Best Office Chairs – Should I buy Online or in a Store?

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best office chairs | best home office chairs | best affordable office chairs

You have done your research as to which type of office chair best suits your needs and you are now ready to proceed with the purchase. But now you ask yourself… “where can I buy the best office chairs? Do I visit an online or physical store?” Whether you are looking for a chair for your home office or work, selecting the store type can play a significant role.

To guide you in making the right decision, the important selection criteria are shown below.

best office chair - online or physical store?
Best Office Chairs – Should I buy Online or in a Store?

1.  Office Chair Supplier Channels

When you are investing in an office chair, you want to make sure that you make the right decision and have no regrets. The question “Where can I buy the best office chairs” will be foremost on your mind. Whether you are looking for an affordable home office chair or a superior ergonomic solution, you want to get it right! Buyer’s remorse sets in when the chosen supplier turns out to be a bad fit which can be costly to both your pocket and health. By carefully evaluating the different supplier channels, you will be able to avoid buyer’s remorse.

a.  The Physical Store (Traditional Office Furniture Retailer)

What is great?

  • A sales person should be able to assist you with the chair selection process.
  • The store should have a demonstration model available for you test.
  • What you see on the retailer’s floor is what you should be getting.
  • Chairs might be customisable. You might be able to configure the chair to suit your requirements (upholstery fabric, armrests, type of tilt mechanism, home office décor, etc).

Potential concerns

  • A physical store might not be available in your area.
  • You might not have the time to go to a physical store.
  • You might feel uncomfortable by the sales person pressuring you to make a purchase decision immediately (the “hard sell”).
  • The store might not have stock of your preferred selection and you will have to wait for your chair.
  • The store usually has limited opening hours which may not suit you.
  • The cost of running a physical store will typically result in higher prices.

b.  The Online Store

What is great?

  • Convenient and easily accessible online.
  • No “hard sell” from the sales person pushing you to make a purchase.
  • Lower prices.
  • Open 24/7.
  • No waiting. If the chair is displayed on the portal, it is usually available for immediate dispatch.

Potential concerns:

  • The online portal might not be a reputable supplier and/or you may have security concerns with their payment system.
  • No personal contact to assist with advice.
  • Usually no customisation is possible.
  • Cannot try before you buy.
  • The product that you receive might not live up to your expectations.

2.  Which Supplier Channel suits you?

The portal you decide to use when purchasing your work or home office chair, is is to a large extent a matter of personal preference and depends on your circumstances.  What is important is that you are informed and understand the pitfalls of each channel.

a.  If you are intending to purchase from a PHYSICAL store, then ask yourself:

  • Is the salesperson just trying to sell you the best and most affordable office chair, or simply the most expensive product that you don’t actually want or even need? If the salesperson’s salary is commission based, this is very likely!
  • Compare prices for the same or similar product in other stores.
  • Are there any negative reviews about the store (e.g. Hellopeter.com)
  • Is the quoted price the final price you are going to pay or do you have to pay extra for delivery?
  • How long will you have to wait for the chair to be delivered?
  • What return policy applies?

b.  If you are intending to purchase your office chair through an ONLINE store, then ask yourself:

  • Is the store reputable and is their payment gateway secure?
  • How long the company has been in existence?
  • Does the online store also have a physical presence where you can try before you buy?
  • Is there enough information provided to assist you in selecting the right chair?
  • What communication channels are available, for e.g. telephone, email, online chat?
  • Does the store have any negative reviews?
  • Are there any hidden additional costs like delivery?
  • Does the store have a fair return policy?
  • Is information provided on how long delivery will take?
  • Is there an option to collect the chairs?

3.  Conclusion

The answer to “Where can I buy the best office chairs?” requires you to firstly select a preferred sales channel, and then to identify and minimise the possible limitations of that particular sales channel.  Use our chair selection check list to assist you when comparing options.


Download our pdf checklist – Where can I buy the best office chairs?

Author: Joachim Roetger
Director at Karo Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd
12 Nov 2020 (rev 1)

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