Every organization with office space has logistical and ergonomic needs for appropriate, effective furniture and equipment. These tools are essential: Without a proper desk or chair, employees would be working on the floor. From small family operations to massive corporate conglomerates, companies use tons of furnishings year after year; inevitably, they will go through a complete cycle of use.
So, what should an organization do with all of their used furniture and equipment?
There are several options. A business could donate them, and achieve some charitable contribution. Alternately, they could trash them, and just dump the bulk of it. Or, they could sell them. This choice presents the solution of dropping the overdue inventory with the added benefit of gaining a little revenue in the meantime.
Unless you are an office furniture and equipment supplier yourself, there are some obvious immediate hurdles to selling the items. Is there even a market out there? What price do you charge? How long will it take to get rid of the used pieces? And, in the end, how exactly do you go about making these goods available? Fortunately, there are a few routes to take.
Perhaps you have read that and thought, Really? Craig’s List? Isn’t that a sleazy, back-door option for private transactions? Well, yes, but just like any other tool you encounter in life, it is what you make of it. Think of Craig’s List as a face-to-face version of Ebay. Just as many organizations take advantage of online selling on Ebay, so too can they take advantage of Craig’s List.
At craigslist.com, an organization can simply place their items in a local listing at a specified price. Prospective purchasers review the listing, contact the organization, and arrange a meeting for potential pick-up if they like the product and, indeed, pay for it. This method requires minimal time investment to set up, and then puts the power into buyers’ hands to make the transaction. The only significant downside is that there is no guarantee of an immediate sell.
This answer is certainly more viable for some organizations than others, depending on location. A manufacturing plant in the middle of an industrial complex will not find a use, but an attractive storefront on a strip mall would be ideal.
Essentially, someone would be assigned to place the products outside, perhaps with a banner or other cheap form of promotion, and simply take the money from people purchasing the sidewalk items placed outside the store. One fun advantage is the possibility of high-visibility exposure, since even people shopping at other locations on the strip will see the furniture and, if the price is right, consider purchasing.
The old adage is still true: It’s all in who you know. We must face the reality that networking is an incredible valuable component of businesses and their leaders. Many of us have our current jobs because of who we know!
For this reason, it often makes the most sense to simply consider what other business connections may be interested in your displaced office furniture and equipment. Perhaps that local non-profit down the road could use an upgrade? Maybe the neighborhood church needs more furniture for their facility? Consider who has the most need and will pay a price, even if slight, to make a little turnover cash.
And those are the basic, most immediately available options. Other potential options include turning the items over to a private personnel to handle transactions, using a larger corporate contact to find a buyer, or creatively using them as excess inventory aside the usual fares offered at a location. All in all, used business furniture and equipment need not gather dust nor go away for nothing; creative, suave business persons should have no problem finding the optimal option!