9 Tips For Buying Used Office Furniture In Houston

December 17, 2021

By Workspace Resource

Buying used office furniture has an obvious common advantage: it's cheap. Studies have shown that businesses that buy used can save 80% over the cost of new furniture. It is also more environmentally friendly. Of course, that "like new" modern reception desk might come with a dark side. To help ensure you get a great deal we put together 10 things to consider when buying used office furniture in Houston.

Look For Brand Names / Avoid Knockoffs

One of the most important things to consider when buying used office furniture in Houston is whether or not you're going to be getting a brand-name item, or something that looks similar but might have been made with cheaper materials. This is especially true if you are shopping for older furniture (think mid-century pieces). Cheap replicas flood the market and so you might think you are getting the craftsmanship and material quality of goods from the '50s, but you're actually buying something less than a year old. 

If it's coming from an individual seller rather than a reputable dealer, you should approach the deal with more caution. It's important to do your research and find a reputable dealer who can provide you with high-quality used furniture.

Focus On Quality

Do you know the saying "Buy nice or buy twice?" Low-quality items wear out more quickly and you'll find yourself back on the hunt. Focus on quality instead of just the lowest possible prices. The smartest strategy when buying used is to try and spend like you are shopping for new, but buy quality that you wouldn't be able to afford. 

For example, if I were in the market for a new chair, I might set a budget of $600. A quick search shows that I could find a used office chair for as low as $100, or I could get a used Herman Miller for just under that $600 budget. The former doesn't even have a brand name listed, whereas the latter is a refurbished chair from an industry leader. 

You might have to spend a bit more on used office furniture from an authorized dealer, but it will be worth it in the long run because you'll get pieces that are made with high-quality materials and construction.

Can Any Wear And Tear Be Repaired?

Items that have some wear and tear or missing parts will usually come at a higher discount. This could be an opportunity to score a big deal. Check to see if there are local repair shops that can replace broken components and take note of the item's serial number and check to see if there are spare parts available.

If you're worried about finding something with a lot of wear and tear on it, ask the seller if they're willing to do any repairs before you buy it. This way, you'll know that everything is in good condition and ready to use as soon as you bring it home. 

If the answer is no, see if they have already accounted for the damage in the price. It never hurts to attempt to negotiate.

Avoid Water Damaged Items

Office furniture in break room being damaged by flood waters.

This should be on the top of every Houstonian's watch list. Hurricanes and humidity are constant threats to furniture in Houston. Like shopping for a used car, be sure to check for (and ask about) water damage. 

It's also important to avoid buying any used office furniture that has been damaged by water. Humidity and moisture cause the furniture to warp, crack, and develop other types of damage that can be difficult to repair. Floods also cause furniture to get water-logged, which can make it extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver. It can be more expensive to have furniture repaired or replaced in the long run because of water damage.

Look For Trustworthy Retailers

When looking for a reputable dealer to buy used office furniture from, it's important to research and find one you can trust. This way, you'll know that you're getting high-quality items and that you won't have any problems with them once they're in your home or office. 

Ask around for recommendations, or look online for reviews, like Google and Yelp. Be sure to look at their website to see which businesses they have worked with before. Once you find a few office furniture dealers and office furniture liquidators in Houston that have good reputations, it will be easy to choose one based on customer feedback and other factors like their prices or selection of furniture pieces.

Does The Manufacturer Warranty Still Apply?

Another important thing to consider when buying used office furniture is whether or not the manufacturer of the item still offers a warranty on it. This will depend on how old the piece of furniture that you're looking at is, but different manufacturers vary in terms of their coverage, so you might be lucky and find warranties with older pieces. 

Even though many people think that buying used furniture is always a risk, if you go through a reputable dealer, you can usually avoid any problems.

Avoid Previously Repaired Items

It's important to avoid any used office furniture in Houston that has been previously repaired. This is because the quality of the repairs might not be very good, and you might end up with a piece of furniture like an office chair that falls apart after just a few months. 

If you're not sure whether or not an item has been repaired before, ask the seller. They should be able to tell you, and if not then it's probably not a good idea to buy it.

Think Of Design Aesthetic

There is a common myth that you can't mix old and new furniture. You can. That said, you should still factor in the overall aesthetic when evaluating if a piece is a good investment. Choose pieces that will match the other furniture you have and look good in the space where they'll be placed. Classic designs are usually the safest best for matching longevity and aesthetics. 

If you're not sure what style of furniture would look best when furnishing your office, ask the seller for advice. They should help you find something that will look great and that will fit in with the other furniture you have.

Do The Math On Real Costs

Just because something is used doesn't mean it's automatically cheaper. Even if the initial price is lower. Consider that new furniture is a capital investment that has tax advantages that can last for many years. Also, consider that used furniture might be of lower quality and have a shorter lifespan. Try to spread the cost over the anticipated lifespan of the furniture to get a per year expense and then compare the two items that way. 

The Bottom Line

At any given time, there are countless pieces of used office furniture in Houston that are for sale. This can make it tough to decide which one is the best for you, but if you keep the things mentioned in this blog post in mind, it will be easier.

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