If you are in the market for office cubicles, buying used is a great option. You can save substantially on your budget and still have a wide variety of product to choose from. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when going the used office cubicle route:
Be flexible. Once you decide that the used market is for you, there are two items that you need to be flexible about. 1) Be prepared to be flexible on colors, and B) Be prepared to be flexible on size configurations.
Know your space dimensions before shopping. It is critical that you know the benefits and limitations of your space before looking for furniture.
Make sure you know the grade of used you are buying. How many years have the cubicles been around? How many more years will they hold up?
Buy a popular cubicle brand/model. This is one of the most important steps! You want to make sure there is a ready supply of spare parts. Some of the most common models to look for are: Steelcase: Avenir or 9000, Herman Miller: AO or Ethospace and Haworth: Places.
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.
Check on the seller’s reputation and track record in buying and selling use inventories. Selling used cubicles requires a certain skill, as the business has plenty of complications in store if the seller doesn’t manage business professionally.
Ask for photos showing what the product looked like when it was installed. If it hasn’t been disassembled and stored in a warehouse yet, ask the seller to take snapshots of the product you want so you can get a good idea of how the finished product will look in your office.
When possible, buy from an inventory that is still standing. This may limit your options, but it will also minimize your risk. When inventory comes to you still waiting to be knocked down, you can see that all of the little parts and pieces are there!
Make sure that the seller is selling inventory they own and control. You may find a seller that is actually trying to “flip” someone else’s inventory and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There is a bigger potential for trouble the further removed the seller is from the product source.
Don’t go 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 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!