Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

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achoooo8358
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Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by achoooo8358 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:07 am

Hi all,

Live in NYC and about to rent my first real adult apartment. Although I would love to furnish it second hand, the challenges of moving and getting pieces into the apartment will be an issue. I'm planning on purchasing a few big pieces - bed, rug, couch, table - and then shopping on CL, second hand stores etc for the rest. Questions for the bogleheads:
  • What have you found to be the most affordable furnishing stores for good quality furniture? I don't want to go too high end since I may move in a year or two but also want pieces that will make the place feel like home
  • Is there a specific time of the year when it would be beneficial to wait for a sale or a special promotion?
  • What is considered a good promotion for furniture (e.g. 30%)?

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:12 am

IKEA.

Join IKEA Family. Among other things, gives you 90 day price protection.

Sign up for their moving program, you get a $25 off $250 coupon.

Shop their AS-IS room.

Shop COSTCO for a mattress.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Elena
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by Elena » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:16 am

I have always heard that 40% off is when the real sale begins. I recall reading that furniture has one of the highest markups. If you will be moving within a year, I would not purchase anything non-essential, unless you will want to take with you (expensive) or sell (more work).

NewInvestor328
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by NewInvestor328 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:19 am

+1 to IKEA. I have also had some good luck with items from Wayfair. I just recently purchased a loveseat from there. For a mattress in addition to Costco I’d check out “the best price mattress” on Amazon. My gf and I have both an 8 inch queen and a 12 inch king. Great price and very comfortable.

02nz
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by 02nz » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:23 am

IKEA runs very few promos. Around Black Friday and a few other times a year they have $25 coupons, but that's about it.

Lots of IKEA stuff is basically disposable, but some of their more expensive stuff is actually really good. Another one to look at is CB2 (a subsidiary of Crate and Barrel), which also has affordable (and often assemble-it-yourself) furniture. Quality varies, I've had a few pieces that haven't held up as well as similarly pried IKEA stuff.

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midareff
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by midareff » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:27 am

My first apartment, that diodn't come furnished, had my mattress on the floor and decor mostly by orange crate with a couple cheapo bar stools at the counter bar. Between working long hours and an active social life I wasn't home enough to need furniture. For the occasional company, I figured any girl who couldn't relate wasn't what I'd want anyway. Don't be in a hurry to get furniture you may only need or use a couple of years. Stuff happens.

stan1
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by stan1 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:43 am

The three I'd focus on are:
- Mattress (memory foam or latex on a platform bed seem to work for many people)
- Desk and desk chair (if you spend a lot of time at the computer and need a workspace other than the dining room table)
- Sofa/recliner (if you spend a lot of time watching TV or reading)

Those are the three most utilized pieces of furniture where comfort matters. Tables and shelving can be utilitarian and can be low cost (so long as they support the weight you want to put on them). I would not pay a lot of money for a custom wall/entertainment unit. I'd also consider the hassle of moving the furniture in the future and likelihood that when you do move something it will be slightly damaged. Something that can be disassembled may make it easier to move.

Many people are happy with bed in a box mattresses. Get something with at least a 30 day trial period with easy returns. You won't know for sure until you sleep on it.

IKEA is a good choice for sturdy shelving and tables but they also have lower cost products that are flimsy. I have had some IKEA dressers for over 25 years now through four moves. They are now relegated to closets and the garage but if you don't abuse them they can last.

Startled Cat
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by Startled Cat » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:53 am

I just recently purchased my first home and had to deal with furnishing it over the past two weeks. It was a challenge since we moved from a dramatically smaller apartment and needed lots of new and different pieces of furniture.

Craigslist was a godsend. My girlfriend invested lots of time poring over the listings to find gems, but it was time well spent. One of the best finds was a large wooden dining table of exactly the style and size we were looking for, brand new, for about 1/3 the retail price. The seller purchased it and then realized it didn't fit well in his home. He had a pickup truck and delivered the table to us. Getting the tabletop up a few flights of stairs was a big ordeal, but that's another story.

We found a high-end set of dining chairs on Craigslist as well. Craigslist was also great for decorative plants and outdoor furniture. We have access to a car so we were able to haul most things ourselves. In some cases, sellers are willing to deliver, and in others, it makes sense to use a third-party delivery service.

We found some nice items at a furniture consignment store, as well. I imagine NYC has similar stores.

My one caution about used furniture is that it can transmit pests like bedbugs. I would be very careful about getting any used bedroom furniture, or anything with upholstery or crevices that makes it difficult to inspect closely. For things like outdoor furniture, there is much less concern.

We decided to buy brand new couches for several reasons: we wanted a matching set, they're difficult to haul, and concern about bedbugs. These were the hardest pieces of furniture to decide on. There is a huge price range from about $300 to $10,000 and up. At the lower end, there are stores like Ikea and Ashley, and at the high end, Room and Board, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, and so on. We didn't really find anything we liked at the cheapest price points. We were hoping to find something in the $800-$1500 price range but we found there's not much in the middle. Department stores such as Macy's do have some items in this category, and we strongly considered buying two copies of a leather couch Macy's had on sale for around $1000. While shopping around, we found a $1400 leather couch at a local furniture store we liked even more, but at this point had some hesitation due to sticker shock. We went back to Macy's to compare the cheaper couch, and found they had an early Black Friday sale with a $399 fabric couch. The cheap fabric couch wasn't an aspirational piece of furniture, but against all odds it looked completely decent. To the untrained eye, it was basically indistinguishable from the $2000 couches we had just browsed at Room and Board. We bought two couches for $800 plus delivery, and congratulated ourselves for saving the money we would otherwise have spent.

momvesting
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by momvesting » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:30 pm

Yep, I was also going to recommend Macy's. We bought the Radley sofa https://www.macys.com/shop/product/radl ... gJm7fD_BwE a few years ago and have been pleased with it, and it was in the same price range as sofas at IKEA that were not as comfortable. I also bought this rug https://www.target.com/p/reid-area-rug- ... A-26393455 in a 6x9 size for only $67 just the other day. I think you need to decide which items you are ok with buying cheap, like I buy cheap rugs since no one sits on the floor at my house. And decide on a few items where comfort is a top priority (like a mattress), and go from there. For cheap or mid-priced things, I recommend Macy's, Target, Kohls, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I also recommend buying neutral colors and patterns whenever possible. Save the trendy, short-dated looks for bedspreads, throw pillows, wall art, etc. that can be replaced easily and cheaply. Good luck.

123
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by 123 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:38 pm

Never buy a piece of furniture until you have carefully considered what issues will arise when you have to move it to your next residence. Smaller is generally better than larger. A loveseat is easier to move than an expansive sofa. Two small dressers may be better than a single larger one.
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northtexan
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by northtexan » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:48 pm

craigslist is a great place to find certain items such as non fabric furniture, coffee table, dining table, night stands, and others. If you are in no rush you might be able to find a few things for free or cheap items. Goodwill and Salvation Army will also have some good furniture at a cheaper price than new.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:50 pm

Habitat for Humanity. They may have plenty of stuff. Good prices too.

MJS
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by MJS » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:48 pm

Relatives. If you will be traveling this December, ask for family and friends for furnishings from garages, attics, porches. Use the Roadie app (Uber for delivery) to find someone to deliver it/them, and maybe help you carry it upstairs. Or rent a pickup, and do Roadie deliveries yourself.

IngognitoUSA
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by IngognitoUSA » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:00 pm

wayfair.com

Careful about used furniture, you don't want bed bugs.

sawhorse
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by sawhorse » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:26 am

I've found some great deals at charity thrift stores. Craigslist, IKEA and Target are the other places I would look.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:45 am

IKEA
Cosco
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HereToLearn
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:08 am

CL & FB Marketplace, but I will agree that the hassle factor of Manhattan may discourage you from going that route. Of course, coordinating deliveries from multiple retailers can be a hassle in NYC also because each vendor will provide his very own wide delivery window. (BTDT many years ago.)

Costco brings in a lot of furniture in late December---basically the moment they can remove all of the Christmas merchandise. It is not luxurious, but well-made at decent prices. You could buy everything from a bed & dresser to kitchen table & chairs, arm chairs or a Euro lounger. I bought a decent leather or leather-like Euro lounger for the downstairs TV/playroom for $400 at Costco, small end tables for maybe $50 each, and a leather ottoman storage bench for $100-ish, all for the same TV/playroom. If you could rent a U-Haul and find a couple of friends to help you (including one to stand guard with the U-Haul so that nothing is taken or the truck is not ticketed!), you could find almost everything you need at Costco, including mattress, pillows & towels.

IKEA & Wayfair are the go-to sources for the post-college set, but as others have commented, I think of IKEA as disposable, but also a hassle to assemble. However, you cannot beat their zippered Frakta bags for moving all of your clothing and bedding. (Many college move-ins and move-outs in my recent past.)

Best of luck!

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JMacDonald
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by JMacDonald » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:16 am

Be careful about the size of any furniture you buy. In the building I live, people that are moving in, find that some of their furniture does not fit.
Best Wishes, | Joe

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tennisplyr
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:48 am

IKEA would be good, we've got some stuff there for our second home.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

remomnyc
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by remomnyc » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:07 am

Craigs List or Housing Works Thriftshop + Man with a Van to move big bulky items. Also check NextDoor.com to see what your neighbors are selling or giving away. All three are great for tables, chairs, dressers, shelving, etc. You can find people discarding their Ikea furniture for cheap. I would buy upholstered pieces new. Agree that Macy's has great sales. We bought our mattress there. CB2 and West Elm are affordable for sofas. We just replaced an expensive worn, damaged wool area rug with a Safavieh synthetic one from Overstock that looks like wool but cost 1/5th of the price. Wayfair is also a source of cheap furniture, but if it's cheap, it's probably disposable particleboard. If you have time, I would really check Craigs List and Housing Works Thriftshop regularly.

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leeks
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by leeks » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:11 am

Check out aptdeco - used furniture with full-service pick up from seller and delivery into your apt. We bought our couch that way, very satisfied.

I have also seen ads for livefeather - I didn't spend a lot of time looking at prices, but the furniture rental concept sounded very convenient for city apts that you might not stay in very long.

Jags4186
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:17 am

My first apartment I shopped at big box stores like Ashley and Raymour and Flannigan. Go straight to the discount/as-is section. I got a great couch that had reclining end seats for $325–marked down from $1200. It had a huge tear in the back that was stitched up. I didn’t care, it was going up against a wall. Got a few other gems in the discount section.

11 years later that couch is in my basement family room but if I had to throw it out I wouldn’t have really cared all that much.

FWIW I still shop at Ashley and Raymour and Flannigan but now we buy the non damaged section.

Leemiller
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by Leemiller » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:23 am

What style of furniture do you like and what is your budget? Personally, I like buying a mix of sample pieces (from 40%-70% off), items at auction, and custom, American made. I like vintage for the warmth it adds and the envirornmental benefits (win-win).

Our dining room rug is a carpet remnant that we got cut and bound to a size. ABC carpet would be where I’d go in NYC. Auction houses keep a list of delivery persons, even the cheaper ones. Personally, I didn’t have any luck at second hand stores - either I’m at an antique store that is $$$ or I’m wasting time in a physical store that has nothing my style.

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leeks
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by leeks » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:22 am

another suggestion for made-in-NYC wood furniture in many custom options
more affordable because it is pine (soft wood)
https://www.gothiccabinetcraft.com/

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JupiterJones
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:50 am

I've also had good experiences with Wayfair. Bought some Stakmore chairs from them.

Which, by the way, might be something for you to look into. Stakmore makes all sorts of clever furniture that folds up, yet is sturdy and looks like "real" furniture. Perfect for a small apartment and/or someone who may move soon/frequently.
Stay on target...

Beatle Boots
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by Beatle Boots » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:53 pm

Joybird is offering a 30% - 35% off price for most of its furniture.

https://joybird.com/

Joybird (JB) is primarily an online FURNITURE DISRUPTER company that sells high quality customizable mid-century furniture at a low price. I understand that JB may have a few B&M stores in southern California, NYC, and Houston. They are a fairly new company and here are JB's main advantages:

365 day FREE return policy if you don't like your purchase (with exceptions):

https://joybird.com/returns-and-exchanges/

Lifetime warranty (with exceptions):

https://joybird.com/warranty/

White glove shipping for $99. JB ships, unboxes, sets up, and removes leftover boxes.

https://joybird.com/shipping-and-delivery/

Free fabric samples (>100) so you can preview the fabrics/leathers, etc in order to help you make your decision (samples are called "swatches"):

https://joybird.com/samples/

Finally, there seems to be many fairly reliable, diverse JB reviews. The following sample is provided:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANJ6C7WV0Jg

You can also find more online reviews by googling Joybird and the following:

https://www.nytimes.com/

http://www.toptenreviews.com/

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

https://moderncastle.com/

https://thewirecutter.com/

I bought the Bryar sofa for about $1,500 total price including upgrade to the Safeguard (stain resistant fabric) on July 4, 2018. My arrival date was around September 7. Unfortumately, it takes a long time to make and ship this custom furniture. Hopefully, this will give interested buyers a perspective on the somewhat long process time.

On the other hand, I believe that I saw on Joybirds website that they sell returns at their brick and mortar stores which NYC has. Perhaps you can find a deal and cut down on processing time.

My reason for trying JB: JB's business strategy seems to be to take away the buyers risk of buying site unseen online furnture to eliminate costly B&M costs and offer customer the savings and additional quality. Based on the amount of diverse JB reviews, the price, warranty, etc. it was worth the risk of trying. Also, from the reddit posts, it looks like lots of people just like to get the 100 free swatches for some sort of artsy project.

good luck!

Topic Author
achoooo8358
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:57 am

Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by achoooo8358 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:08 am

Leemiller wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:23 am
What style of furniture do you like and what is your budget? Personally, I like buying a mix of sample pieces (from 40%-70% off), items at auction, and custom, American made. I like vintage for the warmth it adds and the envirornmental benefits (win-win).

Our dining room rug is a carpet remnant that we got cut and bound to a size. ABC carpet would be where I’d go in NYC. Auction houses keep a list of delivery persons, even the cheaper ones. Personally, I didn’t have any luck at second hand stores - either I’m at an antique store that is $$$ or I’m wasting time in a physical store that has nothing my style.
I love ABC Home and Carpet, though I find it pricey. My new apartment has contemporary finishes, so I'm planning to furnish it this way. Thanks for the tip on the auction houses!

Topic Author
achoooo8358
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:57 am

Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by achoooo8358 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:09 am

Beatle Boots wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:53 pm
Joybird is offering a 30% - 35% off price for most of its furniture.

https://joybird.com/

Joybird (JB) is primarily an online FURNITURE DISRUPTER company that sells high quality customizable mid-century furniture at a low price. I understand that JB may have a few B&M stores in southern California, NYC, and Houston. They are a fairly new company and here are JB's main advantages:

365 day FREE return policy if you don't like your purchase (with exceptions):

https://joybird.com/returns-and-exchanges/

Lifetime warranty (with exceptions):

https://joybird.com/warranty/

White glove shipping for $99. JB ships, unboxes, sets up, and removes leftover boxes.

https://joybird.com/shipping-and-delivery/

Free fabric samples (>100) so you can preview the fabrics/leathers, etc in order to help you make your decision (samples are called "swatches"):

https://joybird.com/samples/

Finally, there seems to be many fairly reliable, diverse JB reviews. The following sample is provided:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANJ6C7WV0Jg

You can also find more online reviews by googling Joybird and the following:

https://www.nytimes.com/

http://www.toptenreviews.com/

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

https://moderncastle.com/

https://thewirecutter.com/

I bought the Bryar sofa for about $1,500 total price including upgrade to the Safeguard (stain resistant fabric) on July 4, 2018. My arrival date was around September 7. Unfortumately, it takes a long time to make and ship this custom furniture. Hopefully, this will give interested buyers a perspective on the somewhat long process time.

On the other hand, I believe that I saw on Joybirds website that they sell returns at their brick and mortar stores which NYC has. Perhaps you can find a deal and cut down on processing time.

My reason for trying JB: JB's business strategy seems to be to take away the buyers risk of buying site unseen online furnture to eliminate costly B&M costs and offer customer the savings and additional quality. Based on the amount of diverse JB reviews, the price, warranty, etc. it was worth the risk of trying. Also, from the reddit posts, it looks like lots of people just like to get the 100 free swatches for some sort of artsy project.

good luck!
I love the tip on buying returns on at the B&M stores! Will check it out!!!

Topic Author
achoooo8358
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:57 am

Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by achoooo8358 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:10 am

remomnyc wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:07 am
Craigs List or Housing Works Thriftshop + Man with a Van to move big bulky items. Also check NextDoor.com to see what your neighbors are selling or giving away. All three are great for tables, chairs, dressers, shelving, etc. You can find people discarding their Ikea furniture for cheap. I would buy upholstered pieces new. Agree that Macy's has great sales. We bought our mattress there. CB2 and West Elm are affordable for sofas. We just replaced an expensive worn, damaged wool area rug with a Safavieh synthetic one from Overstock that looks like wool but cost 1/5th of the price. Wayfair is also a source of cheap furniture, but if it's cheap, it's probably disposable particleboard. If you have time, I would really check Craigs List and Housing Works Thriftshop regularly.
Great reminder regarding Housing Works. I also forgot about Overstock and will check. Thanks!!!

jayk238
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Re: Affordable Furniture for first adult apartment

Post by jayk238 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:57 am

You should buy stickley :D

Jk.

Ikea works but really time consuming and if you are buys not worth the time.

I have a lot of ikea furniture.

I also have from wayfare and overstock two plsces where you can get cheap stuff too. Walmart is the ultimate in cheapness.

We are now slowly switching piece by piece to stickley. 4 k for their low end sofa we bought. I love it.

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