High-end used office chairs are the hidden treasures of the used furniture market. Buying them can save your company thousands of dollars. Here’s why they’re so cheap and everything you need to know to save a small fortune.

High-end office chairs from brands like Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Knoll can cost upwards of $1,200 each when new. These chairs feature advanced ergonomics, durable materials, and cutting-edge technology, which justifies their high price tags. However, when purchased used, these same chairs can often be found for a fraction of the cost, sometimes as low as $200-$400.

Why Are Used Office Chairs Such a Great Value?

Light Use:

Executive and high-end chairs often see light use. They might be used mainly in boardrooms or executive offices, where they aren’t subjected to the daily wear and tear of regular office chairs. This means that used high-end chairs are often in excellent condition.

Depreciation:

Like cars, office furniture depreciates quickly. The moment a chair is sold and used, its market value drops significantly, regardless of its condition. Additionally, these items are big and bulky and costly to dispose of. You might save 30% on a used car, but a high-end office chair? More like 70% or more from the right seller.

Perception of Value:

Many people don’t recognize the difference between a high-quality chair and a cheap imitation. With office seating, the difference in quality, comfort, and usability between the best chairs and everything else is huge.

Office Closures:

Since COVID, office closures and the shift to remote work have flooded the market with used office chairs. Businesses downsizing are offloading their office furniture. This has created a buyer’s paradise for organizations refreshing or expanding their offices.

Top Used Office Chair Models to Look For

Herman Miller Aeron:
Known for its ergonomic design and exceptional comfort.
Mesh material keeps you cool and provides excellent support.
Highly durable and built to last, making it a great investment even when used.

Steelcase Leap:
Features adjustable lumbar support and a flexible backrest.
Known for its superior ergonomics and comfort.
Ideal for long hours of sitting, providing excellent support.

Steelcase Amia:
Offers a balance of comfort, durability, and affordability.
Features adjustable arms, seat depth, and lumbar support.
Great for users who need a reliable, all-around chair.

Where to Look for the Best Deal on Used Office Chairs

Large-Scale Office Liquidators: These sellers acquire furniture from businesses that are downsizing or closing.
They often have a wide selection of high-end chairs at significantly reduced prices.
Look for reputable liquidators with positive reviews and a good track record.

Value-Based Used Furniture Dealers: These dealers specialize in offering used office chairs at competitive prices. They typically refurbish and clean the furniture before selling it. Check their inventory regularly for new arrivals and special deals.

Local Online Marketplaces: Platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay can be goldmines for used office chairs.

Be sure to verify the condition of the chair. Often, people selling their own used office chairs don’t even know the true condition!

Online and In-Person Auctions: Fun fact, office furniture sells for dirt cheap at commercial auctions and even E-bay auctions. Usually, the only people who bid are used furniture dealers, and you know these cheapskates aren’t bidding high.

If you throw in a low bid at the last minute, just above the reserve you might score. Or, even better, approach the auction company after items go unsold and you could get used office chairs for pennies on the dollar.

This may not work for Aerons and Leaps, but high-quality second-tier chairs are often completely overlooked for more enticing items like tools and electronics.

Buying in Quantity

Bulk Purchases: Buying multiple used office chairs at once can often lead to additional discounts. Liquidators and dealers are more likely to negotiate on price when selling in bulk. This approach is especially useful for outfitting an entire office on a budget.

 

Let Liquidators Know Your Needs: Reach out to liquidators and let them know what specific models and quantities you’re looking for. They can notify you when they have inventory that matches your needs. Being on their radar can give you first dibs on newly arrived stock.

 

Wait for Direct Sales: Sometimes, liquidators hold sales directly from the office, facility or site they are liquidating. These are the BEST deals, aside from buying from the company that is liquidating. (Which are often hard to find) These events can offer the best deals, as they aim to clear out inventory quickly. Be patient and wait for these opportunities to get the best prices.

 

Cleaning and Refurbishing Tips

General Cleaning:

  1. Use Goo Gone to remove sticky residues or tough stains from chair surfaces.
  2. A household spot cleaner can steam clean fabric parts, making them look almost new

 

Replacing Arm Pads:

  1. Arm pads can wear out over time but are easy to replace.
  2. Look for replacement pads on eBay or other online retailers.
  3. Swapping out old pads for new ones can make a chair like new again.

 

Replacing Chair Cylinders:

  1. The gas cylinder can lose its lift over time, making height adjustment difficult.
  2. Replacement cylinders are inexpensive and readily available online.
  3. Follow online tutorials for a step-by-step guide to replacing the cylinder yourself.

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Key Things to Check on Used Office Chairs Before Buying

When buying used office chairs, ensuring you’re getting a quality item that will last is crucial. Here are the main things to check before making your purchase:

1. Chair Lift Cylinder:
Start by lowering the chair to its lowest setting, then press the lever to lift it. If the chair rises quickly and smoothly, the cylinder is in good shape. However, if it struggles to lift, the cylinder may be failing. Replacing a chair lift cylinder can be straightforward, but it’s an added cost to consider.

2. Arm Pads:
Examine the arm pads for cracks or tears in the fabric or mesh. While cracked arm pads are typically easy and inexpensive to replace, torn fabric or leather can be more challenging and costly to repair.

3. Adjustments:
Moving parts are often the first to fail on an office chair. Download a copy of the chair’s instructions and test all adjustable features, such as the recline, seat height, armrest adjustments, and lumbar support. Ensure that each mechanism works smoothly.

4. Overall Condition and Age:
Make sure the model you’re inspecting is representative of the entire lot, especially if buying in bulk. Dealers might show you the best chair to make the sale, so check multiple units if possible. Look for the manufacturing date on the tag, but remember that condition is often a better indicator of longevity than age. High-end chairs like Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Knoll are built to last for decades.


A Final Word…
By following these tips, you can find high-quality used office chairs that offer the comfort and durability you need without breaking the bank. Whether you’re outfitting a home office or an entire workplace, the savings and value you’ll find in the used market are unbeatable. Happy hunting!