In Your Home

In Your Home

In Your Home

Black Friday bargains on housewares

Black Friday isn't all about electronics and computers -- you can also find amazing low prices on everything you need for your home, including home furnishings and appliances. Big-box retailers, department stores, and independent dealers alike hold major Black Friday sales. If you've been looking to update your home furnishings or upgrade your appliances, now is one of the best times of the year to start your shopping.

To find the best deals on furniture and appliances, you should carefully review what each individual retailer is offering during the sale. This goes beyond just looking at prices; you also need to consider financing terms very carefully, especially when it comes to home furnishings.

Furniture Financing 101

It is common for furniture retailers to offer financing arrangements. The first thing you should know is that most financing offers are available on an "on approved credit" (OAC) basis. This means that to qualify for the advertised financing terms, your credit score must exceed a certain threshold. If it does not, you may be subject to different terms, or you may not qualify for financing at all. This is something you should bear in mind and investigate ahead of time.

Also, you should always read and understand the fine print when it comes to furniture financing. Many retailers offer perks like "no payments for a year" and "0 percent interest", but these offers may be subject to limitations and exclusions. Before you put your name on the dotted line, make sure that you understand exactly what you're signing up for.

Finally, if you can pay cash for a new home furnishing without breaking the bank, this is always a better way to go. You won't have to worry about managing future payments, and you'll avoid any and all interest charges that may have applied to your purchase.

Shopping for Appliances on Black Friday

Appliance shopping also comes with some pitfalls that you should know about before you head to your local retailer. When you're considering various appliances, here are some things you should think about in addition to price:

In Your Home
  • Warranty protection. By and large, well-known manufacturers tend to offer consumers more generous and inclusive warranties. That's one of the reasons most people prefer to stick with major brand names when it comes to appliances. If you're considering an appliance from a lesser-known manufacturer that seems to have all the same features and specs at a price lower than its better-known counterpart, check the warranty. Limitations and exclusions may be the reason the lesser-known manufacturer is able to sell the product for a lower price.
  • Delivery and installation. Many retailers include delivery and installation with the purchase price -- but not all. If these are going to cost extra, you should know about it from the get-go so you can shop with the retailer providing you the best overall price, including delivery and installation. Finally, remember that certain appliances, such as furnaces, should always be professionally installed. You may create a safety hazard and invalidate your warranty coverage if you attempt to complete such an installation on your own.
  • Operating costs. The sticker price of an appliance only tells part of the story when it comes to cost. You also need to consider the relative energy efficiency of each appliance you're considering. How much, on average, does each model cost to run per year? While you are likely to pay a little more up front for a more efficient model, remember that energy efficiency saves you money in the long run.

When it comes to shopping for furniture and appliances on Black Friday, a little know-how will take you a long way. Many people consider nothing other than the bottom-line up-front price, and that is a mistake you want to avoid.