So You Want To Buy Home Staging Furniture?
Yesterday I was doing some work researching popular keywords used in Home Staging on Google and lo and behold, I noticed that one of the popular phrases happened to be “Home Staging Furniture”. My immediate question was “Why would someone want to research Home Staging Furniture?!” Next thing I know, I received a call from someone asking if I had furniture to sell and it occurred to me as weird. I reached out to my peers in the community to see what they were experiencing and the result was pretty fascinating to say the least. Let’s cut to the chase so that I can share my thoughts on our experiences and the facts about what we do.
1. There is no such thing as Home Staging Furniture. Furniture is furniture, no matter if you get it from a local Home Stager or a physical or online retail store. As a matter of fact, the same vendor you purchase your furniture from is probably the same vendor we use. The only exception is there’s a chance we had the opportunity to purchase it wholesale due to owning a business.
2. Home Stagers need their inventory to generate revenue. That’s right – if we sell you our inventory, then what will we use to stage homes?! Our inventory items are our work horses in that they bring revenue into our businesses because we use them to stage homes. Now granted, the more inventory we acquire over the years, we will need to free up space in our warehouse, so selling our surplus inventory is a great option and a lot of us do that when the time comes.
3. Both of us are dealing with the same circumstances right now regarding vendors. Due to COVID-19, various furniture vendors are out of stock or have 4-8 month lead times right now. One stager I know is receiving calls from people who want cheap furniture while they wait for their "real" furniture to be delivered. The Home Staging Industry as a whole is dealing with the same issue. Most of us are buying local retail and/or Facebook Marketplace just to complete projects.
4. Don’t expect to buy for pennies on the dollar. A very matter-of-fact response I received from a peer is that if he is going to sell an item, the price will be less than retail, but will definitely cover his full replacement cost. Home Stagers run a business – not a charity – and we must generate revenue to keep our businesses operating. Oftentimes we find that potential customers want bargain prices and that doesn't work for a lot of us.
5. New condition and still exposed. Furniture used to stage homes hasn’t been lived on and maybe that’s what people are attracted to. It’s still been exposed to certain environmental elements. You have to know that inventory is housed in storage units and warehouses and movers aren’t washing their hands while they’re in the process of transporting furniture. Not to mention, in the summertime, spiders get inside those storage spaces and onto the inventory. I have movers shrink wrap my inventory and that helps a lot. Still, nature is what it is.
When the homes are staged, the furniture is exposed to the environment and people around it for the amount of time it’s onsite. Not to mention, a lot of stagers do not shrink wrap their inventory during transportation, which means constant exposure to the elements the entire time they're owning it.
6. We buy for marketing purposes and not comfort. One of the major things at the top of most people's list is comfort - we don't buy for that. Home Staging is a marketing tool, which means we buy furniture that looks great and is current. We have no concerns about comfort because no one will be living on the furniture while it's in a staged home. It would behoove you to purchase furniture that you can be comfortable living on and is aesthetically pleasing to your eye.
Would I purchase Home Staging Furniture for personal use? No. I would have to be in a pretty distressed situation in order to do that. I’m totally fine using it for business reasons because it’s a revenue generator that no one is living on. To each his own and if it works for you, then go for it. I still think it’s a pretty interesting topic that continues to intrigue me to this day.