Decode the discount

Once upon a time (less than 20 years ago) 80% of America's furniture was made in or near High Point, NC. We knew the names: Broyhill, Lane, Henredon, Ethan Allen, Bernhardt. Better manufacturers cost more. Price reflected quality. Off shore manufacturing changed everything. Lower manufacturing costs meant drastically lower prices. Overnight, new furniture chains offered designer styles at rock bottom prices. Why spend $2800 on a sofa when a $600 sofa looked just as good? What's the difference between a $1200 dining room and a $28,000 dining room? Does low price mean a great deal, or poor quality at full retail markup?

Evaluate the retail source. A store offering immediate shipment owns their merchandise Therefore, they have inventory costs and higher overhead. High Point superstores (those that remain) don't order furniture until you purchase it. The mark up is lower, the value is better.

Evaluate the manufacturing source. Those familiar and trusted names are manufacturing in Asia now. There's a learning curve in off shore production, and the quality could be less than you expect

Marketing is so tricky. Free shipping draws customers like a magnet. But discounts are usually deeper when you pay for delivery, and the net price lower.