DATE: 02/08/2016

We get this question a lot, and the truth is – there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer.

Whether someone would be better off purchasing new or used office furniture is dependent on many factors: Sustainability, necessity, budget and personal preference all included. Which is why, we’ve decided to discuss some of the primary benefits and disadvantages associated with both choices in this post. Let’s review, shall we?

The Case For Going Used

They say everything that is old was once new, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to office furniture. Each decade has seen furnishings come and go in popularity, often doing a complete 180 in desirability, functionality and materials emphasized. Some trends even come back later with a modern twist (ie. the mid-century modern tables and chairs we’ve seen so much of over the last decade).

Considering, “used pieces” can often be found with just a few years of mileage on them, they are a noteworthy option for many businesses. Here are some other possible benefits to purchasing used furniture:

Cost Savings

Obviously, purchasing used furniture is going to be cheaper than buying new, right? Sometimes, but not always. Depending on what type of look you’re going for, new furniture can sometimes be purchased at a similar cost to high-end used furnishings. In general though – depending on the size of your team and the amount of furniture needed – purchasing used will yield significant savings. In some cases, you may even be able to refurbish your existing pieces. Just keep in mind, this can sometimes be time consuming and options will be limited.

Help The Environment

In 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted about 87 million tons of this material, according to The Environmental Protection Agency. Though many think recycling is limited to cardboard boxes, glass bottles and electronics, it also extends to office furniture. By purchasing used furniture, you can feel good about reducing the amount of debris that ends up landfills. Not to mention, indirectly reducing the earth’s carbon footprint. Additionally, the reusing of furniture can sometimes translate to “points” that can be used toward LEED certification. With that said, there's no reason your “new furniture” needs to end up in a landfill when it's time to update either. There are special companies that will buy it off your hands.

The Case For Going New

Every year, furniture manufacturers introduce new pieces to the market. In most cases, the pieces at hand were carefully designed to produce a superior user experience. This means, you will never have to compromise quality when buying new. Here are some other benefits:

Build a Unique Brand

Whether you’re moving into a new office or simply redesigning your old one, this is a prime opportunity for reinventing your brand! While it’s possible to find used pieces that fit the image you want to convey, the only way to ensure you have something totally unique is to choose exactly what you want. According to recent reports, the improving economy will continue to favor passive and active job seekers, and employers will need to be more competitive when it comes to attracting the best candidates in the years ahead. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a youthful, energizing and modern company culture. As an added bonus when you buy new, you’re more likely to work with an interior solutions expert who includes brand conceptualization and personalized recommendations for free with the cost of furniture sold.

Tax Deductions
For small businesses, the cost of office supplies (including furniture) is tax deductible. Such expenses can either be deducted in the first year or depreciated. Depending on the life phase of your business, and the growth you expect in the years to come, investing in new pieces may not really cost as much as you’d think.

The Warranties
Another real advantage to buying new? The warranties. Though not something routinely thought about, they can be helpful. Just like a car breaks down over time, so may certain pieces of furniture. If a spring mechanism breaks on an old chair, you are responsible for fixing it. Conversely, if the same mechanism breaks on a new chair, you can rest assured it will be covered.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to buying used and new alike. But if you’re wanting to do more than “just buy some furniture” – and would like to create a brand atmosphere you love – we should talk.

At CBI, we have more than 20 years of experience in the interior solutions industry. With no ties to any one manufacturer, we’re often able to secure new furnishings at a significant discount compared to our competitors. Click Here to set-up a free consultation today.