Buying Used Office Furniture and Used Cubicles

There are a few things one should know before purchasing used furniture and used cubicles:

First off you should have an idea of how many cubicles you want and approximately what size cubicle will fit in the office space. Some used furniture dealers will provide space planning and design at no charge if you purchase the cubicles from them. Free space planning is a great deal, it helps the furniture dealer know exactly what cubicles and parts to ship and the purchaser does not have to pay extra for design. uses a CADD (computer assisted drafting and design) program called Giza which is specifically made for the furniture industry. Be prepared to spend a lot of extra money on design services if you purchase from a "New" furniture dealer. If you have a plan showing the office dimensions, doors, columns, etc. most used dealers will be happy to do a space plan or advise you on your options. If I have the building information I usually send a design with the furniture pricing as part of my proposal.

Used cubicles came from some one elses office and they picked out the fabric, laminate and paint colors to match their office. They were also custom designed for that particular client. Cubicle sizes vary greatly from 4x4 telemarketing stations with low partitons to 10x12 executive stations with 80" tall partitions. Spend a little time and think about what kind of cubicle is best suited for your office needs. If you want to buy used cubicles you will save a lot of money but your choices will be limited to what's in stock. No used dealer can stock every color and finish. In my experience once people are moved into the cubicles and are working in them you can hardly notice the laminate on the desk tops or the fabric on the tackboards, they are usually covered with stuff. The most noticeable aspect of a cubicle is going to be the exterior fabric color. That should be your main concern. Some used furniture dealers offer "Refurbishment" of used cubicles. New fabric, paint, laminate and trim colors are specified by the purchaser (with help from the dealer of course) and then applied to the used furniture. This process allows the purchaser to pick exactly what they want. It does cost more than purchasing used, but probably half as much as purchasing new furniture.

Used furniture websites are a great way to see what's on the market. If you don't see anything on their website that interests you call the sales person and let him know what you are looking for. Used furniture inventories arrive daily and sometimes it takes days to get them up on the website. The used furniture dealer is also an excellent source of information. Most of the people in the used market have been in the furniture industry for a long time and can offer great advice.

Cubicle installation. I can write a book on installation but it woud be more boring than this webpage. Hard to imagine I know. You will need to have the cubicles set up. There are two ways to do it. Hire someone or do it yourself or "the hardway and the easy way". If your company is in California I can have our crew install it or we have a large network of installation companies all over the USA that work with us and I'd be happy to get several quotes for you. Installation costs vary and there are many factors that influence the cost: Number of cubicles, size, complexity and location. The average cost for installation of a 7x7 cubicle will run between $125 and $200 per cube. I always include detailed installation plans and have walked several clients through the installation of relatively large jobs. The choice is yours, and I will help with instructions and walk you through how to install or I will locate an installation company for you.

Everyone has heard of companies going out of business and thousands and thousands of workstations flooding the market so they think they can pick up a cubicle for next to nothing. Well the truth is it costs the used furniture dealer a lot of money to break down, ship and warehouse the cubicles. When a cubicle is purchased the labor to pull all the parts and prepare them for ship out is huge. Even with all the expenses involved you WILL save thousands of dollars when you buy used or preowned cubicles. The average list price for a new cubicle is $12,000 or more. There is usually a 50-80% discount from the list price depending on the quantities that are ordered, but you're still looking at $3000-$6000 for a new cubicle. As Mike Burns says "The used furniture dealer puts liquidity in the market." If there was not someone to purchase or liquidate these items and then find companies that need these products, most of the used furniture would be thrown away and companies would be forced to buy new. The used furniture dealer usually purchases large inventories of hundreds of cubicles at a time. Most business fims don't need that many and they can not handle the excess or find additional parts if needed. Most used furniture dealers carry a stock of commonly needed parts for the cubicles they sell.

Here are some commonly used terms you may hear when looking for used cubicles-

1. "8x8 loaded!" this refers to a cubicle which measures 8 feet by 8 feet, which use to be the most common size for a cubicle. These days cubes are getting smaller as corporations try to stay in business by shrinking the amount of needed office space and in turn making the cubicles smaller. It is very common to have 6 feet by 6 feet cubicles. "Loaded!" means the cubicle has at least 2 overhead shelves or flipper doors with lights, tackboards, 2 sets of drawers (pedestals) a computer corner worksurface and 2 strait worksurfaces.

2. "Telemarketing station" a very small workstation commonly used for telemarketers where the occupants just need room for a computer and phone, but can be used in real estate offices, mortgage offices, outside sales positions or as "hoteling" stations for visitors.

3. "Panels" this means the cubicle partition or wall. I had a client who use to call them fuzzy walls.

4. "Powered Panels" most cubicles are prewired for electrical and have this option. If you're only going to put in one or two cubicles powered panels may not be necessary. Almost every cubicle system has a "raceway" where data and telephone lines can be concealed and ran through.

5. "Worksurface" this is the desk top. Most workstation components hang from the cubicle partitions there are a few exceptions though.

6. "Flipper Doors" most cubicles have shelves that hang near the top of the panel. The flipper door turns an open shelf into a covered overhead unit that can be locked.

7. "Pedestal or Peds" this refers to the drawers that hang underneath the worksurface. It's really a desk drawer set. I'm not sure where the word came from.

8. "Workstation, Systems Furniture, Modular Furniture" they all mean cubicle.

9. "Task light, or Tasklight" this refers to a fluorescent light mounted underneath the open shelf or flipper door.

10. "Preowned Furniture" used furniture

11. " Refurbished Furniture" old furniture with new fabric, paint and laminate.

12. "Spaceplanning or Space Planning" a design of your office showing how the cubicles will be set up. It also shows the various sizes and components of the cubicle system which is very useful for the installation.