Chairs Buyer's Guide: Prices & Tips

Chair Prices 

Most offices should expect to pay at least $250-$350 for a good office chair.

While top-of-the-line chairs can cost as much as a few thousand dollars, they generally will not be substantially more comfortable than a $300 chair.

For the budget-conscious, less expensive chairs are available; some can be under $100 per model.   Budget seating is sold through direct vendors and superstores.

Buying Tips

Ask about repairs
Make sure to ask whether parts can be replaced in your office when repairs are required. If shipping is necessary, ask who will be responsible for freight charges, as they can be quite substantial.

Aggressive discounting is rampant in the dealer channel. Even if you are buying only one piece of furniture, you can still expect to receive about a 30 percent discount off the suggested retail price. As the volume of your purchase increases, the discount should continue to increase to nearly half the original list price.

In-house trials
If you will be buying many chairs at a time, it is fair to ask for a few samples to be brought to the office for an in-house trial. Employees can then vote for the chair they prefer. While a standard chair will be adequate for most people, it may be necessary to buy special chairs or chair accessories to support the needs of very short or very tall workers, as well as particularly heavy employees.

Industry standards
A chair that meets or exceeds BIFMA/ANSI standards is one that has been subjected to a series of tests for durability. This can be a good indicator of overall construction quality.