Have you ever been browsing furniture looking for the perfect new addition for your home and noticed that a piece you love at one store was listed at the same store under an entirely different name?
Have you ever pulled that item up at both stores and compared every single detail to confirm that these were, in fact, the exact same pieces?
Did one item have a price that was significantly cheaper than the other?
Well, let me tell you why this happens and how you can start saving thousands of dollars on your furniture purchases.
Back in the day, I did some contract marketing for a local furniture company. This company was a higher-end furniture studio that also offered interior design services. Their furniture collection was as pricey as it was gorgeous.
It was while I was doing some research for this company to help them boost the sales of their furniture pieces, when I realized many furniture retailers use the exact same furniture suppliers and set their own price. This means that many different furniture retailers are buying the same furniture for the virtually the same prices from big furniture producers, then marking up the prices as they see fit. Some stores may mark the same piece of furniture hundreds of dollars more than another store.
Yikes. So, of course you want to buy from the store with the smaller markup, but when you do an internet search of the exact same item name and dimensions to try and see which retailers may have it cheaper, it return no results.
Wait, what? Didn’t I just say that many stores are using the exact same pieces. I did, but they have one more trick up their sleeve. They change the name of the pieces to something only found at their store.
So that “Ashley” console table that you love at one store is called the “Sarah” console table at another and the “chic farmhouse” console table at another. With so many name variations, it’s very tricky to find and compare the piece you want with a wide variety of stores.
Which is why you should’ve be using the furniture name search to compare furniture. Instead, you should be using Google’s image search to pull up a list of all the stores using the same images to sell their products.
Here’s how I do it.
Method One (Can be done via mobile.):
This method involves getting the first store’s exact furniture image to display in the Google image search results, so that you can then use Google Lens to search for similar images and compare prices.
- Find a furniture piece that you love. Doesn’t matter what store, you can use any online store to find the piece you originally love. So if you live a high-end furniture store’s collection, but don’t love the price. You can try to search through their collection and then use this tip to see if you can buy the piece cheaper somewhere else.
- Copy the entire name and description of that piece of furniture.
- Paste the entire description into Google search.
- Click to the image results tab and look for the image of the furniture piece you like. By using the exact name and description of the furniture item as your search phrase, you should see the image from the site your originally found the furniture on appear. Even if that site doesn’t appear, the image from another site might. If the furniture piece you’re looking for doesn’t appear at all, try a few more variations until the furniture item you’re looking for appears. This image is crucial for the next step.
- When you’ve found the image, right click on it and select the “Search Image with Google Lens” option. This will perform an image search across the web and provide you with a list of the same image found across multiple sites.
- Now start searching through the image results for the site with the cheapest prices. As you can see, for this piece of furniture I’m using as an example, I can initially see pricing variations between $699 and $2709.99. That’s a difference of over 2,010.99 dollars for the exact same piece of furniture! You could save over two thousand dollars on this console table by buying it through the right shop. Can you believe that?
Method Two (Have not been able to do it via mobile):
This method involves downloading the image off the originally furniture site and uploading the image to Google Lens instead of using a search results image to create the search. Here’s how:
- Find a furniture piece that you love.
- Right click on the image and download it to your computer. Note that some websites will not actually allow you to download their image. If this happens, you can try to use a screen shot instead.
- Next pull up “Google Image Search” and click the camera icon to switch the search to images (this is the part that I haven’t been able to do on my phone, but perhaps other phones are able to use the upload version of Google Search). It will then ask you to upload the image. Select the one you just download and upload it. This will create the search results.
- Now start searching through the image results for the site with the cheapest prices. They will initially display as you typically search results, but you can also switch to the shopping specific tab to speed up your search. However, remember that all sites aren’t optimized to show up in the shopping results page, so you may miss out on the best deals by going here and not clicking through all the search results.
That’s it! I personally prefer to do the first method, as I feel like it works a little bit better and displays the results better, and I can do it on my phone. However, when I haven’t been able to find the original image I’m looking for in the search results, then I usually have to try the download option. Either way, you should be able to save some money.
There are some limitations, of course. Some furniture pieces are more widely created and popular than others, so they’ll have more results appear and wider price variations. More unique furniture pieces will not have an many results and less price variations for you to take advantage of.
Also, if the store you’re looking at goes to the trouble of taking their own furniture photos and posting those, they will not get as good of matches as the stores who use the stock images sent from the supplier.
Not all sites are reputable as others. Sometimes when you find a deal that’s way too good to be true, it actually is. If you’re about to buy from a site that you never have before, always do your due diligence and research the site a little bit before making your purchase to confirm that it is a reputable site.
Hope this helps! If you are able to use this hack to save some money on your furniture, let me know in the comments below!
The Empowered Shopper