Deducting and Buying Business Furniture for Less
Take a look around your office. Everything there is helping your business run smoothly and improve productivity, including the furniture. Office furniture is an expense that many owners see as a way to add to the décor when in reality it’s functional equipment that can make a big difference to your bottom line.
And it’s a good thing office furniture is considered essential during tax season. Every piece of furniture you buy, finance or rent for the office can be written off as a tax deduction in Section 179. Even freelancers and consultants that work out of a home office can claim business furniture on their taxes.
The cost of warehouse shelving and shipping can also be deducted as a business expense if furniture needs to be stored. It’s a low-cost solution for stockrooms and large manufacturing plants that is even more affordable when you claim it on your taxes.
Finding the Best Deals on Office Furniture
Now that you know furniture is a deductible business expense, you can breathe a little easier when it’s time to purchase new pieces for the office. It’s a sizeable investment, but you can get great deals using the savvy shopping strategies below.
Look for Going Out of Business Sales
An unfortunate truth of opening a business is that many fail to find their footing. When that happens, the owners will start liquidating to avoid debt. This can give you an opportunity to pick up office furniture for pennies on the dollar.
One hang-up is actually finding local going out of business sales. They happen sporadically, sometimes with little notice. You also won’t be able to return the furniture as it will likely be a final sale.
Buy Furniture at an Auction
Another option is to look for bankruptcy auctions in your area. When a business goes into bankruptcy, their assets are auctioned off to help minimize the debt. These assets include office furniture. Shopping at an auction is typically the best way to find the biggest discounts. The one downside is you may not be able to test the furniture before you buy.
Check public listings for bankruptcies to find out when and where auctions will be held.
Shop the Local Outlet Stores
Outlet stores specialize in offering office furniture at a discount. They’re able to offer great prices because they buy in bulk and also take advantage of bankruptcy auctions. Be prepared to spend at least a few hours at the outlet store. Many are huge spaces with thousands of items, often with little organization. Also, don’t forget to ask if they offer a return policy just in case.
Buying From Online Outlet Stores
Online outlet stores operate by buying in bulk. Overstock.com is a good example of this type of store. Like local outlets they search online and offline for great deals then mark items up slightly to make a profit. The one downside is you won’t be able to see the furniture in person and will have to rely on reviews to gauge the quality and comfort.
Cheaper Sister Stores
Many of today’s major chain stores have sister companies that target shoppers who are looking for items in a lower price range. For example, Crate&Barrel has CB2. Both stores offer great style and quality, but CB2 items are more budget-friendly. These sisters stores are sometimes solely online ventures, so again you may have to forgo seeing items in person to get a lower price.
Don’t Write Off Craigslist
Craigslist isn’t just for individuals that want to sell personal items online. Vendors now use it as a free marketing channel to reach local customers. Use the search filters to look for furniture offered by dealers if you need numerous items or office essentials like cubicles.
Just make sure to hold onto your receipts and proof of payment after you make a purchase in case the IRS audits you. It doesn’t matter who you buy the office furniture from, but you will need to prove how much you paid.