If you spend a lot of time on your computer you probably spend a lot of time sitting. Slowly, over the course of hours, you may experience pain. Back aches, butt aches, shoulder pain, leg pain, and more.
The pain goes away after a few minutes or hours – at first. Over time, however, minor pains can add up to serious health concerns. Ergonomic office chairs help, but are also expensive, which is why most people don’t buy them. But what if you could buy an amazing chair for the same price as one that’s just so-so?
Turn To Craigslist
Office chairs are one of the best furniture items to buy used from other individuals. There are several reasons for this.
- They’re durable
- Minor issues can often be repaired
- They’re relatively sanitary and easy to clean
- Individuals often sell at low prices
Though Craigslist is a great place to look for used chairs, you can also strike gold through newspaper ads, yard sales and other sources. What’s important is to find a chair that still functions properly, has minimal exterior damage and is supportive for your frame. Make sure to try the chair before you buy, and if you can, sit for at least a few minutes.
Buying from individuals has its downsides, however. You probably can’t try the chair out for more than a few minutes without causing an awkward situation, and there’s little chance of returning the chair should it not work out. You also may have trouble finding replacement parts if the seller isn’t sure who made the chair.
Find A Local Office Outlet
Most major cities have office outlet stores. These stores buy up office supplies, including furniture, that were overstock or sold as part of bankruptcy. They then turn around and re-sell these items to whoever wants them at cut-rate prices. You can usually find these shops with a Google Maps search in your area for “office outlet” or “used office.”
A large office outlet can be over-whelming. It may have hundreds or thousands of chairs in stock, all fully assembled and in various states of repair, so plan to spend an hour or two in the store when you go. Also be careful of unscrupulous salesmen. While most of the office outlets I’ve visited have been cordial, I’ve also talked to some seriously pushy, even aggressive, salesmen. Be willing to walk out if that’s the attitude you find.
These problems aside, a good office outlet is an awesome place to shop. The selection is huge, the prices are good and you can sit in each chair as long as you’d like. Most even have a money-back return policy good for a week or two of use, though you should ask before buying.
Become A Vulture
While Office Outlets are a great, they’re middle-men. They find used office items and buy them, then mark them up and resell them. You can find an even better deal if you cut them out and go straight to the source.
This is easier said than done. To find failing businesses that want to sell goods you’ll have to keep an eye out for “going out of business” signs and browse public listings of bankruptcy auctions. You may find opportunities in strange places. For example, a nearby K-Mart that went belly-up dragged out all of its back-room office furniture and sold it during the last week of its existence.
Snagging an office chair this way can save a ton of money, but there are some pitfalls. The search for out-of-business locations can become time-consuming because you have to find not only the right chair, but also the right seller. You may also find that you have little to no chance to actually try the chair and no return policy to fall back on if the chair doesn’t work out. This is high-risk, high-reward; you may find an excellent deal or you may end up screwed.
Buy New For Less
All of the above tactics rely mostly on the used market. You may end up finding a chair that’s very nearly new, but usually you’ll run into chairs that have had a bum on them for at least two or three years. What can you do if you want brand-new?
There are many online stores that can cater to you including Seating Zone, BizChairs, and Madison Seating. All of these sites sell a huge variety of chairs at the lowest prices possible. The classic Herman Miller Aeron chair, popular in executive offices across the globe, can be purchased for as little as $500 with free shipping. The chair starts at $829 when bought direct from the manufacturer’s store. And, if you’re really on a budget, all of these sites offer numerous chairs for under $100.
While the deals are great, these stores often have a so-so reputation for customer service. They’re also usually not an “authorized reseller” of major brands, which means your warranty may not be valid if the chair breaks five years from now.
A new high-end office chair is usually priced between $300 and $1,000 dollars, yet pain caused by sitting can occur no matter your budget. The sources in this article can cut down these intimidating figures by half or more, making a decent sit within reach for most. Let us know about the chair-shopping bargains you’ve found in the comments, or share your tips with your fellow readers.