By Alyssa Jones
It’s time to purchase office furniture. Where do you start? There are numerous retailers to choose from and the process can seem overwhelming. New retail prices on office furniture are high and $5,000.00 desks don’t fit into your budget. You can find other, new, options for less, but they require a lot of assembly and seem to be of low quality. Preowned furniture companies boast high-end, name-brand, quality furniture for low prices, but is that true? What are you really getting when you shop a preowned office furniture company? While we can’t speak for every office furniture reseller, as professionals in the business, we hear a lot of myths about preowned furniture that contribute to some consumers’ hesitation on purchasing. In this article, we will explain the top four misconceptions about the preowned office furniture industry and what you can expect from shopping a showroom of preowned furniture, such as Transfer Enterprises.
Purchasing from a professional furniture reseller is different than shopping used furniture at a thrift store or flea market. Many preowned furniture dealers have repair and production departments in house. The furniture is function-checked and quality tested prior to being offered to customers. Resell companies don’t sell every piece of furniture that they receive into inventory. If an item is damaged beyond repair or refurbishing, it is disposed of. Best practices are to responsibly recycle unusable furniture.
In many instances, there are opportunities to refurbish blemished furniture. Experienced furniture reselling companies will typically have a production facility that offers painting, woodworking and upholstery services. A ripped seat cushion can be reupholstered in new fabric. A scratched filing cabinet can be revitalized with a fresh coat of paint. Professional resellers will refurbish damaged items prior to selling them on their showroom floor.
Be aware of the difference between office furniture wholesalers and office furniture resellers. Wholesalers are looking to move large amounts of items quickly and may not filter through the items with the same diligence as resellers. The best way to shop the difference is to visit public showrooms and look for photos on their websites.
Office furniture resellers purchase or receive furniture in large quantities. Therefore, they have multiples of the same desk and have the capability of matching full office suites. Their sales staff generally have experience in office design and space planning. Prepare a list of items that you need prior to visiting the showroom. Overstock inventory is typically held in separate warehouses so don’t be discouraged if what you are looking for is not on display at the showroom. Speak with a sales associate about size and finish requirements. If it is in their inventory at a different location, it can be transported. Many resellers will also source products for you and contact you when they become available.
Resellers primarily get their furniture from the following sources: company closures/decommissions, wholesale purchases and customer buybacks. Large corporations renovate frequently and consolidate locations regularly. Therefore, some of the furniture that resellers receive is only a few years old. You can find a large variety of styles in the preowned furniture market. Furthermore, those resellers with a staff of production professionals can completely renovate and change the look of a piece of furniture.
Take for example, this photo of cubicles pictured. The panel fabric and trim color have been completely redone. The partitions are bright and crisp. Instead of placing traditional, laminate desk surfaces with filing cabinets and binder bins, electric sit-stand table tops we utilized. Fabric panels are attached to the desk’s surface so that it rises and lowers with the unit. Employees are guaranteed privacy whether they choose to work sitting or standing. Extended storage allows plenty of space for an employee’s belongings, while looking sleek and modern. Resellers can provide on-trend, modern furniture at as low as a fourth of the cost of new, retail pricing. The furniture will be unique to your company, as the finishes are chosen by you and an on-staff designer. Align colors with your logo and match existing furniture to make your office look exactly how you imagined.
Many buyers assume that office furniture resellers are not customer focused retailers. Most resellers offer the same shopping experience as any other furniture store. If you are looking to do a large remodeling project, call your local reseller and ask about design consultations. It will save time to have a field sales representative come out to your place of business to measure and plan out your office space.
The sales staff at furniture resell locations generally double as designers. They will help you choose an appealing, functional, and optimal layout for your space, as well as recommend furniture pieces to be purchased. Remember, a lot of furniture resellers have a professional team of refinishers. That means that you can customize the furniture to fit your office aesthetic. Check with your local showroom before hiring a private designer. Their staff will be just as knowledgeable and helpful as a private, interior design company.
Preowned office furniture can be as much as 80% off new, retail list prices. That is a tremendous savings regardless of the size of the project you are working on. High-end furniture is made to last and, with a tune-up from a reseller, the pieces’ lifetimes are extended that much longer. You are purchasing quality items that won’t need to be replaced year after year.
In most cases, no assembly is required for preowned furniture. Whether you pick up the furniture, or have it delivered, everything is pieced together for you. High-quality furniture doesn’t have excessive amounts of moving parts. This results in more durable furniture that is less likely to encounter function problems and breakdowns.
If you choose to redesign the preowned furniture with an on-staff designer, you will be creating one-of-a-kind pieces that no other business will have. This creates a unique opportunity to brand your company and not only design the layout, but the look of each piece of furniture going into your office. Potential new-hires take the aesthetic and design of your office into account when applying and ultimately selecting a job. Having a functional, but appealing workspace is crucial to recruiting top talent to your team.
Finally, purchasing preowned furniture is the “green” option for office furniture sales and design. Preowned furniture companies are reselling quality furniture that would have otherwise been thrown out as waste. Even if a furniture reseller is unable to sell a piece of furniture due to it’s condition, the company will responsibly recycle the item instead of allowing it to fill up a landfill. Shopping preowned office furniture is an excellent way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. You can market your office as a “green workspace” which is appealing to many consumers and job seekers.
Alyssa Jones is a business development representative and showroom floor manager for Transfer Enterprises, Inc. Total Office Furniture Solutions in Manchester, CT. She can be reached at (860) 645-9090 ex.119 or email@example.com