Who do you know that is under forty and can afford this store? No one? Me neither. I love looking at all the beautiful pieces of furniture, the vintage Monopoly set we’ve been eyeing for years, the clever stocking stuffers at Christmas time… But if I have ever considered buying something from Restoration Hardware, it has always been through Craigslist. More on this in a future post, but Craigslist is your friend. Or at least he’s mine. He may be my best friend. When my husband started working from home, we decided to get a more comfortable chair for the den since that would now be his work space. So naturally, my first resort was CL.
I had fancied the Maxwell leather chair from Restoration Hardware, but figured it was highly improbable that we would get it at full price. It retails for $2410 (for the luxe depth), they charge $149 to bring it to you and then there’s that wonderful 9% sales tax. So when all is said and done, you would be spending $2775.90. On Craigslist, RH stuff usually sells surprisingly close to full price, but it’s still a better deal than in the store. No one seemed to be selling the chair I wanted in the time frame I needed it, so I moved on.
In my google searching, I had discovered that there are two Restoration Hardware outlets in the Los Angeles area; one in Long Beach and one in Camarillo. I called both to see if they had the chair in stock and neither did. This is the part to pay attention to, the part that makes all the difference in getting the best deal you can: I called again. And again. And every week until one of them said yes. In fact, they didn’t even have it in stock when we spoke; but on a previous phone call, one kind clerk had informed me that the list of weekly orders comes on a certain day, meaning they could know up to one day in advance if something would be available that week. You better believe I called a day in advance so that I could plan ahead and be there if they had it.
The beautiful thing about Restoration Hardware outlets (and probably a lot of others!) is that the outlet price isn’t where the deal ends. They usually have some sort of promotion on top of the lower price. On this particular day, it was an additional $20 off every $100 spent. To start, the chair was already over $1,000 less than the total value stated above. Then with the promotion and the fact that we were able to haul it away ourselves, we ended up saving $1,318.20.
We bought a quality product that will last; no faux leather that will rip apart in two years. It actually looks better as it “ages” in that you can scrape it up and it only enhances the vintage look of the leather. We were able to get the luxe model, unused (it would have been if it was from CL) and without flaws, which is an important note: when shopping for furniture at an outlet always ask if there are any defects.
The kicker here is that because Eric works from home, things like the square footage of the office and any work-related furnishings are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. The chair being such had not occurred to us until this past weekend when we met with our tax accountant. She deducted the entire thing because it was bought specifically for our home office. How about that? The government honors Restoration Hardware purchases!
As a friend told my husband when he sank into its depths, “this is the chair you will be sitting in when your future son-in-law asks for your daughter’s hand in marriage”. I think he’s right. We’ll have it forever.
*Affordable is a relative term, and for the purposes of this blog, I will be speaking as if the reader is someone seeking a quality frugal lifestyle. I go more into this concept in my introduction.