by Jonathan Vatner | October 01, 2005
ArmoireWant to give your home that hotel look? Liquidators host a never-ending fire sale for hotels that need to clear out their rooms for renovation or closure. Buying from a liquidator’s warehouse, an entire room can be furnished for as little as $300, according to Donald Fenning, owner of Hotel Surplus Outlet in Los Angeles (323-780-7474;
    Here are some tips for prospective scavengers, from Fenning and David White, president of Universal Hotel Liquidators (203-776-7000;, based in New Haven, Conn.
    " It’s possible to buy online, but it’s far better to visit the outlet, where you can touch and feel the merchandise and avoid paying high shipping prices.
    " Take measurements of your doorways and rooms to make sure the furniture will fit.
    " Returns are not accepted, so inspect items carefully to check for damages or imperfections.
    " Thanks to supply and demand, items found in every hotel room will be the least expensive. Armoires, desks, lamps and TVs will be cheap, while a lobby rug or chandelier might be more expensive. Phones and ironing boards can be found for as little as a dollar.
    " If your buddy happens to be an art dealer, bring her along. White prices his art between $5 and $40, and some of it is worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
    " Be flexible. Says Fenning, “If you’re willing to look for something that’s more neutral or you can be open-minded about décor, you’re going to have more success than somebody who’s very parochial.”