The Berkshire Hathaway shareholder discounts at Nebraska Furniture Mart end in a few hours, with the discount at Borsheim’s cutting off tomorrow. The furniture buyer with whom I am working has spent the past week finalizing my spreadsheet, locking me into the enormous savings that are available.
[mainbodyad]Taking advantage of the stockholder pricing is one of my favorite saving money techniques. Since I was in college, I have used it at every turn to my advantage. My watches, my fountain pens, my furniture, my electronics; if we are within six months of the meeting, I will wait and get my discount.
I see a lot of questions about the size of the discount and whether it is worth taking so I decided to finally write a post about it. In the future, if anyone writes, I’ll just redirect them here.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly About the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Discount
The short answer: Yes. The Berkshire Hathaway stockholder discount is like a national holiday. It really is Christmas in May. Even if I were a school teacher earning $30,000 per year pre-tax, I would stockpile my savings and take advantage of it to get much better stuff for prices that are virtually unmatched outside of High Point, North Carolina during the semi-annual sales events there. This year, I have saved so much money using it that this is what I look like:
Those are tears of joy.*
How Big Is the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Discount?
The bottom-line reductions using the shareholder discount are typically a minimum of 50% to 60% off the MSRP of most brands, including the super-premium, never-to-be-discounted brands. Sometimes, you can do even better, sometimes it is a bit lower.
I’ve seen $9,000+ desks going in the $3,000 range. There are $9,000 mattresses going for $4,500. There are $5,000 bookcases going for $2,500. There are $4,000 grandfather clocks selling for $1,800. There are $3,200 televisions going for $1,500. There are $6,500 massage chairs going for $3,700. Bose surround sound systems that are normally $2,000 are now only $1,400. It makes Black Friday look like a joke. The same rugs that cost $5,000 at Neiman Marcus or Horchow are selling for less than $1,500.
How Long Do the Shareholder Prices Stay in Effect?
You have a window of seven to eight days during which to take advantage of the Berkshire Hathaway discount. They are almost always centered around the first week in May (sometimes the last week in April), when the stockholder meeting happens in Omaha. As long as you place the order then, you get the price, even if it takes months to deliver.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Using the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Discount?
To take advantage of the stockholder prices, you need to pay upfront at the time you place your order. That isn’t a problem for a lot of people but if you need financing since you don’t have the cash on hand, you won’t be able to enjoy the savings. I guess, theoretically, you could put it on a credit card but we aren’t fans of credit card debt around these parts so that is not advisable.
[mainbodyad]Alternatively, you can take advantage of the regular, still very good Nebraska Furniture Mart prices and use your account to finance things. Right now, the deal is 30-months at 0% interest.
Also, the discount isn’t going to save you very much money on the low-to-mid-end stuff you see on the showroom floor. You can’t really take a lot of money off a $200 end table. You can, however, get a $26,000 gold-laced Queen Anne bar cabinet for $12,000 if you are into that sort of thing. Or, you could get a Wolfe kitchen custom built in your home for a fraction of the cost.
The higher the price, the bigger the discount in absolute and relative terms.
Is There a Limit to the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Discount?
No! This year, I’ve taken more than $70,000 in shareholder discounts off my furniture purchases as part of the home renovations. The more you buy, the more you save. There are no limits. If you buy during the shareholder pricing dates, and you have your credentials, you should have no trouble getting your deal. It really isn’t hard. You pick up the phone and call, with a little bit of hassle verifying a bunch of confidential information about your household. As long as you filled out your Berkshire Hathaway shareholder credential information prior to the stockholder meeting, you should be on the list in Omaha.
The pricing is good on nearly everything … case goods, upholstery, electronics, jewelry, sterling silver flatware, fine china, diamonds, vases, video game systems, gym equipment. Of all the deals I snagged this go-around, I think these are two of my favorites:
Those of you living in Texas should get excited. In a few years, you will have a Nebraska Furniture Mart of your own and can work with the buyers there to lock in your Berkshire Hathaway stockholder discount if you can’t make it to Omaha.
*All thanks to the Internet meme gods, who provided this famous Tumblr image.