Furniture companies have desensitized you. From cheap pancakes and Swedish meatballs to winding isles and convoluted store layouts, you’ve been played. These accoutrements, if you will, are there to distract you from the truth.
Furniture is freakin’ expensive. And not in a trendy, “let me show you my new Fendi couch” expensive. We give it a free pass because it’s usually the last thing on our mind. I mean I know I’m not thinking about how much I paid for the dining table every time I walk through the door — are you? Even worse, no one ever thinks about what happens when no one wants the musty futon from freshman year. Furniture is basically mother nature’s arch nemesis. It’s one of the least recycled consumer goods as well as one of the least recyclable products out there!
For the amount of space it occupies in our lives, furniture receives relatively little scrutiny. The thousands of dollars spent furnishing each room, the hours of sweat poured into installing cupboards, cabinets and side tables, the endless swearing when a scuff mark is noticed, the environmental toll of billions of dollars worth of scrapped furniture… none of these receive much attention like even some fuss-free items do.
Add to this list the hassle of selling these items and you’ll realize that the realities of buying furniture are far from playing house.
And yet the furniture purchase market dwarves rentals, accounting for 97% of the industry in the US. Should it remain this way? We’ve dug up some numbers to estimate the total cost of brand new furniture — and suggest a better way.
1. Opportunity Cost: Would you Rather Make A Great Investment Or Buy a Mattress?
‘What would you do with $10,000?’ You’ve probably been asked this question a few times or thought of it, but never would your answer have been: ‘I would buy furniture’. And yet, many of us end up spending around this amount on furniture over a fairly short period of time.
If you’re ever in the market for new furniture, try running the numbers. Simultaneously, run through your list of answers to the question, ‘What would you do with $10,000?’. Bitcoin? Pay off a loan? Invest in an index fund? Or a startup? Do you still want to buy that sleeper sofa?
Eventual Cost: Around $60,000 if you bought Bitcoin around 12 months ago.
Benefit of Renting: Of course, you still need furniture, and you can have it, too. Take a look at what it costs to rent the same stuff, and pay for it (soon enough) with the gains from your investment.
2. Product Hunt: Still Haven’t Found What You’re Looking For?
Furniture is built with a purpose — to park ourselves while watching the game, house the books we’ll never read, to hide our keys so we can’t find them. But you can’t just sink hundreds (or thousands) of dollars into just any piece. You need to like it. It needs to feel like home. And as you keep adding furniture, the complexity increases.
How much time have you spent looking for furniture? If you haven’t, ask a friend or your parents. It takes a while, it’s costly, and there’s a chance of buyer’s remorse with each purchase. What if you don’t like it anymore? What if it doesn’t fit in with your room the way you thought it would?
Eventual Cost: Several weekends of effort, potential for buyer’s remorse
Benefit of Renting: Our furniture experts go through much trouble to curate great looking furniture, classifying each piece so that it is easy to find (Need an ‘end-table that will hide away the week’s rubbish when your guests come over?’ We’ve got two of those!), and including them in packages that offer great value.
3. Furniture Assembly: Your Saturday
The pictures on the website don’t usually indicate how easy the bed is to assemble, even if you’re good at this sort of thing. Many websites and stores do offer free assembly, but only on large purchases. So you spend the weekend shopping for the item and then an entire day putting it together.
Your great furniture deal is starting to look a lot worse, isn’t it? You’ve missed out on the financial opportunity of a lifetime, spent an entire weekend shopping around for furniture and now have to figure out how to assemble it.
Eventual Cost: More work! Probably a few hours for some items
Benefit of Renting: By renting furniture from CasaOne, you’re skipping the hassle altogether. We handle delivery and assembly no matter what the cost of the item you’ve picked up.
4. Finding a Buyer: It’s a Match, With a Three-Month Delay
Things change, don’t they? You’ve taken a job in a new city. That sleeper sofa you liked two years ago doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle. Your two-year-old queen size bed may start to creak. Want to get rid of it? Well, that’s gonna be difficult.
Unless you have a friend who wants it, it’s going to be a while before you find a buyer. And then there’s the matter of price. Furniture depreciates rapidly, and you may also have to help organize shipping.
Eventual Cost: Your patience (and the possibility that you’ll just give it away) and at least 50% to 80% of what you paid for the furniture.
Benefit of Renting: With a rental, you simply schedule the pick-up date and it’s done. Swap or upgrade at your convenience.
5. Environmental Woes: Is it That Bad? Well, Sorta
You buy furniture when you need it. When you don’t, it ends up in a secondhand store, and likely ends up in a landfill soon after. Each year, millions of tonnes of furniture, both home and office, burden landfills as it is chucked out prematurely. By some estimates, the furniture sale business has a 50% greater (negative) impact on the environment than the rental business.
Eventual Cost: An unhealthier planet
Benefit of Renting: Slows down the purchase cycle and lowers the use of raw materials
The eventual cost of new furniture, therefore, is not just its price tag. It’s the hours of effort that go into shopping, into assembly, the chance you’ll not like the sofa or chair or bed a few months later (or even when it arrives), and the money you lose in the sale. Need any more reasons?
At CasaOne, we provide a superior experience. Find exactly what you’re looking for in a few minutes, discuss all things furniture-related with our experts, get free delivery and assembly and eliminate the hassle of having to make a sale — all while saving the environment and your money.