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How to Buy Unclaimed Freight Furniture

Sally Painter
Workers moving merchandise for a furniture store

Unclaimed freight furniture has become an all-encompassing term for discounted furniture. In the mix of most of the companies selling under this label are authentic pieces of freight furniture that have been unclaimed.

Unclaimed Status of Furniture Freight

True freight furniture (not simply discounted or closeout furniture) that has been unclaimed includes pieces originally scheduled to be delivered to a retailer directly from the manufacturer but never were. There are many reasons why delivery wasn't made, such as cancelled or lost orders. In the end, the manufacturer is left holding the bag for the order. Instead of suffering a financial loss, the manufacturers turn to various furniture outlets and discount companies to sell the unclaimed stock.

Steep Discounts Offered

The unclaimed furniture is then sold to these companies at a steep discount. The furniture is new and usually comes with traditional warranties. Most warranties have a return policy for defective merchandise, but again you should understand what is covered in a manufacturer's warranty before making a purchase. Furniture companies purchasing this merchandise usually pass on the savings to their customers.

In-Person Purchases

Salesman talking to man in home furnishings store

The majority of factory furniture outlets selling freight furniture listed as unclaimed sell strictly in-person and don't offer online purchasing. Most of the furniture outlets have inventory moving in and out of their store(s) on a daily basis. Larger companies receive daily shipments. This makes it impossible to offer real-time online purchasing, and it's why the majority of retailers cater only to local markets.

Special Buys and Closeouts

Since most of the unclaimed furniture outlets have inventory changes on a week-by-week basis, they offer customer email sign-ups for notifications of special sale events, such as manufacturing buyouts due to canceled orders, or other types of similar purchases. This type of special sale can offer even greater savings for customers.

Delivery and Set-Up

Some companies offer delivery and white glove set-up for customers' convenience. Others don't provide delivery and contract deliveries out to third parties. In these instances, customers foot the expense for delivery.

Financing

Unclaimed furniture companies operate like most furniture companies by offering various financing opportunities to their customers. Some provide the option of online approval that customers can complete prior to shopping at the store.

Layaway Options

Some of the larger furniture outlets also offer layaway plans, typically free of charge. Some have a 6-month limit on layaways, while others like National Unclaimed Freight Furniture and Mattress Outlet (Potterville, Michigan) offer a one-year layaway with only $10 down, no interest, no fees, and no payment schedule.

Returns

It is up to the individual retailer wheter returns are accepted. However, in general returns are only for manufacturer's defects and as covered by the warantee. Check before buying.

Huge Customer Savings

Salesman helping couple in home furnishings store

Companies like Unclaimed Freight Co. (three locations in Virginia) advertise, "Nobody beats our prices...Nobody!" Having been in business since the late 1960s, the company has an established presence in Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News. The company has a standing offer of 110 percent low price guarantee. If any customer finds a lower price, the company will match the price and give customers a 10 percent down on the difference in the pricing. Other companies may offer similar policies.

Online Presence

Most of the furniture discount outlets buying freight furniture have some form of online presence. However, the majority do not have online purchasing functionality. You can conduct an online search using keywords along with your zip code or state, depending on how far you're willing to drive, to find a local outlet that may be selling this type of furniture at steep discounts.

Due Diligence

You will need to conduct your own due diligence to determine if the pricing of your selected closeout/buyout furniture is truly the steep discount you expect from a company purchasing freight furniture that has been unclaimed. You may need to do comparison shopping.

Save Money

Most of the freight furniture savings can range from 50 percent up to 78 percent or more. These are significant savings that often warrant the inconvenience of ferreting out local furniture companies that buy this type of furniture.

How to Buy Unclaimed Freight Furniture