I Got New Furniture from a Weird Magical Warehouse

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My apartment is pretty old. I don't know exactly how old, but, like... probably kiiind of old. It's basically the size of a large house, but it contains four apartments & one commercial unit, a small law firm just below me.

Because it's an old building, the door to to the units are pretty small - small enough that I was concerned about whether I'd be able to fit any substantially sized furniture into my place. Unfortunately, I like very over-sized, overstuffed, old-timey-looking couches - but it seemed clear that such a purchase was not in my future, given my 31" doorway.

Afraid of ending up with an IKEA futon at age 31, I awkwardly emailed my neighbors to ask if they could measure their couches for me so I knew what kind of sizing to work with. Instead of just sending me measurements, they kindly invited me in to see their couch & loveseat. They also told me where they bought them: some weird furniture rental & sales warehouse in Akron.

I'd never heard of Northeast Furniture Rental & Sales, & it sounded a little sketchy, but when I learned how much my neighbors paid for their set, I was intrigued. Furniture is expensive, you guys, & I work for a nonprofit, so trying to have find nice digs that don't break the bank is hard as hell.

If I'm being honest, Northeast Furniture Rental & Sales is not a place I would've set foot inside had I not gotten a referral from someone I trust. The building, located just around the corner from Akron's notoriously sketchy Chapel Hill Mall, looks... well, sketchy. It's a warehouse in every sense of the word, & upon opening the front door, I whispered to my mom, "I'm nervous." She whispered back, "Me, too." Not a great start.

But I quickly changed my tune inside, as I took in the massive space stacked ceiling-high with new & used furniture.

Northeast Furniture rents out home furnishings on short-term leases, mostly to companies furnishing corporate apartments to traveling businessmen; one of their top customers, for example, is Goodyear. When the furniture is returned to them, Northeast Furniture cleans each piece & puts it up for sale at minimal cost - think $250 for a sofa & loveseat set, or $600 for a bed frame, dresser, & vanity, all lightly used & in near-perfect condition.

All this is great. But the kicker? They also sell brand new furniture. It's slightly more expensive than the used versions, but it's considerably cheaper than what you'd find at a standard furniture store.

The staff was friendly & accommodating, willing to help but not pressuring us or pestering us. Clearly they're not on commission, like standard furniture salesmen, which is a relief for someone with anxiety like mine. They even let us borrow a measuring tape while we shopped so that I could idetermine whether the couches I liked most were feasible given the limitations of my weirdly small apartment doors.

Ultimately, I decided on a tan & black tweed-looking sofa & loveseat, & though I won't reveal how much they cost, I will say that they came as a package deal for far less than $1,000. Shipping to Cleveland was an additional $55, & the company was very communicative & easy to work with. They called me in the morning to give me a timing estimate, & they showed up just 15 minutes after that time (which is saying a lot, if you've ever wasted an afternoon waiting for, say, the cable company to show up when they claim they will). It took three guys all of 15 minutes to move everything in - & yes, it all fit!

I don't usually write such localized reviews like this, but I can't say enough good things about Northeast Furniture Rental & Sales. I'm thrilled with my new digs, & I can't thank them enough for helping me furnish my apartment like a real adult... without going broke in the process. (OK, these were a birthday gift from my mom. God, I wish I didn't have to tell you that. But anyway, she didn't go broke in the process, either.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go put on sweatpants & watch TV from the living room for the rest of the day. Comfortably. Because I can.

Um, after work. But still.

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