There are plenty of reasons you might need to unload your used cubicles, chairs and conference tables.
Maybe your company is victim of the bad economy and is going out of business. You could be moving to a office in another town or state and would prefer not to lug all the old furniture to your new digs. Or, maybe you’ve grown weary of complaints from employees about creaky chairs and outdated reception furniture and are upgrading.
Whatever your reason, don’t just toss your old furniture in the nearest dumpster. If it’s still usable – sell it! Not only will you be doing your part for the environment, but you could also be helping a new startup save a few bucks furnishing its first office.
In order to get the best return on your used office furniture, follow the advice below.
1. Clean: You’ll have a much easier time finding a buyer who’s willing to pay a good price if your workstations aren’t covered in coffee rings and your chairs aren’t full of crumbs. Take the time to wipe down desks, tables, cabinets and chairs, paying special attention to sticky and discolored areas. Vacuum upholstered pieces and treat stains.
2. Repair: While you probably don’t have the time or expertise to go into full furniture refurbishment mode, try to make obvious fixes before selling. Tighten or replace screws on loose table legs and armrests, reattach any dangling plastic lining on desks and tables, and spray a little WD-40 on squeaky parts. If you can, track down the original assembly manuals to pass on to the buyers.
3. Price: After you’ve cleaned and fixed all your wares, you’ll need to set a price. Unless you have barely-used, high-end furniture, don’t plan on making a mint off your sale. Factors to keep in mind when pricing are how much you paid for the pieces originally, the quality of the furniture (solid wood should fetch more than particle board), the condition (don’t try to make a lot on pieces with a lot of wear and tear), and the style (neutral colors and clean lines will probably appeal more to people than super unique pieces).
4. Photograph: If you’re posting an ad online, you’ll definitely want to include pictures of the furniture – shoppers love a good visual. While you don’t need to enlist the skills of a professional photographer, don’t just snap a shot or two of a pile of desks or stacks of chairs. Flip through an Ikea catalog for inspiration. Take individual shots of each piece using good lighting. Don’t shoot pictures with people sitting in chairs or desks covered in files, computer equipment and yesterday’s lunch. Even though the buyers know the furniture is used, they don’t necessarily want to see who was using it before them.
5. Advertise: How you sell the furniture is largely dependent on how quickly you’d like to get rid of it. If you’re looking to sell it all fast, consider contacting a consignment shop or used furniture dealer who will come and look at the furniture, offer you a price for the pieces they want and then move it for you. You might not profit as much by using this method — as the buyer has to factor in their own potential profits — but you can’t beat the convenience. You could also hold a yard sale (parking lot sale?) to clear house: just be sure to advertise in your local newspaper and online ahead of the sale to ensure good turnout. Finally, you can post classified ads online, in newspapers or in trade publications. Make sure to include information about what’s for sale, including photos, dimensions, condition and asking price.
6. Negotiate: Even though you might think you set a fair price, remember that your goal is to be rid of the extra furniture, so be willing to negotiate with potential buyers. Oversized pieces might be harder to sell because they’re more difficult to move, so be prepared to come down in price to accommodate folks who might have to rent a van or hire movers. You can also consider cutting prices for people who buy several pieces (after all, they’re saving you the time it takes to deal with additional buyers). Finally, items that aren’t selling might be priced too high, so be ready to lower prices to attract buyers. Anything that just won’t sell, plan on donating to a charity.
Looking to get rid of your used furniture in a hurry? Contact Arnolds Office Furniture. We buy entire office buildings of furniture as well as smaller projects.