifically designed to be placed in the corner of a room are a particularly useful way of saving space. Check that a unit has cable holes so that wires and leads can be stored neatly and out of view behind the unit.
Buying ex display furniture is an excellent way of finding high quality furniture for your property at greatly reduced prices. It is an option that you can approach with complete confidence. Follow the advice given in this buyer’s guide to ensure that your search is a successful one. By doing a bit of research and taking common sense steps such as being absolutely sure that the size of ex display furniture fits the dimensions of your home – and that you choose styles and materials that are best suited to your needs – will mean that you will able to find furniture that will last for years in your home.