Buying Second Hand Office Furniture

Of the top ten chapters of expenditure, housing furniture and appliances hits the list at number seven. Food is of course at number one, while entertainment takes ten. In understanding the approach consumers have toward buying new or used furniture, there are many factors affecting the market: real or perceived buying power, status symbology and lifestyles, and opportunities, among others (Piana, 2001). So it is not surprising that during a time of economic instability, shopping for secondhand desks and chairs for the office has become much more commonplace.

Real or perceived buying power is based on the idea that consumers will buy goods, such as office furniture or other household items, if their income empowers them to save or spend. This is not limited to actual income, but also to money expected through upcoming promotions or savings goals met. The more comfortable consumers are in the market, the more likely they’ll go out and buy that beautiful new L-shaped desk for the home office and get matching file cabinets or drawers.

But for many of us in the current economy, we’ve begun leaning more toward shabby-chic, toward vintage eclectic, toward secondhand. Let’s face it, used furniture is one item that empowers our pocketbooks and keeps us under budget before the turn of that next business quarter. If buying high –quality, second-hand cubicles keeps us in the black, then we’re happy! And of course, the more we purchase used tables and chairs, the happier our forests are for not cutting them up and the higher our air quality is for landfills that cease to expand.

“According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 21.6 million pounds of discarded furniture when into landfills in 2010.” (Fisher, 2013) In recent years, the amount of furniture and other durable goods ending up in landfills has increased. However, a trend of the last decade has been evolving where items like used desks, chairs and appliances are being recovered, repurposed and recycled by tons of thousands (EPA, 2009). Certainly these household items are not just being reclaimed by individuals, but by large businesses as well.

With businesses enabling more opportunities for the public to buy reclaimed goods, such as office furniture and household items, they are respecting the economic tides and environmental concerns, while also encouraging societies to strengthen their real and perceived buying power, generating cultural appreciation of vintage classics and more personalized environments. “The experience of buying used furniture has now become as exciting and personal as buying new furniture…The client can have their needs professionally satisfied with remanufactured used furniture at the fraction of the cost for new.” (Fisher, 2013) So then next time you’ve got your eye on a beautiful mahogany L-shaped desk with a matching credenza and drawer set, perhaps look first at the gently-used home office arena of high-quality buying potential.

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Environmental Protection Agency. (2010, Dec). Municipal solid waste in the United States. Retrieved April 22, 2013, from

Fisher, J. (2013, Spring). Recycling means business for recycled office environments. Retrieved April 22, 2013, from

Piana, V. (2001, Sep 17). Consumption. Retrieved April 22, 2013, from

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