Why Buying An Office Chair Online Makes Sense: The Hidden Costs Of Buying Offline

Many people fret about buying an office chair online. Quite naturally they feel that not being able to physically try out a chair before buying is a big problem. In an ideal world it would be nice to be able to test loads of things we happily buy on the net. Nonetheless we commit to buying all sorts of things from online stores without giving a second thought to trying them out first.

So why should it be any different for office chairs?

Why try before you buy isn't as simple as it seems
Lots of people will happily sit in an desk chair at an office equipment retailer for less than a minute and make a snap decision to buy.

It's likely they're looking for a new chair because their old one is worn out and uncomfortable. So it's only natural that whatever you sit in will feel great by comparison.

There is no way such an arbitrary test can possibly indicate whether a chair is right for you or not. Even if you sat in it for half an hour you still wouldn't know if it was suitable.

In reality you need to sit in an office chair for several days before you know whether it's right for you or not. The reason it takes this length of time to be completely sure is because your body needs to be comfortable with the way the chair feels. And the only way to be certain is to use it for many hours at a time.

It's unlikely you will get the chance to test a chair thoroughly without first buying it. So buying online makes as much sense as buying offline and it's a lot simpler too.

Why buying offline is a lot of hassle
At first it seems that buying offline makes sense. However as we've already seen a few quick minutes sitting in the display chair is meaningless in terms of knowing whether it's suitable for you. So you won't know if it's right until you tested it properly at work over several days.

Also you have to drive to go and buy the chair. Then you have the hassle of loading it into your vehicle and handling the delivery yourself.

And if the chair has to be returned then you have to box it back up, load it back in your car and use more gas to return it for a refund.

Buying online avoids a lot of these hassles

Why buying online makes sense
When you buy online it's far more convenient. For a start you don't need to be the delivery driver. Instead your chair gets delivered to your door by a service like FedEx or UPS. The only lifting you need to do is taking it out of the box and into your office.

Provided you approach your chair purchase online thoroughly it makes a great deal of sense to buy this way.

You will also have a far greater choice of chairs online than you will find at the typical office furniture store.

To begin with do some online research for suitable chairs to shortlist. Read reviews of chairs on sites such as this. Read customer feedback to see if there are any comments pointing out potential problems.

Once you've narrowed down to the chair you want the only other thing to check before ordering is what the return policy is.

Why a 30 day return period is vital
A good online store will allow you 30 days in which to return a chair if you find it's not suitable.

It's essential to have this sort of time to be really sure the chair is right for you. Depending on the type of chair you will likely want to fine tune the adjustments over the first few days. Then when you feel you have everything set properly it will give you the chance to try it under all sorts of conditions.

Does it still feel as comfortable when you've been sitting in it for 6 hours or more? Does it support you properly when carrying out different tasks such as typing, surfing the net, reading etc?

Also, think about the color of the fabric. Black or grey make a good choice as they will go with most color schemes. If you are looking to match the seat covering with your interior contact the supplier and ask them to send you samples of fabric. You don't want to find the color clashes with your surroundings.

If you do decide to return a chair bought via the web you’ll probably have to pay the return carriage, typically about $75. Although this seems to make online purchase more costly should you need to return you chair.

Compare the situation with an offline return. You have the cost and hassle of driving to the store again and lugging the chair in and out of your car twice.

Overall there isn’t a lot of difference between the two when you weigh it all up.

Some stores also charge a re-stocking fee so make sure you check thoroughly to avoid any nasty surprises.

Summary
Let's quickly summarize the key points we've covered here:

  • Sitting in a sample chair for 5 minutes is no way to know if it's suitable
  • Buying offline has hidden costs that aren't immediately apparent
  • The choice of chairs online is far more comprehensive
  • Insist on a 30 day return period so you can test the chair properly

Here's where you can find a quick summary of some of the best office chairs to place on your shortlist of potential chairs.

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