Friday, January 14, 2011

Tip for Chip - American Freight rocks

After paying off our unsecured debt, Josh and I wanted to buy furniture to celebrate!  We've currently been using furniture my parents have loaned us.  Don't get me wrong...its still nice furniture, but its older than me. 

Its solid wood with 5 inch foam cushions, that, while sitting on for 2 hours during a movie isn't bad, any longer and your butt goes numb.

After laying on it for two days straight while sick, it didn't take much for Josh to convince me to celebrate by making this purchase.  We set a cap amount we refused to go over.  $900 take it or leave it.

So we headed out in the snow storm last night. (One thing about our relationship is we always do the most off-the-wall things in the most off-the-wall timing. Who buys furniture and brings it home in an open truck during a snowstorm?!)  We do apparently.

First stop...Art Van.  I believe I just heard a collective groan from anyone who has ever walked into this store.  Trust me...I was groaning all the way there.  But this is truly one of the cheapest furniture stores around.  (And trust me there is a happy ending to this story.)

As we pulled up to Art Van, my teeth were already starting to grind.  I pointed to the short guy with the poofy hair and thick 80's 'stache and told Josh, "that's the guy. That's the guy that will follow us around and hound us during our entire time spent in that store."  I turned to him and went over the game plan.  "If they ask us what we're looking for, tell them we just like to look at furniture on a snowy Thursday night." 

For those of you who are not familiar with Art Van...EVERYONE hates going in there.  You can't just browse this store.  You are immediately HOUNDED by the sales staff, told facts you didn't want to know, and pressured into telling them all the little details of your life so they can direct you to furniture 10x's more expensive than what you planned on purchasing.

We walked in.  Within 20 yards, 'Chip' came over to talk to us.  Think of the SNL skit with the douchiest car salesman approach possible...that's Chip.  The guy I pointed at.  'Hi. I'm Chip.  If I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to ask."  I gave a fake smile, and said, "Thanks, Chip.  We'll be sure to do that." Of course, I'm instantly annoyed with Chip.  I hate fake and high pressure people.  So I matched my voice to him in a sarcastic, 'I can be friendly too' way.

Josh and I head straight for the clearance center.  We walk around for under 2 minutes, when my favorite salesman came back over. "Are you looking for anything specific?"  "Nope.  Just looking."  (That was from me.)  Josh, however, ABANDONS our game plan and TELLS HIM WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR. 

Immediately Chip goes into a rehearsed mantra of how they label their tags, how they do this, and how this couch (the one behind us that we weren't even looking at) comes in three different colors.  I walked away from him mid-speech.  Hoping he can see the 'BUZZ OFF' written across my forehead.  (It wasn't actually buzz off.  I'm trying to keep this blog family friendly.  I'm sure you can imagine the REAL words written all over my face.) 

Josh and I manage to walk around a few more sectionals when, Chip the Dip, comes walking over, ready to give us more of his useless information.  He says something, I cannot tell you what, because at this point I have become a pro at tuning him out until he said this...

"And that's a tip from Chip." 

 I instantly whip around and give him a look that says, "Did you REALLY just say 'a tip from Chip?!'"  Wow.  I look at Josh.  I give him the look of 'we're leaving...NOW.'

We start to walk out of the clearance area and Chippy Chip comes over one more time. "Have you found anything you're interested in?" Clearly he misunderstood our B-line for the door.  I managed to squeak out "Nope" through clenched teeth.  He went on , oblivious to the fact that his life is now in jeopardy. "I'd be more than happy to show you around the showroom and give you some ideas of what's out there."  I put my fake smile back on.  "Chip...we're more clearance type of people.  Specifically clearance priced furniture type people.  I'm sure you have nice things on the main floor, but its more than we're willing to spend right now."  Chip clearly likes living on the edge.     He says, "Its all in perspective.  The furniture out there will last a lot longer than the furniture in here." (That's funny, I thought the furniture in here USED to be out there.)  "The price might be higher, but you won't have to replace it as often.  Its like buying steak verses hot dogs."  I couldn't be nice anymore.  "Well, Chip...that's where you read the customer all wrong.  I LIKE hot dogs."  At that point, I turned for the door and walked out. 

I'm sure Josh was embarrassed, but I couldn't HELP IT.  I can't STAND pushy people and Chip...was pushy. 

We got in the truck and just sat there for a moment, absorbing the freedom from Chip.  I turned to Josh..."Well, ready for the next store?"

We went over to American Freight.  Its a warehouse that some might think is a little shady because its not well lit with salesmen in suits hiding behind dressers and bedroom sets to pounce on the unsuspecting browser. 

We were greeted as we walked in by a guy in jeans and a Tigers jacket.  We were allowed to roam freely through the store.  They had great items, many of which we saw at Art Van for $400+ more than what this place was asking for.  We walked around a lot - not because we couldn't find anything, but because we COULD NOT DECIDE between 4 different sets!  There were so many mix and match options.  Finally we settled on one, went to the front counter, where the laid back salesman, Paul, was so nice and easy to work with.  We showed him what we wanted.  He wrote up the sales slip and said, later on down the road, if your interested, we have a recliner that matches this set for $189.  Just something for you to think about it you ever need more seating. 

WHAT?!  You didn't want us to miss out on this opportunity NOW?  We don't need to get it NOW?  You don't want to show us the amazing recliner and talk us into bringing it home NOW?! 

So...for future reference...I am IN LOVE with American Freight.  I will always go there FIRST.  If you have one in your area...go check it out! 

Oh and here's what we got!

This sectional...

plus this ottoman...

Equals - one happy step-dog. 


  1. This is awesome! I laughed so hard I felt like a got an ab workout! Sarah - you're def the coolest! LMBO

  2. Okay, that was hilarious! And to add to it, I'm completely jealous of your new furniture. Ours is falling apart but it's just so comfortable.

  3. First of all, thank you SO MUCH for the laugh. Our salesperson when we looked wasn't that annoying...but definitely grated on my nerves! Second, your furniture is almost identical to what we ended up with! :) We *love* it...hope you do too!

  4. You are too funny!! That's why I LOVE you in our family - can't wait to try this set out!

  5. Cute Sarah. Our sectional is from Art Van...oye. I will definitely check out American Freight next time.


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