Why a $75 Task Chair is the Most Expensive Chair You Can Buy

With a simple google search, you can find a decent looking task chair for your office for as little as $75. While on the surface this sounds like a great deal and in most cases, the chairs look attractive and well made, the truth is these imported chairs might just be the most expensive chairs you can buy.

This is true because of the cost of ownership. Even for a small company, no one buys a chair or any other product for that matter, hoping that it will last for a year or less. But, that is the case for a $75 task chair. The typical failure rate for a well-made, mid to upper end task chair should be 1 – 2 percent within the first 5 years. The vast majority of those failures will be the pneumatic cylinder that makes the chair go up and down. Those cylinders are a quick and inexpensive repair and almost always fully covered under the chair warranty.

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The same isn’t true with the imported $75 task chair. In many cases, these chair parts are not even replaceable. Here’s a list of reasons why a $75 task chair is the most expensive task chair you can buy:


  • You get what you pay for. A $75 task chair is worth $75. The cost of manufacturing that chair was likely around $25. How long would you expect a $25 chair to last?
  • We’re all different shapes and sizes. Just like a car seat, we need our office chairs to adjust to our bodies, not the other way around. A $75 chair does not adjust.
  • The foam used in these chairs is the cheapest available. It’s a single layer, low density foam that will “bottom out” in about a year of constant use. That means you’ll be sitting on plywood in about a year.
  • According to the Workers Compensation Research Institute, the average cost of a worker’s compensation claim in 2017 was almost $30,000. People in task intensive jobs need a chair built to support the user throughout the 40 hour work week. This is when a $75 task chair can get mighty expensive. 
  • $75 task chairs will break and when they do, you’ll pay at least $75 for a service call just to have the technician look at the chair. This is particularly problematic if you’re shipping these chairs to out-of-state offices. Don’t forget to factor in the time spent coordinating the service calls and tracking them to make sure the chairs are fixed properly. This combined cost far exceeds the original cost of the chair.
  • When the chair does break, you may just throw it away and buy another. That is both bad for the environment and expensive. Plus, it costs time and money to cut another purchase order, expedite it and coordinate delivery. 
  • Most $75 task chairs come in black. If you have a lot of employees, all that black can make for a pretty drab looking office. 
  • Employee attraction and retention are major issues for many companies. A $75 task chair isn’t exactly a recruiting tool. 

While inexpensive task chairs may seem like a good idea on the surface, they are easily the most expensive chair you can buy. The cost of ownership alone will end up costing you more money than you wanted to spend for a chair in the first place. When you factor in worker comfort, health and safety, a $75 task chair might also be a dangerous choice.

At Team Office, we sell high-quality, good-looking task chairs that are built to last. Our task chairs start at $175 and when you sit in one, you’ll feel the difference. Contact us today and we’ll send you a chair to try for yourself.

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