Furniture in the digital bazaar

Over the weekend, I finished assembling a bar height patio dining set that allows me to have my morning cup of coffee on the deck. In a mere three days this has honestly become a life highlight.

Emboldened by this experience, I decided to embark on a bigger project: replacing our kitchen table. The current one’s days were numbered anyway. It seats six, and there are seven of us (if one will be in a high chair for a while).

I spend a lot of time surfing the web while nursing a baby these days, so I’d hunted through hundreds of 8-seat listings. My husband mentioned “farmhouse style” and his approval was necessary in this case because our existing kitchen table was his purchase some 20 years ago, and he was (is) quite attached to it. I found a table we both liked on Overstock.

So, I was thinking of going for it when I noticed that, suspiciously, there was another listing on Overstock with the exact same photo for a lower price. I soon found it seemed to come in multiple iterations, possibly through different middle men. I don’t know, but I read the customer reviews and soon figured out the actual manufacturer.

Once I had a name, I could just search on that. I learned that the table could be purchased separately from the chairs (from multiple retailers!), and the chairs could be purchased in packages of two (this is all flat-pack assembly-required stuff). So I wound up purchasing a 2-pack of chairs, which came Tuesday. I made them Tuesday evening and liked them enough that I went back online and purchased 6 more chairs plus the table. All on Overstock, but for about $900 less than the original price I found.

This took place online but reminded me more of shopping in a bazaar, where nothing has an actual price. The guy three booths down will quote an entirely different price on the same green bowl. You look around and figure out what you’re willing to pay. Then you wait, and with the element of time, the seller comes down (or in this case, sends a digital coupon). It’s hard to say what anything is really “worth.” But it probably isn’t the first number you see.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever found online?

Photo: the two new chairs

11 thoughts on “Furniture in the digital bazaar

  1. I’m going to be a Jewish grandmother, here, Laura. It takes lots of nerve to give advice to a mother of five, but still…I have my doubts about doing all this digital stuff while you’re nursing the baby. I mean, aren’t you supposed to be making eye contact? (Of course, 46 years ago, when I was nursing, I had my eyes on books all the time). Excuse my hutzpa, but I feel so connected to you through your blog…

    1. @Jane – he gets a lot of eye contact. And looking at my logs, I can see there’s such a huge volume of nursing time that…well, he might start feeling overly stared at. 🙂

  2. This week I ordered 5 peach trees. As I hesitated, some chat bot came up. I asked if there was a coupon available. I was asked for my email, but I received a $100 coupon. I’ve also had good luck phoning customer service and asking for any coupon codes.

    1. @Kathleen- good tip! In the past I’d always search “coupon code” and get something on RetailMeNot, but I think merchants have become more savvy on that. I’ve been less likely to score something I wasn’t aware was there (e.g. it wasn’t already advertised on the website).

  3. I just purchased (yesterday afternoon) a 5×8 rug for my scrapbook room from Wayfair. It was on sale for a great price and free shipping. I also bought a rug pad that was also on sale and free shipping. Both items have already shipped, and I should get both by Saturday. I’m very excited! I got both items for a few dollars less than a rug I was looking at in our local Lowe’s store. Rug pad not included. HA! And, I got a better looking rug (better suited for a room for crafting).

  4. I’d been considering buying a good processor. I did some research and found the one I wanted, but it was $199! I wasn’t willing to pay that much for something I wasn’t completely sure I’d use a lot.

    Then I saw that it was on sale on Amazon for $149. A lot better, but… I put it in my watch list, and a couple of weeks later, I got a notification – the price went back up to $199.

    RATS.

    Then a couple of weeks later, I got another notification – the price had dropped to $99! And free shipping! I submitted my order. What a deal!!!

  5. I have minimal patience for the bazaar, but it’s usually worth it! I’ve gotten really great deals on past year’s models of my running shoes. I think our best deal was a 70% off clearance on an awesome 8 person patio table and chairs set. Found it at Macy’s of all places! I tried the bazaar method for a dining table, but ended up just waiting for a 30% off sale at pottery barn for the table we really really wanted. I guess it’s a mixed bag of shopping deals in our house.

    1. @TusaRebecca- I normally don’t have the patience either, but given the sheer volume of time I have to surf the web (because really, 12 hours a day of eye contact seems like a lot…) I’m developing the patience out of necessity. And hey, kitchen table for $900 less!

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