Office Furniture: How to Buy Refurbished and Used

Office Furniture
July 28, 2021

Since 1982, Cubiture has been dedicated to bringing office furniture to offices and workspaces to life with the right design, products, and safety in mind. As a result, our products and services have adapted to current trends and the specific needs of our clients—with a sustainable approach at the forefront.

An important service Cubiture provides is the remanufacturing and restoration of office furniture and office cubicles. We have our own manufacturing and warehousing facility, which means we can build cubicle systems in-house using refurbished components. And at the same time, meeting each of our client’s unique requirements with exact precision.

The pandemic continues to have a firm grip on the world, and it is getting progressively clear that people will still have to continue to work from home. This trend has had a drastic and positive effect on home office furniture sales.

That being said, it’s also had a damaging effect on furniture waste. This is especially true in the US. where Americans are throwing out old furniture rapidly to replace them with newer, more comfortable options as they adapt to the “new norm.”

An Excellent Strategy for Creating Sustainable Business

Companies across America have also either closed, downsized, or gone remote, rendering a lot of their office furniture unnecessary. This not only has a devastating effect on the environment, but it also affects the cost of businesses’ bottom line.

The 8.5 million tons of office furniture discarded per year in the U.S. equates to over $450 million spent on landfill tipping fees (based on the average landfill costs in the U.S. in 2020).

As awareness of furniture waste grows, purchasing refurbished office furniture is an excellent strategy for creating a sustainable business.

At Cubiture, you have the option to:

  • Purchase remanufactured furniture
  • Have your existing office furniture repurposed

In this guide, we share the advantages of buying refurbished office furniture instead of buying new.

1. What Is the Difference Between Refurbished and Used Office Furniture?

Selecting the right office furniture for your workplace is not always easy. While new office furniture is usually the first option that comes to mind, some alternatives offer the benefits of new furniture at a significantly lower price.

When you decommission, remanufacture, and recycle, you’re keeping assets in use, giving them a new life, and turning your waste into sustainable change.

Refurbished Office Furniture

You may think your office furniture appears like it’s been there since the age of the dinosaurs, and it’s time to part ways. But not just yet! Cubiture can restore it with just a few simple upgrades. For example, an old couch in the foyer can look almost brand new with a reupholstering job.

    • Wooden office furniture can be restored with sanding and refinishing
    • Squeaky chairs and loose cubicle panels can be easily repaired to good working order

Instead of upgrading your office with new furniture, upcycle instead and give your old office furniture a new life, with a design of your choice. In some instances, these pieces surpass new in every way – quality, aesthetic, and price.

Used Office Furniture

When you buy used furniture, you buy it “as it is,” with no repair work done. This is usually the most cost-effective way of selecting your office furniture and a great way of recycling.

Usually, cubicles and other office furniture become available as a company moves out of their current space and no longer needs them. Buying used cubicles means that all you need to do is give them a thorough clean, and they’re ready to be installed.

Remanufactured Office Furniture

You can also remanufacture a piece of furniture to restore it to its original condition. And instead of rendering an office chair with a snapped backrest useless, better to replace the necessary parts or areas that show too much wear and tear, essentially bringing the piece back to life.

2. Benefits of Buying Refurbished Over Used

While we’re in favor of buying both refurbished and used office furniture, the former tend to have more benefits than the latter. Here are four reasons (plus a bonus when you refurb with Cubiture) why buying refurbished is better than finding used office furniture.

Better Quality

You usually get what you pay for when you purchase a used item. Scuffs, dents, and stains are commonplace in used furniture. That’s why refurbishing is better, as you can have it cleaned and buffed to make it good as new again.

Redesign

Does your office furniture look like it’s come out of an 80’s TV show? Maybe it’s time to have a redesign. Not only does an aesthetic workplace increase employee satisfaction and productivity, but it is also a reflection of your company. Just as your logo and branding represent who you are as a company, so does your office space.

Studies show that 61% of employees value an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable workplace, regardless of gender, age, or location. Therefore, if you provide your employees with visually appealing furniture, you are subconsciously making a statement about how you care about their professional and personal needs, as well as their health and wellbeing.

Standardize

Sticking to the aesthetics theme, by refurbishing your office furniture, you can also standardize it. For example, when you buy used furniture, you won’t always be able to buy matching cubicle sets and find all the same types of chairs—you would end up with a mismatched office. Rather, why not re-upholster fabrics and desktops so that they match and achieve cohesiveness in your office space.

Customization

There won’t be any extra customization or configuration of used furniture. They will have to fit as they are in your new or existing space. Whereas modular and configurable furniture is something that can keep your office trendy and up to date. It also allows you to customize certain office furniture to optimize comforts, such as ergonomic chairs and stand-up desks.

Bonus with Cubiture—Warranty

Normally, the lack of a warranty is a con when buying refurbished and used office furniture. However, Cubiture can arrange a custom 1 year, 3 years, or 5-year maintenance package that extends far beyond the limits of the original warranty. Basic maintenance can be done onsite in your office. Alternatively, more complex office furniture repairs can be implemented in our factory warehouse in Northwest Houston. Our team will handle the pickup, transportation, and repair of any damaged products covered by your agreement. We will also handle the installation and reconfiguration of revitalized furniture.

2. How Do You Buy Refurbished Furniture?

Overall, the process of refurbishing office furniture makes it the best deal for your money. But how do you get the best pieces possible for your workplace? There are several aspects you should consider when refurbishing your furniture or looking for secondhand items. By keeping these certain factors in mind, you will be able to find the best-used furniture based on your business’s specific needs.

Ergonomics

Human health plays a crucial role in workplace productivity. Studies have proven over and again that ergonomic seating and desking solutions that offer specific types of support have a measurable impact on improved productivity, employee morale, and wellbeing. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that ergonomics plays the lead role in decision-making when looking for the best-used furniture.

Key features of ergonomic furniture:

    • Helps maintain proper posture
    • Reduces pain when seats with head/neck rest support and standing desks are used
    • Productivity increases as employees are more comfortable
    • Improves overall wellness

Size

The furniture you choose will depend largely on the size of the office and the space available. For instance, cubicles are an exceptional space-saving option for any office. Cubiture can design workstations using remanufactured cubicles that have innovative storage solutions for the security and organization of office supplies and are designed to support workflow and individual task requirements.

Quality

When you refurbish office furniture, you’ll see that the quality varies from one piece to the next. Before committing, check if everything is working properly, for instance, the height adjuster on a chair. If you see some faults and damages, don’t rule out the remanufacturing option, where we use refurbished components to restore the item to its original condition.

Comfort Level

Comfort and ergonomics go hand-in-hand, and it will forever take precedence in its lifespan in the office and increase productivity in the workplace. For example, by equipping your office with chairs that support your employees’ postures, you are minimizing damage to the lower back, which often results from concentrating the upper body’s entire weight on the base of the spine while seated.

Cost

Of course, budget will play a huge deciding factor in the type of furniture you buy. The benefit of buying refurbished office furniture is that the costs are significantly less than new furniture. We recommend setting a budget before you start shopping, and you can always adjust it as necessary when you begin your search.

4. Things to Consider When Buying Used Furniture

If you chose to go down the second-hand office furniture route, there are a few things to consider before you buy. First, you will be amazed by how the wrong item can affect many factors in the workplace, so you must choose the best-used furniture wisely.

Does It Match the Users’ Needs?

Firstly, think about what your employees need. What actions are they carrying out in the workplace, and how can it be done most efficiently? The right office furniture can increase productivity and efficiency and ultimately impact your bottom line.

For example, if your employees are regularly on the phone, you need a cubicle layout that maximizes employee privacy in shared areas. This minimizes distractions from traffic and generates a much more focused work environment.

Does It Offer Must-Need Features?

Before you start looking for used furniture, consider the key features necessary for your workplace. For instance, used office chairs. Do they have height-adjustable armrests or a supporting backrest? Following this “wish list” will help you sift through the second-hand options and find the right piece that fits your needs.

Test Before You Buy Office Furniture

Similar to buying a used car, always test before you buy. You want to test the item for aspects such as:

    • Comfort
    • Size
    • Functionality
    • Aesthetics
    • Damages

We recommend referring to the item’s manufacturer’s website to see what adjustments and features should be available. Check for any major faults, and if any, see if remanufacturing the piece would be an option before buying.

Does It Have a Warranty or Return Policy?

While all furniture comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, these warranties are often limited in scope and last for only a short period of time. Therefore, it is always best to protect your investment with additional maintenance services from a purely fiscal perspective.

5. Buying Refurbished Instead of New Office Furniture

Perhaps you are looking to buy new office furniture to replace old furniture, or you are expanding and having more employees to sit. The type of furniture you purchase will ultimately impact your company’s bottom line.

Studies have proven that employees who have ergonomic seating and other posture-friendly furniture—that is also aesthetically pleasing—can increase their productivity.

Many believe that buying new furniture will revitalize the office space, but why not revitalize the individual pieces of furniture instead that match perfectly with your company’s image. Here is why you should buy refurbished rather than going for new pieces:

It’s More Affordable

One of the main reasons why many workplaces lean towards buying refurbished furniture is to save on costs. Refurbished items provide similar functionality as new furniture, and many can’t distinguish between the two. Our remanufactured cubicles are rebuilt from the ground up, creating a good-as-new alternative to new furniture at a much lower price.

More Eco-Friendly Office Furniture

Unfortunately, trading the old for the new can have serious consequences on the environment. Office furniture is, in fact, the main source of furniture waste (also known as “f-waste”) and accounts for an estimated 8.5 million tons of f-waste per year. With offices gradually downsizing to respond to the shift to working from home, this figure is likely to increase over the next few years.

Green Standards shares the following stats for average office situations in the U.S.:

    • A complete cubicle represents anywhere from 300 to 700 pounds of waste, most of which is a ferrous metal, wood, and plastic.
    • A typical task chair has dozens of materials and chemicals, making reuse far more effective and sustainable than recycling or landfill.
    • Diverting reusable office furniture from landfills protects the environment by reducing the demand for timber, metals, plastics, and fabrics, reducing carbon emissions produced during the manufacturing process and disposal, and diverting heavy, durable goods from landfills.

6. The Future of Office Furniture Refurbs

The move towards refurbishing office furniture is particularly appealing for companies interested in pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Not only do you contribute to lowering the environmental impact, but you may also be awarded points by:

  • Refurbishing existing furniture
  • Investing in office cubicle workstations

The future is green for office refurbs. A well-delivered office refurbishment can refresh a tired workspace, as well as being sustainable. In addition, businesses now realize that integrating reuse and recycling in an office refurbishment can mean improved working environments.

At the same time, businesses are saving money and diverting funds to creating better recreational areas, benefiting the employees and the employer.

Are You Ready to Repurpose Your Office Furniture?

Whether you choose new or refurbished office furniture, Cubiture offers a wide variety of options that save you money without sacrificing quality. We have what you need to complete your office space from standing desks to conference tables, ergonomic chairs, or desks.

If you have been thinking about buying new but are hesitant to invest in a new system, contact Cubiture today to see if refurbishing your existing office furniture is a better option for you. We also have an inventory of refurbished, used, and remanufactured furniture to select from.

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Article Name
Office Furniture: How to Buy Refurbished and Used
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If you’re thinking about upgrading your office space, read our guide on how to improve your office with refurbished or used office furniture.

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