Don’t look now, but used furniture is beginning to hit the market again – the first burst of activity since the dot.com era. Corporate downsizing is pushing lots of used furniture into the pipeline once again, said Art Hasse, owner of Kentwood Office Furniture near Grand Rapids. “There are entire buildings that are being vacated by companies,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of downsizing. That means that there is more used office furniture that’s not that old that’s available.”
The furniture that is being snapped up by resellers is top quality. Hasse said his company is seeing more used office furniture that is newer as well. “Mortgage companies, for example, when they downsize, tend to have top quality office furniture,” he said. “This isn’t a bunch of junk out there. We’re seeing more good furniture now than there has been for a while.”
The increase in quality furniture hitting the used market also increases the number of used buyers, Hasse said. Companies that might have bought new are seriously considering a used purchase as a way to cut costs.
“With the tough economy, a company that might typically buy new is turning to used. They are squeezed from a profit standpoint so they turn to us,” Hasse said.
Kentwood Office Furniture has a new logo and new marketing campaign to promote its environmental efforts. “The customers that are out there are very green focused. And when they look at it, the option of used furniture becomes better and better for them. Buying used furniture is probably one of the best ways to protect the environment, he said.”
Excerpts from Monday Morning Quarterback, July 21, 2008