Herman Miller Aeron chairs are well-known office chairs with a high price tag. The good thing is that these chairs last a long time and can be sourced on the used furniture market at discounted prices.
Not only will you be getting affordable, quality office chairs, but acquiring a pre-owned Herman Miller Aeron chair would keep one more chair out of the landfills.
But with so many online and physical stores in the used furniture space, it pays to do some homework before making the investment. There are just too many things you can end up regretting with a pre-owned item.
Here are some things to have in mind if you want to get all the benefits of a Herman Miller Aeron, without paying the full price, and without ruining your decision.
How Much of a Discount Can You Expect?
Before we dive into the options, let us first do a reality check: how much of a discount can you really get on a used Herman Miller Aeron chair?
The price of a pre-owned Herman Miller Aeron can vary sharply.
For example, we spotted a used black Herman Miller Aeron on eBay for $520. Rework had one listed for $660. Amazon showed one for $775, and 2ndhnd.com had them from $670 to $1039.
That’s a $500 difference across the internet!
So why is there so much variation in these prices? What you end up paying for a used Herman Miller Aeron chair depends on several factors.
The marketplace you visit
Every marketplace, whether online or brick and mortar, has its own markup.
Selling on eBay for instance, is cheaper than selling on Amazon. The standard Amazon fee is 15% along with a $0.99 fee per item.
On the other hand, eBay fees for a standard account are more or less below 9.15%. That means selling on Amazon can eat into a seller’s profit margin, and that can affect how much they end up charging you.
There might also be a price difference if the sale is by a private seller versus a furniture dealer.
One great advantage with a private sale is the potential for finding a chair in good condition at a ridiculous rate. That’s because a private seller is typically the original owner.
Depending on where you are sourcing it, your shipping and handling cost will also vary and have an effect on the total cost you pay.
What condition is the chair in?
This term means you are buying a used Aeron in the condition it is in with no guarantee or returns allowed.
These sales are typically from private sellers and local used furniture dealers. Although it might sound risky, there are times when a ‘used as-is’ Aeron can be in really good condition.
The term refurbished runs on a long spectrum. Some companies will clean the chair and simply freshen it up. Others will do a full inspection, tune-up, and cleaning.
There are companies that will also replace components that are prone to breaking down. Others will even go further to offer a warranty and trial period.
The level of input by the dealer will definitely be reflected in the price you are asked to pay.
This term means that the chair has been lightly used, if at all.
It refers to Herman Miller Aeron chairs that were returned or that may have been showroom models. Because of their more or less untouched history, they could be priced a bit higher than the more intensely used chairs.
Classic or Remastered?
Herman Miller released a new version of the Aeron in 2016, called the Remastered. That means it has been only six years since the Aeron Remastered has been available.
One consequence of this is there are very few Remastered Aerons available as pre-owned pieces. When they are, their prices will range from $800 to $1,000.
It also stands to reason that pretty much all used Aerons being sold right now are Aeron Classics, and most of them will be over ten years old.
Where Can You Purchase a Used Herman Miller Aeron Chair?
There are numerous marketplaces that offer used Herman Miller Aeron chairs. Some are operating purely independently, while others are officially recognized Herman Miller dealers.
Some independent dealers you might already be familiar with are:
- Facebook marketplace
The authorized dealers for Herman Miller are listed on the Herman Miller website. A thorough list can be found at this link.
The list includes all the Herman Miller authorized retail stores in the USA and in 22 other territories worldwide. That includes places like China, Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Myanmar!
Things to Consider Before Buying a Used Herman Miller Aeron
The warranty provided by the Herman Miller company only applies to the original owner.
If you happen to buy it second hand, the warranty will become void. However, some second hand dealers offer their own warranties. It is always a good thing to investigate what the warranty stance is before making a purchase.
Not all furniture dealers offer returns on used chairs though many of them do. It may be even harder to find a private seller who will accept returns.
Either way, it is critical to ask all questions upfront. This will make sure you know the full risk you might be taking.
Some companies provide furniture protection services for parts and in-home service. They can even cover more than the manufacturer’s warranty for parts.
If this level of coverage is what you’re looking for, then be prepared to pay extra for it.
It’s important to refer carefully to the terms and conditions for any used furniture dealer.
If any product is returned after the delivery, some dealers apply return charges along with return shipping fees. Always read the fine print regarding cancellation fees.
What features do you want in an office chair?
Depending on the specific features you want in an office chair, a used Herman Miller Aeron may or may not be your best bet.
Although the Aerons are known for having long-lasting quality, there are some shortcomings to be aware of in purchasing a pre-owned Herman Miller Aeron chair.
Let’s walk through some of the Aeron components that are prone to breaking down.
Not everyone likes to roll around in office chairs, but if you are one of those who do, poorly functioning casters are simply unacceptable. That’s why you should keep a close eye on the casters of a used Herman Miller Aeron chair.
The pneumatic gas cylinder gives seat height adjustability to many office chairs, and the Herman Miller Aeron chair is no different.
If this component isn’t working or is prone to breaking down, be sure to know about it before making a purchase. Maximum ergonomic experience just won’t be the same without it.
Foam arm pads
If you use armrests a lot, your experience of the used Herman Miller Aeron chair would probably be uncomfortable without its foam arm pads.
So if this is something high on your list of desired features in a pre-owned Aeron, look out for foam arm pads that might be defective or missing entirely.
Lumbar support and adjustability are among the most sought-after ergonomic features of an office chair. Without a functional lumbar pad, your used Herman Miller Aeron chair will lack seat depth adjustment. This may not be something you can negotiate on.
Shop local and in person if you can
When you are able to, go the local and in-person route. That way you get to try the Herman Miller Aeron while looking out for issues like stains and defects.
Start with local authorized dealers and office liquidators. You can also search used-office-furniture dealers by state in the USA on FurnitureFinders.
Be reasonable about your expectations
With used office furniture, not many things (if any) are guaranteed. There is no concrete way to tell the extent to which a used Herman Miller Aeron has been…well…used.
Was it gently used by a petite lady, or shoved around by a big and tall guy? Was it kept in a clean office with the AC unit on, or was it stuck in a cluttered garage in sweltering heat?
The way and for how long it was used will affect how much wear and tear you will be getting. A Herman Miller Aeron that has already been heavily used will have a lifespan that is much shorter than you might expect.
Consider Herman Miller Aeron Alternatives
Of course, in your search for a budget-saving bargain, you could also try affordable alternatives to the Herman Miller Aeron.
They are potentially more budget-friendly, and carry the added advantage of being new. Buying new is a significant benefit because you get all applicable warranties, customer service and support for repairs.
The Workpro Quantum 9000, for instance, looks so much like a Herman Miller Aeron, but costs under $600. That’s still less than the price of even many pre-owned Aerons.