How To Obtain Office Furniture Almost Free

This is a short article on how to obtain office furniture almost free. 

In the state of NC, there is a state agency called the State Surplus Property Agency.  This agency is located near the state fairgrounds on NC 54, not too far off I-40.  Here the state has a warehouse, which stores property that various other state agencies have declared surplus.  The surplus agency sells it in one of two ways-by sealed bids and by individual pricing.

Office furniture is by individual pricing.  The largest majority of articles for sale are desks, chairs, and file cabinets.  They keep a constant supply and I have been told that the price gets cheaper the longer the item sits in the warehouse.  Predominately, these desks tend to be wooden and perhaps with a laminate top that looks like wood.  Some items look almost new, while others show varying degrees of use.  The better they look, the higher the price.  I don’t believe I have ever seen a desk for more than $20 nor less than $1.  Desk chairs, complete with tilt, swing, and casters are typically priced anywhere from $1 to $5.

Last year I purchased a large wooden desk with no visible damage, which had a computer keyboard drop down that slides under the desk, for $5.  The next day I purchased another wooden desk and a desk chair.  That desk had a place for a typewriter on the side, which made the desk an “L” shape.  It is designed to swing the typewriter down and into the desk to get it out of the way.  I use that portion of it for a FAX machine.  The desk chair, which was blue cloth, was $3.

Last week I purchased another desk, 72” long, without drawers, but with a keyboard drop down and shelf underneath it, for $3.  It was in excellent shape.  I use the shelf underneath for a subwoofer for the computer’s sound system.  On top of that I placed a bookcase top, which was designed for the desktop.  It came with a top bookcase with close-up, slide back doors.  Underneath the bookcase shelf was a mounted fluorescent light and a corkboard for placing notes.  This unit was $12, for a total of $15.  Both units were in good shape, without scratches or missing pieces, etc.

Today I purchased a student’s study carousel or desk, complete with a lap drawer and three side drawers (one for hanging files), and a bulletin board back with fluorescent light for $3.  It also had a bookshelf over the top of the light and bulletin board.  At the same time, I purchased another cloth desk chair with rolling casters, etc. for $2.

Other types of office equipment can also be purchased there, too.  Some items must be bid for with sealed bid, which are opened on a weekly basis. 

Some state equipment is found at other locations across the state.  The one I am familiar with is the one in Raleigh, NC.  I’m sure that other states also offer similar programs.