Save Money (and Space) on Your Home Office Furniture

The whole paradigm of making a living has been changing for some time, and one phenomenon is that lots of folks are working from their flats nowadays, rather than commuting to an office or shop. Unfortunately, many of these home office workers think that they need to furnish their home offices in the same way that their big-business counterparts furnish theirs, and end up spending a lot of money and taking up a lot of space unnecessarily. But by remembering the lessons learned whilst setting up their personal living space, home office workers can save a bundle of money, and not find themselves maneuvering through an obstacle course just to get to the water cooler (or even needing a water cooler, for that matter).

When the average business finds itself in need of desks, chairs, file cabinets and the like, the normal procedure is to ring up the local office furnishing store and order the necessary items. Great way to jazz up the office or prepare for a new operation or employee with a minimum of effort, but that convenience comes at a price – often a very high one. In your home office, you’re likely operating on a much smaller scale, and the overhead rate on your own labor is quite probably much lower than that of a worker in a large business. You can afford to spend a bit more time shopping around and still come out far ahead by considering these alternatives:

Lease or buy?

If you are convinced that your need for the new furnishings will only be temporary, you might do well to take out a short-term lease on the furniture, rather than purchase it outright.

Shop auctions

Many businesses dispose of items they no longer need by consigning them to auction. They pay for such convenience in that they typically get a fraction of what they originally paid for the items. You, on the other hand, reap the rewards in the form of being able to purchase those items at much lower cost than new. Of course, you have to invest a bit of time to carefully inspect the items on which you will be bidding, but that time will be rewarded in the savings you’ll realize. One caveat: keep in mind that auctions (and auctioneers) tend to bring out the competitive spirit in buyers, and that if you get caught up in that spirit, you may end up actually spending more than if you bought the items new at a retail store. Know what you actually need, know what it is worth, and stick to a firm maximum bid. If you need a little extra money for that item you really need, consider using a service like

Furniture resale shops

Again, larger businesses will often sell their no longer needed furniture to a resale shop, often at a ridiculously low price, just to get it out of their way and off their inventory lists. Check around in your area for resale shops and go visit their showrooms (which are frankly more likely to resemble warehouses than showroom displays). You’ll be rewarded with much lower prices, and as an added benefit, you’ll likely be able to sell the items back to them, should you no longer need them, and still be out far fewer pounds than if you’d purchased the items new.

Online suppliers

Online furniture stores can offer significant savings over the price of similar items purchased locally, but there are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration before buying online.

  • Beware the description “as compared to…” – There are companies that strive to make their less-expensive products look identical to the “big guys’” products – after all, imitation is the ultimate form of flattery – but appearances aren’t everything. When you buy inline, you don’t have the ability to look beyond the surface, and might end up buying something that isn’t as well made or as durable as the original.
  • Take shipping cost and schedule into consideration – If the cost of the furnishings, including shipping charges, is acceptable, and you can afford to wait while the item is being shipped, you are in good shape. Just remember that freight items rarely have a guaranteed delivery date, and that your goods might be delayed beyond the promised schedule. If all other factors are resolved and a few days’ extra delay doesn’t impact your plans, you can make out quite well by purchasing online.

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