Good-quality pre-owned office furniture can make the most sense for your budget, especially in light of rapidly rising inflation rates and a hybrid-remote working environment where furniture is used less frequently. There are certain benefits to purchasing used office furniture, but you will need to go into that purchase with the right expectations.
Office furniture is not always a low-cost purchase. After examining furniture costs from startup companies’ budgets, ProjectionHub found that the average furniture expense in a given year for startups was $21,000. Given the average startup is operating with a staff of just four people, that comes out to about $4,520 per employee in furniture expenses. Of course, buying in bulk will lower that cost significantly, giving larger organizations a significant cost-saving advantage.
But ProjectionHub offers an interesting note in its study on startup furniture costs: The average salvage value of used furniture is about 14% of the original purchase cost. That’s not great for businesses that buy furniture brand new and then try to sell them to recoup some of the cost, but it’s great news for organizations that are buying used furniture.
With that in mind, here are some benefits to used office furniture.
As highlighted just above, you can purchase used contract furniture for pennies on the dollar compared to the original purchase price. Assuming you pay 14% of the original cost, that $21,000 worth of furniture for a start-up would drop to just $2,940. For a business operating on a tight budget, those kinds of cost savings could be the difference between hiring much-needed contract work now or forgoing a needed project until additional funding comes in.
As most businesses know all too well, the lead time to purchasing and receiving new furniture can be weeks or months. Limited supply and materials disruptions are still impacting the furniture industry and are projected to have negative impacts on availability for years to come. Even once those issues resolve, the time to get new furniture from dealers can still be longer than is comfortable for a business that’s just getting started or scaling quickly.
Another thing to note is that pre-owned office furniture is easily accessible. You won’t have to wait for it to ship from manufacturers in other locations across the globe; it will be ready for pickup from a local furniture dealer or warehouse.
Utilizing recycled furniture is an extremely positive way to help the environment. By reusing furniture, you’re effectively extending its life while simultaneously preventing it from ending up in landfills. Additionally, used furniture purchases will help reduce the demand for new furniture, which in turn reduces how much furniture is produced.
The “fast furniture” culture in the US had led to Americans throwing out 12 million tons of furniture each year. That culture has contributed to shipping emission increases, which rose nearly 5% in 2021 alone. Recycling reduces our impact on a large number of areas where furniture negatively impacts the environment.
Between groceries, gas, and mortgages, inflation is impacting every aspect of life where dollars are exchanged for goods and services. That includes consumer goods and office furniture. Prices may come back down the next few years, but some inflation-related price increases typically remain. You should anticipate prices for new furniture to remain higher than what you would have paid prior to 2020.
Any time you purchase a used item of any kind, there will usually be some wear and tear, among other issues. When purchasing, your expectations for used furniture should be less of a “con” and more of a “this is what comes with the territory.”
Here are some things to watch out for when looking to purchase pre-owned furniture:
Among the biggest issues with used furniture is always going to be availability. While you won’t have any problem finding a wealth of used office furniture available to buy, your selection of what’s available to purchase will likely be limited. Simply put, if you have a wish list of exactly the type of furniture you want, you are less likely to get that wish list completely filled.
You may need to supplement some of your pre-owned furniture purchases with new furniture to ensure you get everything you need for your office.
Scratches, dents, dings, and other signs of distress on the furniture should be anticipated when you purchase pre-owned furniture. How much damage you feel comfortable with is going to be up to you. If possible, you should try to purchase used furniture in person so you can identify where damage exists and determine if any of that damage could be structural. There’s often wiggle room for negotiating the price for used furniture, as well, especially if there’s damage that the furniture seller missed.
This is where Mammoth Office Furniture comes in — we go through the process of thoroughly inspecting used furniture as well as other durable goods. We do not accept goods beyond repair and we do our best to find complete sets of high-quality, gently used office furniture & fixtures. Learn more about Mammoth’s furniture recycling and other services here.
Although there are rare occasions where used furniture is still under warranty, don’t count on it. The vast majority of used office furniture will be past the manufacturer’s warranty date, or the warranty will have been voided after the furniture was resold. That does not mean you’re always out of options if something goes wrong with your furniture.
When you buy used furniture from Mammoth Office Furniture, we’ll be more than happy to assist you with troubleshooting issues or exchanging an item that is dysfunctional. Contact us today to learn more about how we handle used furniture issues for buyers.
This is both a positive and a negative. Quite often, used furniture is purchased by a dealer and then upcycled, or revitalized to an improved look. This is a common strategy for used cubicle workstations and furniture with upholstery, for example. It’s a good way to save on used furniture that has a newer look, although used furniture will always have some wear and tear due to age and previous usage