One Room Challenge: Week 3 {Shopping Tips}

In this post: Looking for the best price on home decor?  Today I’m spilling all my best shopping tips.

Before we get to the shopping tips I wanted to give you a little sneak peek at next week’s ORC post entitled, Slap Some Paint On It, which is all about the makeovers I’ve done for this room.  This is just one of them.  Wait to you see all the rest…I’ve been busy.

What is it?  Well…it started out looking like this (with a $15) price tag on it.

So much of making over a room involves shopping, and with the range of products at our fingertips it can be hard to navigate it all.  I’ve done my fair share of shopping for this room including purchasing this sofa I saved hundreds on.

I’m so excited about today because if there is one thing I love as much as decorating my home, it’s shopping!  I kind of have a reputation for shopping.  In fact, many of my co-workers and all of my family members text/tell me about any bargain they score shopping.

I remember malls from cities we have visited and have a weird uncanny ability to remember the mall map for years to come.  I know, I can’t remember all the items I needed from the grocery store, yet, I can remember where Ann Taylor is in the Galleria in Dallas even though I haven’t been there in 10 years.

Okay, on with the shopping tips.

Tip 1:  Find out who manufactures it and the official name

I know this seems like it should be easy, but if you spend any time wandering through all the home décor shopping sites you quickly discover some of them like to name it something special just for their site.

Some of them do this to keep you from searching online for a better price.  Some sites tell you who the manufacturer is but they give it a different name, some sites change all the information, and other sites publish all the relevant information from the start.  Aaaah!  Here’s an example:

Wayfair:  Mercury Row Luna Headboard ($156.00)

Mercury Row® Luna Nail Trim Upholstered Panel Headboard

Joss and Main:  Ernie Upholstered Headboard ($186.99)

Mercury Row® Luna Nail Trim Upholstered Panel Headboard

Often, items you find on Wayfair, One King’s Lane, Birchlane, Joss & Main can be found on the sites of many of the big box stores too (Target, WalMart, Home Depot).  You just need to know how to find it.  Sometimes they will get the same chair/headboard/sofa etc…with just a slightly different finish and minute changes in the details so it makes it more exclusive to one site.  Here’s an example.

Wayfair:  Baxton Studio Oreille Accent Chair ($489.99)

Kmart:  Baxton Studio Auvergne Chair ($523.99)

Not a lot of difference right?  I like them both. 🙂

The trick is…being able to find it all online.  Here are some of my tried and true strategies for finding what I’m looking for on multiple sites even when they try to trick you.

Tip 2:  Use Multiple Strategies

  1. Search google by using the manufacturer and model name.  This is the easiest way to find it.  Sometimes you have to look in the details of the item description to find it and sometimes they publish it right at the top.  If it is given, this is always where I start.
  2. My next step is to use either the model # or SKU # if it is given on the site. For sites that give this information, it is always buried in the description (usually near the measurements and weight).  I simply plug in the number to google and see what results pop up.
  3. If you are signed in to google or you use Google Chrome as your web browser (I’m not sure about the others) you can right click on the image of the item you are looking for and select “Search Google for Image”. The google people are literally geniuses.  They have found a way to give you search results based on an image.  Any site that has placed that image on their web site will be returned in the results.  I just think this is magic or something…kinda like how cell phones work.  Whaaaaaa?
  4. E-bay it. A lot of times small sellers purchase some of the same items as large sellers but they don’t have the capacity to have a giant web site.  I always search for the item I’m looking for in google and then click on “images”.  I look at the source of the image…what web site it is coming from.  I scan to see if any of the images came from e-bay because sometimes I find the exact same thing being sold on e-bay by a small seller for a way cheaper price.  Example:

Amazon:  Canarm Summerside Chandelier ($174.23)

E-bay: Chandelier 5 Light Orb Sphere Hanging Ceiling Pendant Globe Oil Rubbed Bronze ($159.99)

Tip 3:  The Nitty Gritty of the Best Price

Now that you have found multiple sites with the item you are looking for…don’t click purchase just yet!  Go all “Type A” and create a shopping document on your computer.  Here’s how I do it.

  • Create a word processing document and copy & paste the link to the item on every site you find it on along with the name of the online shopping source.
  • Put the date and price for the item for each site.  I know this seems a bit over the top but trust me, when you go back to check the price later you will forget what it was when you first saw it.
  • Buying home decor online is a lot like buying an airline ticket…the price seems to fluctuate more often than you think.
  • For big ticket items I like to spend about 2 weeks visiting the links to the item and tracking the price.  When I see it dip to the lowest I’ve seen (because I have it all recorded) I click purchase.
  • Some shopping sites have weekly sales which may make the price drop for a short period of time.  Target and Rugs USA are two examples of shopping sites that will do a special discount for a short period of time.  This is how I saved over $300 on my sofa…it went on a 25% off select furniture sale at Target.

Before I go, I wanted to share one more peek with you.  I put up the mirror and love it!  I thought I would paint this mirror but right now I’m loving the white on white.  Sorry for the bad iPhone pic.

I want to thank Linda from Calling It Home for creating this One Room Challenge to inspire me to get this space done.  You can check out all of the posts from other guest bloggers here.

We are currently in week three, but if you missed the other weeks, you can visit them below.

Week 1:  The Design Plan

Week 2:  Working With A Real Budget

See you next week for the Slap Some Paint On It post.  It’s a before and after ‘palooza!

15 Comments

  1. Susie @TheChelseaProject

    April 19, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Wonderful tips! I will have to circle back and turn your tips into a workbook. I haven’t done nearly enough shopping onine, but your tips have given me confidence that deals can be found. The deal you got on your setee is amazing. Love your light fixture, too! Looking so forward to seeing your room all put together! Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Nancy

      April 20, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks so much Susie! I am loving how your room is coming together too! I love shopping online because you can find anything you are looking for.

      Nancy

  2. CoCo

    April 20, 2017 at 7:08 am

    These tips are all great! I never realized you could find almost the exact same piece of furniture on multiple sites like that – so crazy! I’ll definitely be saving this technique for future makeovers. Thanks so much for the great tips! Hugs, CoCo

    1. Nancy

      April 20, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Your welcome Coco! Anything we save on decor we can spend on lattes right?

      Nancy

  3. Shirley @Housepitality Designs

    April 20, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Great tips…I learned many years ago that there are several large furniture manufacturing plants that make upholstered goods for many brands.

    1. Nancy

      April 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Isn’t it amazing when you can see it spread across the internet? We have so many options now. Crazy.

      Thanks for stopping in Shirley!

  4. Sue Purdy

    April 20, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Wonderful tips. I’m totally going to use the SKU # trick. You are so clever and thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Nancy

      April 20, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      It really works. Have a great day Sue!

  5. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    April 20, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    What great tips you have given us, Nancy! Thanks! I have never bought any furniture on the internet mainly because I have to see it in person and make sure it’s the right fit for our home!

    Your white mirror is just beautiful! Love it! Looking forward to see how you bring all this together! It’s going to be just lovely!

    Blessings!

    1. Nancy

      April 20, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks Mary-Ann! The sofa was the first furniture piece I’ve ever bought off the internet and I’m pretty pleased with it.

      Blessings back at you dear.

      Nancy

  6. Beth

    April 22, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Great tips, and thanks so much for sharing! I’ve noticed when I add something to my favorites list on Wayfair and then go check on Joss and Main, it will often be on my list at a lower price there but never even thought to check for different prices elsewhere based on SKU. On another note, I love the mirror with the shiplap, and can’t wait to see how the rest of the room is coming along!

  7. Carol, The Red Painted Cottage

    April 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Nancy, Thank you for these wonderful tips and I’m thrilled you were able to save #300 on your sofa!

  8. Carrie

    April 24, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    These are fabulous tips! I definitely need to try these for my next big purchase!

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