3 ways to save big

With the recession wreaking havoc, SALE! signs abound. But a lower price doesn't mean a great deal. Three places to find true steals. Illustrations by Tamara Shopsin.

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Hype: Furniture stores are offering screaming bargains now.
Real deal: Mom-and-pop stores

Yes, furniture prices have fallen over the past couple of years. But large chains like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware still charge big mark-ups. An independently owned retailer has more wiggle room to lower prices. Or head to a furniture maker's factory outlet, where you can save 40% to 70%, says furniture expert Kimberly Causey.
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Last updated March 06 2009: 4:48 PM ET
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