How to Shop for Furniture

If you’re considering investing in new furniture, you’re far from alone. A third of Consumer Reports members have purchased new furniture in the past two years, according to a new CR survey about the nation’s best furniture retailers.

But the survey, which collected responses in April 2020, doesn’t fully reflect how the coronavirus crisis has affected the furniture industry and furniture shoppers. Today, in addition to considering whether shopping online or in a store will be more effective, health concerns come into play. Being in a closed environment with shared air, settling into a sofa dozens of others have sat on, or touching the finish on a table that many other fingers have trailed across could come with a risk of virus exposure. 

If you decide to shop in person, call ahead to find out when the store is least likely to be crowded, or try to make an appointment. Ask about the store’s mask policy. Head out armed with your own mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer and—whether you opt for a walk-in store or a website—maximize your chances of a positive shopping experience by picking one of the retailers that earned top scores in CR’s new ratings. 

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4 Sneaky Ways Ikea Tricks You Into Buying Tons of Stuff You Don’t Want or Need

If you’ve ever shopped at Ikea, IKEA_shopping_carts_in_Ottawa_Canadayou probably went in thinking you need a lamp, but you came out the other end with two lamps, a side table, a love seat, and a stomach full of Swedish meatballs. This chain (with 41 massive stores in the U.S.) can tempt even the most tight-fisted among us to spew cash. Why is that?

Well, it turns out Ikea has some sneaky tactics to lure shoppers into opening their wallets. And the good news is, you can rein in your spending at Ikea just by knowing what you’re up against. To make sure you don’t end up with a lot of regrettable purchases, get hip to some of Ikea’s more illusive sales ploys below. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

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