Patio Furniture & Toilet Seats are Hot Items

According to Marginal Revolution, they report that lower-end patio sets, grills, and toilet seats are hot items at Wal-Mart in a down economy.  The manager who offered up the observation believes it’s a matter of people cocooning and putting more wear into their homes.

I can’t speak to the bathroom fixtures, but I can speak to the outdoor furniture since we’re in the market for both a new grill and a patio seating set – and I’ve looked at Wal-Mart for both.  As I have said previously, I was floored by how much patio furniture sets cost these days.  Granted, I was looking for something a little nicer than what I bought for my balcony, but nothing too fancy.  And the idea of spending more than $500 just on furniture when we also need to buy lights and a grill, plus do a little bit of landscaping just really turned me off (not to mention, Sebastian, who makes the final decisions on the matter).  It’s not just because of tighter budgets, if this was a booming economy, I would have a hard time swallowing those kinds of prices for outdoor furniture.

Ironically, a notoriously overpriced store will be the likely source of our new patio furniture.  It’s not online, but there are nicer chairs at Bed, Bath & Beyond that are better than anything I’ve found at Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, & Lowe’s.  Even better, they are the same price.  Plus, since B,B&B is always sending out coupons, we can get $10 off each chair, making them the lowest priced option.

Although, since I’ve been looking, I have noticed that Lowe’s and Home Depot have already marked down many of their nicer sets.  I guess they are seeing the same trend as Wal-Mart, and lower pieces move while their more expensive sets gather dust.  Grills have also been marked down this early in the season.

Actually, on the grill front, I’m still trying to find the right size to fit our budget.  So far, everything I have found is too big.  The whole point of downsizing is to get something smaller so we have more useable space on the patio.  But, I think I found one at Sam’s that is a little more than what we were looking at for price, but appears to be the right fit.  I just need to get Sebastian over there to look at it since he’s the one who will have to cook on it.

BTW – our patio is done for now.  I know I need to do another update post on that.  We had some government approval adventures, and the finished product is beautiful.  Now we just need to touch up a few places with paint, get a power washer to give the house a good bath, and patch some stucco, and the back will be in good shape.