5 tips for the Millennial home furnishings buyer

B9318058811Z.1_20150712214613_000_GRHBAUR2R.1-0If you’re 34 or younger, chances are you’re either in the market to buy your first home or you recently experienced a bidding war over an affordable home, and now you need to furnish it.

For the second year in the row, your Millennial generation represents the largest group of home buyers in the nation — 32 percent of the market, and here in the Phoenix metro area, you’re being credited with a 10 percent increase of home sales this year.

But you’ve seen how the Great Recession affected your parents and others older than you, and you might be dealing with other challenges, like paying off student debt, so getting the best value for your hard-earned money is important to you.

Some call you frugal … I think you’re wise because more of you are tapping into the secondary market to furnish your homes.

Here are a few tips to help you furnish your home on a tight budget:

1. Make a list of what you need to fill your home. Leave out the wants and only put the needs down.

2. Research your items online and get a good idea of a retail value as this will really help in tip No. 5. There are many apps that can assist you. Check out eBay andWorthpoint mobile applications.

3. Find public auctions, consignment stores and second-hand stores that typically carry good quality items. Trust your first impression. If the store is dirty and the items are dirty, chances are it’s a lower quality business and you may wind up paying too much for a lesser quality item.

4. Remember the price of an item in a consignment store or second-hand store is only an asking price. Almost every one of these stores will negotiate the price down, so be brave, put on that negotiating hat, pull out that cash and don’t be afraid to offer a low amount. It’s amazing what the act of showing a hundred dollar bill will get you!

5. My last tip is my best tip of all. Find a public auction and get ready to bargain. The great thing about an auction is that it’s an instant negotiation between you and the auctioneer, so no need to pull out the wad of cash. Just set the price in your mind and wait for the auctioneer to drop down to a lower price than you’re willing to pay. Then pounce on it leaving yourself room to go up to your amount that you have predetermined to spend.

Why buy new, when you can get something near-new for typically 50 to 75 percent off retail?

And remember, furniture isn’t the only thing you can buy used.

Most auctions will carry everything from pots and pans to electronics, so put on those shopping shoes and go enjoy yourself.

Erik Hoyer co-owns EJ’s Auction & Consignment in Glendale and J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale. Reach him at erik@ejsauction.com, www.ejsauction.com or @EJs_Auction on Twitter.

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