Most office furniture and equipment does not increase in value over time. Therefore you should look at these purchases as expenses, and not as investments. Of course everyone likes new things, but if you can be blatantly honest with yourself and ask the hard question, “Does it have to be new?”, you can save a lot of money.
Used Office Furniture
If there is an area in the office where you meet with customers or prospective customers, you may want to purchase new furniture so that area projects a better image of your company. Other areas where public image is not a factor, wear-and-tear will be heavy, or the possibility for abuse is high (for example, factory floor offices, service areas, etc.) are prime targets for used office furniture.
Refurbished Office Equipment
Every manufacturer or distributor of office equipment from adding machines to photocopiers has the occasional “Oops.” Furthermore, a piece of equipment could be returned because of a minor problem, fixed by the manufacturer, but will not be resold as new. All of these situations, and more, provide an opportunity to acquire equipment at reduced prices. The only way to find out if these are offered is to ask your dealer or supplier if they carry refurbished equipment. Remember, your selection will be limited, so you’ll have to flexible.
“Going Out of Business”
Liquidation sales are another opportunity to acquire office furniture and equipment at big savings. A word of caution: Be careful when you shop under these conditions. There may be high-pressure sales, limited selection and a variety of other conditions that could make for a risky deal. In addition, if there is a problem in the future, they won’t be in business to fix the problem. Therefore, shop carefully, know the equipment you’re looking for, and what the current market price is. With this in hand, you will know a good deal when you see it.
eBay is the largest online auction in the world. Personally, I refer to it as “America’s Garage Sale.” Needless to say, there are a lot of great deals lurking there, too. Just as with “Going Out of Business” sales, the risk is high, but the savings could be huge. In addition, you must pay attention to shipping charges. The price may be low, but the shipping could be outrageous.