It may sound strange but now more than ever is the time to avoid buying cheaply, as this invariably means worse value for money in the long run.
It has always been a false economy to make your buying decision purely on price, although most people will agree that, at the time, the cheapest does seem to be the most attractive.
This is true even more so now than in the past, with the internet and EBAY giving you the same product from different suppliers, all with their best prices.
So the only thing to go on is price, as there is not much to differentiate between the suppliers other than the price.
This is fine if all you are after is a tin of baked beans or other product which you know to be exactly the same, irrespective of from where you bought it, but what if you need more than just some beans.
If you require a level of service to go with the product then the matter becomes more complicated. You already know that the same products can have different warranty periods, depending on the supplier, and this can make a massive difference to the value for money aspect.
For instance and extra years warranty on a digital camera worth £250 can make the £20 cheaper price seem very expensive.
With office furniture it is even more complicated. Most desks and chairs are used in a business environment where a fault or breakdown can be a big problem. So having a solid warranty on the furniture (including all moving parts)can be very useful. But this warranty has mean something.
If it means “take the defective items of office furniture back to the supplier who will investigate the problem and get back to you”, then clearly its not as worthwhile as “ we have a network of furniture fitters throughout the UK, and can have one of them with you within 24 House”.
The latter is far more useful and in a business situation, far more valuable.
But it’s not only warranties that can make a big difference. Product knowledge and experience sort the professionals from the box shifters. Continuity and availability of spare parts are very important if you are planning for your office furniture to be working for you for the next 10 years or more.
Most sellers who rely on offering the cheapest price, have to buy as cheaply as possible, which usually means changing their suppliers on a frequent basis.
Sometimes their continuity only extends to whatever is left in the container which they bought from China, and spares are only available on special order with a delivery time of 6 to 8 weeks.
So when you next think about buying something because it seems such a bargain, make sure that you are not just being blinkered by the cheap price,