It is easy to justify spending a small fortune on designing and populating the business with quality, and aesthetic productivity conscious office furniture if you are not the CFO. For most businesses, especially start-ups and not-for profits, quality is sacrificed.
There are other options however. Businesses expand and fold. In both instances, their office furniture becomes available at auction or tag sales for tremendously discounted prices. Amazing finds of antiques or high end furniture for pennies compared to their original price tag.
Scour the local newspaper for used office furniture sales or businesses that are closing. Visit them personally and ask them if they are selling their furniture. And, yes. eBay of all places. eBay often has excellent quality furniture for auctions that begin under 10$ and bargain prices in the buy it now feature. Choose a local vendor to avoid the shipping costs.
Have care for the condition of the office furniture. Insist that you see the pieces up close, get multiple angles in pictures, and question the seller assiduously. Ask about warranty and shipping for all the options.
The only sacrifice you should have to make is in the quantity and the relative condition of the office furniture. Good quality furniture is available at low cost allowing you to furnish your office with respectability and comfort.