Furniture retailers come in many varieties. You have the high end very exclusive stores that feature top brand names and prices. There are large furniture chain stores that have widely known brand names and reasonable prices. Independent furniture stores, and family owned smaller stores have a mix of brand and off brand name furniture, with prices similar to large chain stores. And, there are discount furniture stores with lesser known brands, cheaper prices, and clearance or odd lot sales.
Every furniture store will offer sales. The law here says that a sale is not a sale unless the furniture is sometimes sold at the higher full price. Some stores have “sales” every day, but there will be some items that are full price and the “sales” rotate around to different items every day. If you first go look at the expensive stores, with the high prices and brand names, and ask the sales person to show you some of the furniture features, you can get a feel for what is better quality and what is not.
For construction, look at a couple features: construction materials, springs, padding, and upholstery. Full kiln-dried hardwood construction is hard to find, but is the best. Many woods are combinations of hardwood and “furniture wood” – press-wood, veneers, and cheaper woods. Joinery is very important. There are different types of springs, from the standard sinuous “S” spring commonly used, to set-in eight-way hand-tied coil springs which are the most comfortable and more like bedding springs. For padding, you can have simple foam, foam chunks or pieces, cotton mixes, new memory foams, wrapped, and other types of padding. Upholstery vary from cotton and denim to expensive textiles. The difference between cheap and expensive is that better materials are more durable, will last longer, and will take more wear and tear from use.
Another thing to watch for with furniture retailers is good financing offers. Some can do their own financing, but most outsource to larger financial lenders. If you cannot get financing, you may be able to do a layaway. Finance offers can stretch up to 4 years. Many stores will offer a 6 month financing at zero or low interest, no payments until the end of the period, same as cash. If you do not pay off the item within that specific interest time period, they will take on very high interest on the whole amount from the beginning, which could result in hundreds of dollars more in interest, and you convert to a regular higher interest payment time. As always, buyer beware!