10: Insist on Good Quality
From sloppy welds to cracked casters to amateurish paint finishes, a close inspection will expose that great outdoor furniture bargain for what it really is -- a bad buy that probably won't last until next season. There are a couple of important lessons here: It's easy to think of outdoor furnishings as somewhat less important than the stuff you buy for indoor use. In fact, the reverse is often true. What you buy to use outside has to stand up to sun exposure, wind, rain and probably some roughhousing, too. Inspect every piece you're considering for flaws, especially if the deal sounds too good to be true. This is one area where a higher price is often a good indicator of better quality.