Lesson one: Don’t take a chance with a bargain

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth’? The first lesson I learned about buying bargain furniture was exactly that. Soon after we had put down the deposit to take our new rental off the market, I found myself at a great little furniture clearance warehouse just outside the centre of Warwick where there were plenty of items to send my imagination into a spin. There was a beautiful Laura Ashley bedroom set, Marks & Spencer plum-coloured sofa, Content by Conran armchair (for £200!) and a lovely pebble grey John Lewis two-seater sofa that would have looked perfect in our new living room. Oh, and it was reduced to £75. Yes, £75!

The John Lewis piece usually retails at £699 and the lovely folk at the clearance were selling it for a measly 75 quid. And I walked away without handing over the money. What a mistake.

JL sofa1

Caruso Medium Sofa in grey, £699, John Lewis

For the next week I kept thinking about the sofa, how it would look in the house, what would go with it and I even began to build a scheme around it. I convinced myself (against the better judgement of the girls at work and the Mr) that it would still be there when I went back the following weekend, waiting for me to love it. But, like most suspected and to my bitter disappointment, it had been snapped up by another couple just before I got there. The nice shopkeeper told me that the young couple who bought it were ‘nearly crying with excitement’ at how cheap the piece was. I, however, was nearly crying with utter frustration at the fact I hadn’t coughed up the cash the week before.

Now, a week later, I have come to terms with my loss and am on the look out for a similar style sofa. Although, I know I won’t find one of such high bargain quality, I have well and truly learned my lesson.

Gift horse – I’m waiting for you, purse open.

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