The terms “pre-owned” and “refurbished” have developed tainted images over the years. Typically when most people imagine images of these terms they scrunch up their noses, envisioning something that is extremely old, used and abused. But in fact, they couldn’t be any further from the truth!
When it comes to refurbished materials, there’s a lot of misconception circulating around this word. What’s interesting is that the actual definition for “refurbish” according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is to “brighten or freshen up.” So where do all of these negative connotations come from?
Well, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact time and location when this all started, but it’s easy to see that “used” and “refurbished” tend to be used incorrectly and interchangeably. So here’s a little run down on what these terms mean in the world of office furniture.
Yes, it is true that sometimes refurbished and remanufactured items are indeed used, but remanufactured items have been brought back to the manufacturer to be restored to “like-new” conditions. On the other hand, refurbished items are items that may be reupholstered, repaired, repainted, refinished and cleaned. Used items are just that, used products that have not been fixed.
Still, many of us, me included, tend to instinctively believe that there is more value in new furniture, or at the very least that new furniture is more aesthetically pleasing. One interesting tidbit about refurbished office furniture is that some items that fall into this category were returned for minor problems, like simply a ding or scratch that happened during delivery and was sent back to the manufacturer on arrival. These pieces that have been restored in this manner are still brand new items. So if it’s important to you, ask about the history behind a piece before you purchase it.
So what benefits could you have with buying pre-owned or refurbished office furniture? We thought you’d never ask.
Purchasing pre-owned or refurbished furniture for your office will not make your office any less professional or functional. In fact, when it comes to office furniture that is pre-owned or refurbished there are a lot of different options to consider, including office layout.
There are many furniture companies, including Facility Services Group, who not only have an assortment of pre-owned office furniture to choose from but also have a team of office furniture technicians who can customize your furniture to fit the needs and specifications of your office. Furniture stores who specialize in refurbished and pre-owned furniture can scale down, adapt and customize pieces so that they are reconfigured to fit your desired look.
Furniture stores that sell new office furniture aren’t the only ones capable of designing furniture around your specific office needs. Many pre-owned office furniture stores allow their customers to choose from an array of office styles and finishes. From traditional to transitional and even contemporary, there essentially isn’t a specific look and feel that you cannot achieve with used office furniture.
Not only can choosing to go down the pre-owned and refurbished route save you quite a bit of money, but many companies offer other beneficial services and repairs. When it comes to renewing older furniture, some companies offer onsite refurbishing services like cubicle workstation cleaning, recovering old panels with new fabric, repairs and more!
Electing to purchase pre-owned office furniture or to have your current office refurbished can save you time and energy. Instead of handing over a considerable amount of money for new furniture, think about purchasing pre-owned or have your current office restored to “like-new” conditions.
One of the main incentives to considering refurbished or pre-owned furniture would be the cost savings. Purchasing recycled refurbished office furniture is typically 30-50% less expensive than buying new furniture, according to Greening Your Small Business: How to Improve Your Bottom Line, Grow Your Brand, Satisfy Your Customers-and Save the Planet. Look at buying pre-owned or refurbishing services as getting new furniture at a fraction of its original cost! Now that’s a steal!
One important thing to keep in mind when buying or looking to buy pre-owned office furniture is that there is a wide selection of name brand items at a cost-effective price point. If you look around you can find pieces from popular office furniture contenders like Herman Miller, Knoll, Steelcase and other top brands.
If you take a look at the online websites for these major stores, or more specifically Herman Miller, the price point for a simple white four-legged desk can start around $454 with a delivery time frame of 5 weeks. Keep in mind; this does not contain any bells and whistles, or power outlets!
If you’re looking to freshen up your office with furniture, it can be unsettling to realize that new desks, chairs, and etc. can easily come out to $5,000 per employee… now multiply that number by the total number of people in your office!
Occasionally you’ll find that pre-owned or refurbished inventory is in close to mint condition as you can get, therefore it’s hard for the untrained eye to distinguish the difference between new and pre-owned office furniture. Sometimes these pieces of office furniture were pieces that were once floor models, overstocked products or even discontinued items.
Small and start-up companies can save some dough when it comes to purchasing used. Trends have proven that small and start-up companies can save up to 80% purchasing used office furniture over buying newer pieces of furniture. As we mentioned earlier, refurbished office furniture can be a third to half the cost of buying the same or similar piece of furniture new.
If you’re able to save a few pennies on typically expensive items, you’ll be able to splurge on some other important goodies around the office. Depending on your line-of-work, for example, you could save a few pennies on pieces that typically get a lot of wear and tear like a pre-owned table for the break room and splurge on areas that get a lot of guest and client traffic, like the waiting room or a conference room.
What Quality to Expect from Furniture that Isn’t New
When it comes to refurbished, remanufactured and even pre-owned furniture, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality to get what you want. Keep in mind that if a piece of furniture was made well and made with quality parts and materials then you should be able to get a nice, long lifespan from it, regardless of whether or not you purchased it second-hand.
If there is a specific, high-quality brand that you’ve had your eye on, be sure to look for it as a refurbished, remanufactured or pre-owned item. Often times you can find these major brands at a cheaper cost, which will give your office the look and feel you want without feeling it in your pocket. And hey, you can even brand name drop in front of those curious clients too!
Where to Splurge, Where to Save
When it comes to private offices, cubicles, workspaces and the break room you should consider a cost-effective approach and look for high-quality, durable pieces of refurbished or pre-owned furniture. Generally, if you’re purchasing from a reputable, well-established office furniture company, the pieces that you will find here will be quality products.
If you do in fact want to purchase some newer furniture pieces then consider them in places that you feel are the “face” of your company. For example, you could consider a grand, appealing reception desk for the lobby, and newer conference room furniture in the boardroom where long meetings can take place. These could optimal areas to splurge on as they are the first and lasting impressions of your office/business on current and potential clients. So it might be nice to splurge on some comfortable boardroom chairs too. You want to put your best foot forward, but you also want to make sure your guests are at ease.
Managing your budget effectively and saving money on furniture can allow you to spend money on new conference room TV monitors, computers, and even decorations because there is a lot more that goes into making an office inviting than furniture. It’s beneficial to keep in mind to splurge on focal points within the office or places that are the “face” of the company (conference rooms & reception desks) and save on extras and fluff items (coffee tables, break rooms & accent pieces).
Pre-Owned Furniture Can Offer a Funky, New Vibe
We lightly touched on the full range of creative freedom that refurbished, remanufactured and pre-owned office furniture offers. If you think about it, when it comes to purchasing new items, often-times there are market demand limits. Either there is a shortage of product supply or the product you envisioned simply is not there. With refurbished items, although there can sometimes be a limit to supply; the creative freedom to design a space is seemingly limitless.
Refurbished office furniture opens up a wide selection of designs, colors, finishes, fabrics and more! Depending on the look and feel that your company is going for, you will be able to find a lot of unique pieces. You can go for a more retro approach or opt to mix and match older pieces with newer, modern designs.
Refurbished and pre-owned furniture allows you to get away from the uniformity of the standard workplace.
The Eco-Friendly Option
It might seem obvious once you start to think about it, but buying pre-owned or refurbished office furniture is not only beneficial to you and your pocket but it also an environmentally-friendly choice. We’re not talking about strictly electing to purchase furniture made from all-green materials, but more so what the decision to purchase pre-owned or refurbished can do in the long run.
Recycling and reconditioning office furniture is a great way to get continued use out of lightly-used furniture or furniture that is still functional. It’s good to know that when you choose to refurbish your office or buy pre-owned furniture, you’re preventing perfectly good furniture from piling up in landfills or reducing the disposal of raw furniture materials.
Buying pre-owned and refurbished office furniture will also help to increase your indoor air quality. Today, the process of manufacturing new office furniture produces VOC or volatile organic compounds which can reduce neutral air quality and as a result can leave employees exposed to this.
And for an added bonus, reducing the effects of global warming and air pollution can be partially attributed to recycling office furniture!
Some additional perks to keep in mind, if you’re still on the fence, are shorter/faster delivery times. Often times these items are already assembled, in stock and ready to go. This can be beneficial if you’re in a time crunch or if you’re looking to reduce downtime.
Choosing to pick furniture that is remanufactured or refurbished can result in quality service. You can rest assured knowing that these trained technicians will inspect or have inspected the furniture for any damages and will then do the necessary repairs to make sure that it’s functional and in quality shape!
It’s good to note that if you’re looking to get rid of your old, unwanted office furniture to consider office furniture liquidators who can come in, disassemble and remove your office furniture. This can be a better option than sending it off to a landfill and can generally be done on your time.
So whether you’re looking for an office makeover or you just want to change up some things, consider the benefits of purchasing refurbished or pre-owned office furniture!