Business owners who need to furnish office space on a limited budget can acquire top-quality office systems at reduced prices by taking advantage of used or refurbished cubicles and workstations. Not only can you save 30 to 70 percent off the cost of new furniture, but you will reduce waste by preventing tons of materials from ending up in landfills and eliminate the environmental impact involved in manufacturing new furniture.
Refurbished systems are the closest you can get to purchasing new furniture without paying the high price. However, there are some things to look for before you make a decision.
- Compare the prices, options and warranties of both new and used cubicle systems from different manufacturers. You may find that you can afford high-end used or refurbished workstations from premier manufacturers such as Herman Miller Ethospace.
- It’s important to understand the difference between some of the terms used to describe pre-owned office furniture:
- Used – Many dealers sell used cubicles and workstations “as is”, which means they have done few, if any, repairs. Look carefully for scratches and dents. You may also be offered no warranty on used furniture.
- Reconditioned – This office furniture has generally been cleaned and repainted or reupholstered. Make sure the product functions properly.
- Refurbished – Value has been added to the recycled product by touching it up cosmetically and returning it to the market for sale. Refurbished office furniture often allows you the freedom to choose new colors, fabrics and finishes. Again, make sure the product functions as expected.
- Remanufactured – The product has been restored to “like new” condition. It has been completely disassembled, inspected, cleaned, repaired, reassembled and refinished until it is virtually indistinguishable from new furniture. You can usually choose new finishes, colors, fabrics and laminates to suit your needs.
Research the dealer’s reputation so that you can buy with confidence. If you are looking for remanufactured office furniture, look for a dealer who has experience with the specific manufacturer’s product line. For example, if you need remanufactured Herman Miller cubicles, find a dealer who specializes in Herman Miller products. Ask the dealer for references to find out how they handled any past problems.
Remanufactured office furniture should come with some type of warranty. Some dealers will match the original warranty, although there are no industry-wide standards. You may also find dealers who offer limited warranties on used and/or reconditioned furniture.
Don’t assume that the dealer will deliver and install the used, reconditioned, refurbished or remanufactured office cubicles and workstations. Confirm this before you purchase to avoid costly surprises.
Don’t make a decision based on price alone. While you may be tempted to purchase lower-priced cubicles and workstations, your savings could evaporate if the products are made from substandard materials and you are forced to repair or replace them sooner than expected.
The use of refurbished and remanufactured workstations is on the rise as businesses become more environmentally conscious. Instead of storing or discarding your existing cubicles when they become outdated or no longer suit your needs, consider having them remanufactured and refreshed with new, modern fabrics, surfaces and functionality.
Some of the premium high-end office systems, such as Herman Miller Ethospace, will always blend in with Herman Miller products you already own.
The experts at EthoSource provide Furniture Management Services for companies across the United States, taking office furniture that is no longer working for a company and finding it a new home elsewhere. If you are in the market for refurbished cubicles, we recommend that you check out their online catalog at www.EthoSource.com.