you looking to refurnish your whole house for the price of just a few rooms? Then
head to Hickory or High Point, N.C., where 60 percent of the furniture sold in
the United States originates.
You can save thousands
because prices are routinely 40 percent to 50 percent below the list prices found
at furniture retailers elsewhere and 20 percent to 30 percent off usual sale prices.
Plus, the selection is overwhelming.
designer and author Kate Gladchun got serious about discount furniture shopping
after she discovered she could save as much as 70 percent by hitting the North
Carolina sales in October and April. Those months follow the semiannual furniture
buying markets attended by retailers from all over the country. After the professionals
leave, the samples go on sale at deep discounts for the rest of us.
The largest dealer is Furnitureland South in High
Point, which has more than 1 million square feet of display space.
Other establishments to visit are listed in The
Fine Furniture and Furnishings Discount Shopping Guide.
North Carolina furniture shoppers suggest that you map the space where you're
going to put the furniture. That way you won't buy something that simply doesn't
fit. (Bring along a tape measure just to be sure.) Also have on hand carpet samples,
fabric swaths from existing furniture and photographs of your rooms because if
you make a mistake, even at these prices, it could be expensive.
probably won't have to pay sales taxes, but you will have to figure out how to
ship the furniture home. The stores have a cooperative delivery arrangement that
allows you to consolidate shipments from various outlets as long as you are shipping
more than 500 pounds. Expect to pay about $1 per pound in shipping charges.
you have access to a van or truck, loading the furniture and driving it home yourself
is the cheapest alternative. Next cheapest is probably renting a truck that you
can drop off at your destination.
After you refurnish your
home, don't miss the chance to visit western North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains.
They are a popular summer destination and you can do more than just look at the
spectacular scenery. Rafting and float trips in the area are popular. It's also
a great region for hiking, fly fishing, biking and horseback riding, with several
equestrian centers nearby.
And don't miss Biltmore
Estate in nearby Asheville, N.C. Industrialist George Vanderbilt's palatial
home is magnificent and the winery weekends there are a great opportunity to enjoy
some fine dining.