By John G. Merna
Furniture Scams: The Small Print Isn’t Your Enemy, The Interest Is.
I love walking into furniture stores. We have a few notables here in Virginia Beach and throughout Hampton Roads, like Grand Furniture, USA Discounters and Value City.
I love walking into furniture stores because the furniture in there always looks better than the stuff in my house. But then again that is what they want you to feel.
But after years of practicing bankruptcy I have learned two great lessons about in-store furniture financing. It is a scam. The first is that I can’t afford the furniture. Yes, even on an attorney’s salary. And the second is that furniture financing is one step above or below the evils of payday loans.
So why can’t I afford a $1,000 couch financed through a furniture store? Because in reality it’s a $3,000 couch.
So why is it every one buys with financing?
Simple. They don’t put “This couch will cost you $3,000 by the time you pay if off” on the price tag.
Come on. They’re not idiots. They buy cheaply built, but good looking furniture. Give it an almost criminal markup. Then they tell you we are going to give you this great discount for this limited time on some obscure holiday that has no relevance to discounting prices. But . . . don’t look at the financing rate.
“We’ll put it in your car no problem. See ya. Don’t forget to send in your payments for the next ….. well, forever. So long. Have a good life. Oh and we’ll repo the furniture if you don’t pay and oh yah if you file bankruptcy you can’t get rid of us without giving up the furniture. Love ya. Come back soon. (Lots of waves from the loading docks.)”
So what is my own personal belief? Learn to save and buy with cash. I know that is hard but think of it this way. If you can afford the $150 to $200 monthly furniture payment it would only require you to save for five to 7 months and you could afford that $1,000 couch with NOOOOO finance charge. Or you could buy it now and pay for it for two years or more.
Get the picture? Avoid furniture scams. Learn to save….
Archive: Furniture Scam