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How To Buy A Sweet Office Chair For Less

Matt Smith 28-03-2013

buy office chair onlineIf you spend a lot of time on your computer you probably spend a lot of time sitting 4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long (And How to Avoid Them) Sitting too long at your desk or on your couch is a modern epidemic. Here are four deadly risks to a sedentary lifestyle. Read More . 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

buy office chair online

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 4 Great Craigslist Search Engines to Make Your Searches on The Site Easier In a web 2.0 era, Craigslist has refused to make major alterations to its site. This has advantages, but one disadvantage is the lack of a great search function. It can be hard to find... Read More 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

buy office chair

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

buy office chair

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 8 Sites to Find Closeout Stores and Going Out of Business Sales Liquidation sales are great for bargains. Here are the best sites to help you find closeout stores and going out of business sales. Read More 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

buy office chair online
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 [Broken URL Removed], 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.


Image Credit: Peter Rukavina, City Liquidators 

Related topics: Ergonomics, Health, Workspace.

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  1. David Crandall
    December 5, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    A lot of great chairs can be found for a steal of a deal on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace if you're lucky.

    Another option you may consider adding to your list is remanufactured or refurbished chairs.

    Remanufactured chairs (at least ours, I can't speak to other vendor's chairs) sell for a similar price to used chairs, but come with new casters, new gas cylinders, new arm pads, customers choice of new fabric, and a 12 year warranty (same as new). We only remanufactured high end chairs (Steelcase, Herman Miller, & Haworth), and they are as close as new as you can get in the secondary market.

    You can see some of our chairs here: https://www.crandalloffice.com/product-category/remanufactured-chairs/

    Feel free to reach out with any questions, we do thousands of chairs per year and are always there to help however we can!

  2. Peter
    April 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    You should consider checking out the local auction house. Its usually cheap and fun way to buy things. just set a budget and follow it and dont get carried away!!!

  3. null
    March 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I find it helps to sit as thought I were doing sitting meditation on my cushion.

  4. J
    March 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    You left out the best option for urban dwellers: office liquidators. These guys buy the office furniture of an entire building / division at a steep discount when it is shut down, haul it to their store, and sell it retail to you.

    End result: you can get top of the line ergo chairs for half price or less. The more businesses in your area, the better this will work. I bought my home office chair at a liquidator and got a $1200 chair for $325. So much better than what you find at the office superstores.

  5. On Wong
    March 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Bought my chair thru Criagslist. Love it.

  6. Arron Walker
    March 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Just took a look myself, and I see a large gap in the market. There are plenty of swivel chairs with and without arms, but very few chairs with arms and no swiveling.

    • mcsey
      March 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Swivel lock is your friend, so are caster brakes for that matter.

  7. Luke Sharkey
    March 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I agree Stools or working standing up is much better. They make desks that can raise and lower so you can work in any poisiton. That is much better than a chair.

  8. Glenda
    March 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I've tried several different types of office chairs. They all suck in my opinion. They all make my back hurt. So now I use just a padded stool, with no back. I sit up straighter and have much less back pain.

    • John
      March 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm


      Often, it is not the chair alone, but the total sitting approach that contributes to pain. Most folks sit on the front edge of their seat without using the lumbar support portion of the chair at all (or the lumbar portion of the chair is at the wrong height). As we use technology more and more of our work day, we are sitting more and need to pay attention to the total environment. The best seated position is with a slight recline from 90 degrees (sitting up straight) with an open angle of the torso, thus keeping the blood circulating throughout the upper and lower body. The consequence is that then the keyboard needs to be on an adjustable articulating platform that positions your hands/fingers just above your lap with your arms in a comfortable hanging position, thus eliminating the strain on the arm, shoulder, and neck muscles. With that, you are sitting back away from the edge of your worksurface, so the monitor is probably too far away. Using a monitor support arm (under $150) allows the monitor to be positioned about 18-20" from your face with the top of the monitor about even with your level line of sight. This will prevent neck strain or fatique from looking up or down. Here is a good resource guide

      How about a superior alternative to the Herman Miller Aeron chair mentioned in this article for under $600 (brand new)? Check out [Broken Link Removed]
      and email me (jrotty@opgtnva.com) for more details. Thank you, and God bless you!

  9. Chris Marcoe
    March 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Not only online sites/stores. You should go to Goodwill and any local thrift stores. Good friend of mine got a $200 chair for $12.