I bought my first home when I was 20 and living in Dallas/Fort Worth. Well, actually my home was a townhouse, but it was mine nonetheless. I had flight benefits with my job and heard stories of coworkers traveling to High Point, NC, to save big money furnishing their house. As a bachelor, big money and furnishings were mutually exclusive. I went to a furniture liquidation warehouse and bought a matching couch, loveseat, and chair for under $300 which reflected my taste in decor... something Vern Yip would call bachelor tacky. This experience was my basis of knowledge for the cost of furniture.
Fast forward 10 years, and I'm married and living in Orlando. Informed that it was time for a new couch/sectional to go with our new home, I went furniture shopping with my wife. You can imagine my shock in discovering that a 3-piece sectional can cost more than a car... at least the last car I'd purchased (an '88 Volkswagen Fox wagon, quite the chickmobile). I was further surprised to learn that most people can't pick up furniture on the day it's purchased. Remembering, "Happy wife, happy life," we agreed on a style and fabric, and 6 weeks later the furniture arrived.
After moving back to Atlanta a couple of years later, I made a business trip to Greensboro, NC, and decided to make the 25 minute drive to High Point to see what was in the furniture capital of the world and if prices really were better. I visited two stores, Boyles Furniture and Furnitureland South (FLS), to check the price on a Stanley bedside table to match one we'd picked up at closeout from a Sears Homelife that was going out of business.
My first stop was to FLS, home of the world's tallest highboy and a showroom (+ Mart) with over 500,000 square feet of space. I spent an hour wandering around the Mart building and found the bedside table in the Stanley line I wanted. I was surprised to find it 40% off retail, and so I asked a salesperson to check the price. It was correct. She also asked my zip code and calculated that shipping would be ~ $60 but that there wouldn't be sales tax because I was having the item shipped out of state. I took the salesperson's card and left for my next stop.
I didn't have much time at Boyles because I'd spent more time at FLS than planned, but I knew the drill. Rather than going to find the furniture, I immediately asked for a salesperson and had her look up the price of the item I wanted. I was happy to learn that the price was closer to 50% off and that Boyles was offering free shipping on orders over $500. Shipping was about the same otherwise. I took her card, thanked her for her time, and left to catch my flight.
After returning to Atlanta, my wife and I decided to purchase the bedside table from Boyles. We also purchased a dresser and bed from the same line. We have since made several trips to the Triad (Hickory, Greensboro, and High Point) area to furniture shop, mostly at clearance and showroom sales. On our last trip we went to the Furnitureland South Clearance Center and paid less than $100 for a $600 mirror that came from the same Stanley line and completes our bedroom.
If you're out of the bachelor tacky phase and wanting to save thousands of dollars on nice furniture, it's worth a call or click to furniture shop in the High Point area. Here are some sites for reference:
- Furnitureland South
- Hickory Furniture Mart
- High Point Furniture Store Directory
- Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Factory Outlet