Used office cubicles are, for the smart facility manager, reaching the ideal confluence of wide availability, wide variety, and low price. If you’re in the market for office furniture, buying used is a great option – you get to save substantially on your budget and still get as wide a choice as if you decided to buy brand-new!
Of course, buying used office cubicles comes with a few rules of the road. Read on to see what they are.
- Be prepared to be flexible. Once you decide that used is for you, be sure that you’re comfortable with the two top limitations of the market. A) be prepared to be flexible on colors; and B) be prepared to be flexible on size configurations.
- Make sure you understand the grade of used you are buying. Buying used office cubicles is like buying a used car – 10,000 miles in is hardly broken in, but 100,000 miles means it’s ready to break down!
- Know your space dimensions before shopping. Shopping before you understanding the benefits and limitations of your space is like shopping for a plane without knowing how to fly!
- Buy a popular cubicle model – this ensures a ready supply of spare parts. These are the models you should look out for: Steelcase, Avenir or 9000; Herman Miller, AO or Ethospace; Haworth Places; Knoll Morrison; or Reff.
- Check if your seller has a detailed inventory of all the parts and pieces you need for the cubicle you want to buy. This includes panels, connectors, work surfaces, bins, and everything else in between. This is something you don’t think about until the delivery comes in and has one or more missing parts, leading to big delays and headaches if your supplier doesn’t have his act together.
- Ensure seller’s reputation and track record in buying and selling used inventories. As for references from your prospective seller. Selling used cubicles requires a certain skill, as the business has plenty of complications in store if the seller doesn’t manager his business professionally.
- Ask for product photos showing what it looked like when it was standing. If it hasn’t been disassembled and stored in the warehouse yet, ask the supplier to take snapshots of the product you want, so you get a good idea of how the finished product will look like in your office.
- If you can, buy from an inventory that is still standing. Not a lot of inventory comes to you still waiting to be knocked down. So this will limit your options, but it may minimize your risk.
- Inspect the inventory before handing over your cash. Again, this might limit your options to only inventory that’s a drive away, but this also limits the possibility of dissatisfaction with the final product.
- Ensure that seller is selling inventory they own and control. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if the seller is actually just trying to “flip” someone else’s inventory, but there’s a bigger potential for trouble the further removed they are from the product source.
- Don’t make yourself crazy trying to price shop previously owned inventories. If you find a reputable dealer who you have confidence in, and if they can deliver the quantity you need in the configuration and color you can live with, AND if they can offer you a substantial discount off new (50% or better), take the deal and don’t look back. You are sure to have a winning combination!
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