What's mine is yours

The elephant in the room

January is the month for buying furniture. Go to any homemaker centre and you’ll find signs screaming ‘SALE SALE SALE’, as if allcaps lettering on a red background might incite a shopper stampede.

Cheap Geek and I headed to the new Ikea centre in Springvale, hoping to find a shiny something to replace his elephant-sized three-seater.

Factoring in sale discounts, prices were around $800. The couches weren’t $70 bargains from Vinnies, but they weren’t expensive either. On the way home, we talked about the possibilities of downsizing to a smaller couch. The three-seater was in pristine condition and originally retailed at $1600. Surely we could get $700 for it?

When I looked at similar items online, however, I realised that we’d be lucky if we can palm it off for $350. Even when listed at $0.99, unless the couch was collectable, vintage, or retro, it would have difficulty attracting bids. And unless everyone developed a hankering for the 2012 look in ten years time, offloading the upgrade would be equally difficult.

Cheap Geek and I could buy something secondhand, preferably retro. That would be a smarter purchase. Spend less than $200 on a couch, sell it for $200 later down the track. But that still left us with the elephant couch:

Back in the lounge room, we measured out the dimensions. I tried to face the faux-suede elephant in the room. Apart from my objection to its size, there was no good reason for us to ditch the couch. Cheap Geek pointed out that size was one of the couch’s redeeming features. You could sleep on an elephant couch; you couldn’t lie across a petite two-seater…


Couches are like houses. Once you’ve bought one, you’re stuck with it for life.

20 years and 6 months to go,


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