When shopping online there are many factors that go into one’s purchasing decision — availability, customer service, product reviews, pricing, brand reputation, and more. Of these factors, one always seems to be staring you right in the face: Price. Let’s face it, for most of us this is the sticking point of whether we choose Company A or Company B in making that final purchasing decision. The thing is, in that quest for the lowest price, we can lose track of other equally important factors that contribute to the overall value.
The perception of value is obviously a personal one, but most of us hold true to some basic value-points when shopping online. How you go about finding these values takes time and research but one often overlooked value is that of shopping with an Authorized Retailer.
To give you an example, we’ll walk you through a scenario we hear about — unfortunately all too often — when the value of an authorized retailer is overlooked during a shopping experience.
The Challenges of Shopping for Value Online
Let’s say, you’ve decided you need a new office chair. You spend weeks researching what office chair is right for you and decide upon a Herman Miller Aeron chair. In your search you’ve learned the average price is around $750. Kind of steep for what you want to pay. But you ask yourself, “can I get it cheaper?” Then you find it, Aeron at $550. A savings of $200?! Score!
You purchase your chair but as soon as you unbox it you notice something seems off. Upon further inspection you realize it’s a used chair! (In our 20-years of experience we’ve heard customers receive chairs in great and terrible used-condition from unauthorized online retailers, so this part is a coin flip.) You may not be thrilled by this deception but you saved $200 so you decide to keep it anyway.
After a few weeks, months, or even years go by, all of the sudden parts begin to fail. That’s because used chairs can be anywhere from 2 to 20 years old. The most common is the cylinder (height-adjustment) on the chair stops working, costing you $125. Then, it’s often the chair mechanism that blows, costing you $275. Finally, add in $45-100 for repair costs and another $95 in shipping if there is no local repair place nearby. The costs can add up and that $550 chair soon becomes a disappointing $1000+ used chair.
Not everyone will have this experience. You may be one of the lucky who purchase a chair this way and never have an issue. This is just one of the many problems with buying used office furniture. You assume all the risk. They appear fine on the surface, but what you don’t know is the true story of the chair.
This is where the value of a reputable retailer becomes so important.
The True Value of an Authorized Retailer
When it comes to premium office furniture, an Authorized Retailer (or Official Retailer) is your extra layer of protection. Most importantly, it let’s you know the manufacturer confirms that the product being sold to you is authentic, brand new, and directly from them. That’s one quick way to eliminate the possibility of a knockoff or a used product.
An authorized retailer certification also ensures you’re getting the manufacturer’s warranty. Depending on the office product, these warranties can be very generous. If something happens to your product it will be repaired with no out-of-pocket cost to you, using new manufacturer parts. This alone can saving hundreds of dollars over the product’s lifetime. (For example, that Herman Miller Aeron chair we referenced before has a 12-year manufacturer warranty.)
Shopping with an Authorized Retailer may not get you the cheapest initial price but it will get you the best value for your investment over the long term and that’s the kind of money-saving deal you’ll be glad you made for years to come.
Things to consider when shopping for your next office furniture purchase:
- How long do you want this product to last you?
- Is the business an authorized / official retailer?
- Is the product new or used?
- Does it have a manufacturer warranty or retailer warranty?
- Is the price too-good-to-be-true?
Office Designs is an Authorized Retailer
As a proud authorized retailers of brands like Herman Miller, Steelcase, Haworth, Humanscale and more for more then 20 years. We’ve helped people and business find the right office furniture for their need. If you have any questions about authorized retailers let us know in the comments below or give us a call 1.877.696.3342.