Office furniture is expensive. And for that reason alone, many small businesses save big money by purchasing used office furniture at a fraction of the price. An entire industry specializes in used or refurbished office furniture. Says one dealer, "If you can't tell the difference, why pay the difference?" In some instances, you can save as much as 80 percent off the retail price of new office furniture.
Fortunately the design of office furniture changes little year to year. Items for sale are generally castoffs from companies that have downsized, gone out of business or traded up.
But just because they are unwanted doesn’t mean they are in bad shape. Indeed, the industry makes a distinction between used furniture that has been refurbished and used furniture that is sold "as is".
- Refurbished items have been repainted and re-upholstered to "like new" condition.
- "As is" items will show signs of wear, like nicked paint or scratches.
Check the classifieds locally and onlineCheck local newspapers for news of area company closings or restructurings.
Contact a used furniture dealerCheck used office furniture retailers. They will have a broad selection and if they don't have what you need, they will know where to find it.
Trade in and trade upTrade in your current office furniture for something that better fits your needs.
- Remember you are buying the furniture for its utility, not its beauty. The lowest prices will be among the nicked, scratched and mismatched pieces.
- Shop around. Many of the used furniture dealers sell the same brand names, like Steelcase and Herman Miller, so prices may vary.
- If you need furniture for a home office, some commercial furniture dealers won't deliver to residences, so check before buying.
- Ask if there is a discount if you handle the pickup yourself. You could score an excellent bargain by offering to cart away the items yourself.