Sure, it seems like a great idea at the time, but I am here to assure you that not all garage sale "deals" are indeed deals. For instance, the "complete" $10 desk/computer/chair/laptop set may seem complete, but how much 'bang for your buck' can someone really give you before you've been taken advantage of?
Case in point: Some of our furniture is breaking. We are in desperate need of a new coffee table and end tables (a $5 deal for all three, by the way). So far, after visiting five furniture stores and dozens of online blowouts, we are still left with wobbly table legs and the equivalent of a 6 year old's first hammer, nails, and wood experience.
There have, of course, been several front runners. There is the beautiful wooden masterpiece that did not stand up to the test of the wobbles (simulating an earthquake in the middle of Nebraska Furniture Mart is really not as hard as it sounds), the gorgeous dark wood ensamble that we could not lift, and the ivory beauty that dared us not to whisper her name. In all, we have been faced with a few difficult decisions and some that have not been so hard.
One of the things complicating our decisions is the layout. The ways in which the stores display the furniture has been troublesome. You see, every furniture store so far has had their living room display set up like a... well, living room. The coffee table is found in front of the sofa with a chair and endtable to the side. The stores are myriads of miniature living rooms, one after another, as far as the eye can see. This is great for shoppers looking to visualize complimentary pieces or for those looking to fill/replace entire areas of furniture. This is a horrible idea for shoppers looking for one or two specific pieces of furniture.
Imagine the hours spent weaving in and out of the mock living rooms, competing with each of the shoppers to find the elusive "perfect" set. The problem of finding more than one piece that you like at opposite ends of the store is complicated by having to walk by at least 90 other pieces, causing you to forget what and why you were comparing in the first place. This has been our last week.
There have been a few bright spots in what seems like our never ending search. We have become very efficient at simulating natural disasters, dismantling several pieces of furniture in under a minute, and are now able to navigate hundreds of fake living room sets without losing our point of reference. Oh, and our directions have expanded to include descriptors of "the one over there with the thing I like" with both of us understanding and able to react accordingly.
Needless to say, the moral of the story is if you go furniture shopping, take a camera for comparison purposes and even though garage sales may seem like the best place to fill your every furniture need, they may not be the best decision in the long run.