Questions to ask before buying a second hand office chair

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used office chairs and furniture for sale

There are a number of questions you should ask yourself before you consider buying second hand office chairs. Although used office chairs and other furniture is widely available for sale, you need to be aware of the pitfalls associate with making such a purchase. Buying second hand office furniture can save you some money, but it may not be a great investment.
Ignoring the pitfalls can impact both your health, and your back pocket!

1. No warranty or return policy

Second hand office furniture is sold “as is”. Most warranties are only valid for the original purchaser and do not transfer to a new owner. The warranty is your protection for your investment and ensures that you have a fully functioning chair for a long time to come. Depending on the situation, this may not be a big deal. If you need a chair for occasional use in your garage at home, then a second hand office chair for sale on Facebook may be a good way to save some money! However, if you plan on using the chair for eight or more hours a day, you should think about your decision.

used office chairs and furniture for sale
Second hand office furniture – is it worth it?

Used office furniture is normally sold without a Returns Policy. If you are unhappy with your purchase, then it is “bad luck”.

All Karo products come with a “100% money back satisfaction guarantee”. See our Returns Policy.

2. Condition of second hand office chairs

Second hand chairs have an uncertain life. Because you do not know the history of any used office chair, it starts to raise concerns about it’s quality and durability. How long will it last if you use it for 8 hours every day?

3. Hygiene of second hand office chairs

Even if the seller has made an effort to clean the chair, it’s cleanliness may not be up to standard. This is particularly important at a time when hygiene is so critical. The upholstery fabric can be disgusting and in many cases isn’t hygienic. Dirt, grime, food deposits and sweat can be contained in the fabric and foam. Do you really want to sit on such a chair?

4. Repair costs

If the second hand office chair needs significant repairs or re-upholstery, you may end up paying more than its worth. Typically, used office chairs need the following repairs or replacements:

  • Gas lifter or height adjuster.
  • Swivel mechanism. This can be expensive if the mechanism is a sophisticated synchronous mechanism. Alternatively, it may not even be possible if the mechanism has been discontinued, or is imported and is no longer available. Office chair mechanisms.
  • Armrests. Similar to the swivel mechanism, repairing or replacing the armrests can be expensive, or not possible at all.
  • 5-Star base and castors.
  • Re-upholstery. Once again, this can be expensive. Often the underlying foam also needs to be replaced because it is worn out, and/or unhygienic.

5. Limited quantity

Second hand office chairs that are available for sale, are usually limited in both quantity and variety.
Are there sufficient used chairs available from the same style to furnish your entire office? Will second hand “mix and match” furniture be suitable for your office? If you plan to furnish a larger area, it is rare to find enough of the same used furniture to make your office space look perfect.

6. How comfortable are second hand office chairs?

Second hand office chairs are cheap, but because they are “worn out”, they are not always comfortable. Sitting for a long period on an uncomfortable chair can lead to health related issues such as back and neck pain, muscle aches, and poor blood circulation. The impact on employee wellbeing, job satisfaction and productivity, is negative.

A poor sitting posture can result in health related issues

Conclusion

If cost is an issue, deciding whether or not to buy second hand office furniture can be a tough call. You want to balance the needs of your staff and those of the business. Buying second hand chairs can be a risky proposition. Yes, you will spend less money up front. However, if the chairs need repair, have a short life, or your staff suffer health issues caused by poor hygiene and/or support, this can be a very expensive option.

Although a new office chair is more expensive than a second hand chair, the value is unmatched. This is especially so for reputable office chairs that have a 5 or 10 year warranty.

At Karo Manufacturing, we offer a wide range of office chairs and there is sure to be one that suits your budget!


Author: George Mashinini
Office Ergonomics Risk Facilitator at Karo Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd
2 March 2021

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