Excess office furniture- sell, donate or refurbish?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Calebt0702, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Calebt0702

    Calebt0702
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    After being bought out by a large corporation several years ago my employer went through round after round of downsizing layoffs when the economy went south. Our in house staff of over 100 is now down to less than 50. Entire departments were done away with leaving sections of our leased building empty and depressing. The owner of the building does no upgrades or maintenance and we have been turned down by our corporate office for any request for facility updates and even repairs unless they are of dire need. Ignoring our request to relocate to a smaller more modern space when our lease ended, Our corporate overlords renewed instead so we will be in our oversized rundown building for at least another 5 years with no intention of growing our workforce or subleasing any of the excess space. We have been socking desks, file cabinets, conference tables, and many other items away in our warehouse and it is filling up fast. Work on the building would have to be done on a volunteer basis and at this point i completely understand why our Employees do not want to donate their free time to a job they may not have next month... Any suggestions on what we can do to not only get rid of the items filling our warehouse, but also to update our workspace? One manager suggested a "parking lot sale" since we are located in a prime spot off a busy road. My concern here is I'm sure with this method we would have to record any profit as revenue. This would get rid of the items, but we would still not get to use the profit how we want plus we would have to ask employees to once again volunteer time to man the sale... Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?
     
  2. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Calebt0702. What country or state is the business based in?
     
  3. Calebt0702

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    Thanks. we are located in the US, Tennessee.
     
  4. Fergal

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    Perhaps you could find a second hand furniture store or auction house in your area, that would be interested in purchasing all of the office furniture from you as a single lot?

    What were you hoping to use the proceeds for the sale for? I ask because you say that if you declare it as profit, you wont be able to use the funds how you wish.
     
  5. Calebt0702

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    We would like to use proceeds towards much needed building Maintenance such as new carpet or paint or possibly putting in an employee break area. Aside from our lobby and executive offices wing the rest of our workspace is very dated and rundown so much so that we no longer bring outside clients in. Instead we have reps running all over town or taking clients out to lunch which In reality costs the company a LOT more money than a presentable office space they could meet with clients in ever would...
     
  6. Fergal

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    Why do you feel that would be an issue? Once you have sold the items, surely you can use the proceeds of that sale to purchase whatever you wish for the business? You will only have to pay tax on your profits, and if your costs increase you will have less profit.
     
  7. Calebt0702

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    Unfortunately we were told that any profit made would need to he reported toward revenue and any purchases we want to make must be approved by our corporate purchasing office. This office has turned is down for any items that are not considered necessities since the takeover. (Part of the reason out space is s
     
  8. Fergal

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    Calebt0702 why do you want to do work on the building, when it appears to be against the orders of company management?
     
  9. amwarner

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    In terms of strictly "getting rid" of your excess furniture, I would suggest contacting an Auction company and having an Auction sale. Just last month, I attended one of those types of sales where bidders were bidding up chairs, executive tables, etc. The company may make more money that way, though a longer process depending on the Auction company, their schedule and whatever percentage you pay them. Usually between 10 - 15%. BUT ... they'll do everything in their power to get you the maximum price for that furniture.

    You could contact the furniture stores and see if they would buy it, but their strategy is, and always will be, to negotiate the lowest possible price. You might have to haggle a bit if that's what you choose.

    Parking lot sale, as you suggested, could be a good idea as well. But that would involve moving furniture in and out of the building for items that sell or don't sell.

    Either way, just offered my 2 cents ... good luck.
     

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