If you run or start a Home Business, we discussed that you need a real home office and organization to really become successful. And if your business is not yet where you want it to be financially, great but cheap office furniture is a very legitimate way to get started.
But not every bargain priced chair or rack or drawer is worth the money. So we need to make sure that “cheap” means “very price worthy but worth every penny!”. With the internet and its potential to read other customers’ experiences, this is much easier than it used to be.
Cheap Office Furniture on Amazon
For this reason I am a big fan of Amazon. They have become a gigantic marketplace, where buyers share their experiences with a product or even become fans (have you seen the “like” button on Amazon) and tell potential buyers about it. Or they create lists with their personal favorite products.
This way we can use other people’s experiences to equip our work place with high quality though inexpensive equipment.
Cheap Office Furniture: Chair
Ok, so let’s go checking for a cheap chair. I would go to Amazon.com, type in “cheap office chair” and choose the “office products” category, and *bam* have 631 different products to choose from.
If we do not choose the “office products” department but search in “All Departments” , Amazon.com even offers a variety of 1.849 different product answers to our request.
So now how can we decide about the best cheap chair? Depending on where you live a cheap and bad quality product can cost you more over some months or years than a higher priced product, which does not break.
Cheap Office Furniture Warranty
So if you are European (European Union), by law you have a two-year warranty, in which Amazon is responsible for repairing or reimbursing you in case the product does not last that long. In other countries you may be without any warranty at all. So taking other people’s experiences into the equation, especially concerning the quality of a product, is a very smart move in my eyes.
Ok, with so many cheap products to choose from, we need to narrow down the possibilities. Since we are looking for price worthy chairs for our workplace, let us choose the “office department” and on the left side click on 4+ stars.
Now we still have over 200 office chairs competing for our money. So let us narrow down the decision even further. When decide to see all products in the price range from $25 to $50 (below $25 you only see chair accessories) I am offered about 5 chairs with 4 to 5 stars from other buyers.
Now there is a chair with 57 customer reviews for $38 (was $120). So let’s find out if that chair is for us. When I read the reviews I realize that even the best reviewers classify this chair as a “great occasional task chair”, which is definitely not what we need. We need a 10 hrs. per day chair.
Ok, next one. There is an offer for a “Mid-Back Task Chair”. There are several very good reviews, and some 3 star or even 2 star reviews. So when you click on that products name, you see the best and the worst most helpful (people also rate the reviews, so you see get the most relevant information) review next to each other. In this case, the best, most helpful reviewer calls this chair “a great deal indeed” and the worst, most helpful reviewer says “back is not very good” about it.
When we now find the lowest review (2 star), the reviewer remarked “legs are prone to breaking”.
So it seems we have a good product in this price range, but it probably won’t last forever, and you might not want to sit 24/7 on it. But for a price of $44 we have found a cheap chair as a working solution.
Make sure to check the dimensions (will you fit on it?) and weight capacity. Being as tall as I am, I have broken my fair share of chairs just with my weight.
Ok, so will investing a few more Pounds, Euros or (Hong Kong) Dollars get us a much better deal? Let’s see.
Yes, it seems so. When we choose the next price range from $50 to $100, several great looking chairs with 4+ star rating are shown starting at $54, so just $10 more than the last one. It is even reduced.
This chair is described as “Ergonomic Leather Executive Office Chair with Gas Lift and Lumbar Support”, has two customer reviews (which is not much though, but both are amazon verified purchases) and both reviews are very positive, no word of “prone to breaking”.
Total Cost of Ownership & Cheap Office Furniture
So this might be an example that not just any “cheap equipment” means really cheap. If you have to buy a new chair or desk every other month, the total cost of ownership is much higher than if you bought the more expensive but lasting chair in the first place.
This is a very important principle, I want to make sure you understand. If you just go for the cheapest equipment, you may very well – or even very likely – have much higher costs in the end.
I want to introduce to the term of “total cost of ownership” in respect to office furniture. The term is derived from the IT industry, when they speak about how much a product -like “Microsoft Office 2010 Small and Home Office” – will cost the owner over the years of usage.
Updates, support etc. will add to the total ownership costs.
That is the reason why it can be much cheaper to -say – buy the Microsoft Office Solution instead of using the free Open Office perhaps including need to buy support time or additional software to make Open Office compatible to other programs. The buying price is not all.
So Total cost of Ownership (TCO) takes into consideration all costs resulting from owning that piece of software.
But back to our examination of Total Cost of Office Furniture Ownership. If you buy a cheap office desk, but have to buy a new one every 6 months, the total cost of Ownership over a 2 year period is 4 times your initial expense.
So buying the cheapest things is often a not sustainable business strategy.
Cheap Office Furniture
Think about what quality chair or desk or printer you could have gotten for that total cost in the first place. You probably could have bought the “Mercedes” among all chairs. Same goes for all cheap desks, drawers, racks or computers.
I know, there are times when we are not sure if six months from now we will still be in the same situation. Perhaps you are between jobs and are just looking for an interim solution. In this case, it makes absolute sense to invest the least amount of money and be prepared to dump that cheap piece of office furniture into the garbage after some time. Though this is not a very ecological nor sustainable business strategy, it might be the best strategy for you right now.
If you liked this post, I would be happy if you could share this article with others. And please comment below…what is your strategy to find the best cheap office furniture?