Buying used chairs is an excellent opportunity to improve the seating for churches while still having more than enough money to help a congregation in other ways. Pews, while very popular in the past, are no longer the preferred method of seating in churches.
Instead, churches want to use their space for multiple purposes.
If you look through the history of church pews, you’ll find that they initially came about because wealthy church members wanted a place to sit rather than stand. The wealthy purchased the pews and, as you might have guessed, didn’t allow others to sit in them.
However, modern churches value all of their members and allow everyone to sit and worship.
Church chairs are a great seating option because they’re stackable and offer churches the option to:
- Adjust the layout for smaller programs
- Offer different learning opportunities
- Let members of the church use the space
Bible classes and the like are easier to set up and hold when there’s not a large pew taking up space. You can also create spaces for different age groups by simply rearranging the chairs, which is something that is impossible with pews.
If you’re looking to upgrade, replace or add new seating, church chairs are the go-to option. But is it worth the price for new church chairs, or should you purchase used chairs? Let’s find out.
Cost of New vs. Used Church Chairs
New church chairs for sale are expensive, and for a church that is on a strict budget, the added expense may not be worth the benefit of a warranty. The cost of the chairs that you can expect to pay are:
- Used chairs can be purchased for as low as $18 each when buying in bulk
- New chairs cost $40 or more, depending on the type of chairs and bulk purchases
So, from a purely monetary standpoint, it makes more sense to purchase used chairs because they will cost about 50% less than their counterparts.
What Do You Lose by Buying Used?
If you purchase used chairs, the one thing that you’ll lose is the warranty on the chairs. Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not transfer the warranty over to the new owner even if the warranty period is still ongoing.
For example, if the chairs were purchased new just a few years ago and the original warranty still had four years left on it, the warranty is likely voided upon resale of the chair.
While you may never need the warranty, it’s an excellent addition if something happens to the chair or if it breaks. This is one of the main reasons to buy new chairs versus used models. In addition, new chairs may come with a lifetime structural warranty.
If a chair breaks, the warranty would replace the chair if everyday use causes the breakage to occur.
What to Examine If Buying Used
When a congregation opts to purchase used chairs, there are a few key points to focus on:
- View all of the chairs for any damage to the frame
- Examine the chair fabric for tips or other imperfections
- Contact the manufacturer to confirm the warranty status
If the seller does not allow you to view all of the chairs you plan to purchase, this may be a red flag indicating that something is amiss with the chairs.
You want to do your due diligence before paying for the chairs to ensure that they meet your congregation’s needs. For example, not all chairs are stackable, so the lack of stacking options may be a dealbreaker for a church that wants to remove chairs or change layouts.
If you can work with a manufacturer that offers bulk discounts on their products, it makes the most sense to purchase new ones. Often, the high cost for a new chair comes down significantly when you buy dozens of chairs at once.
When you can fit new chairs into your church’s budget and have the option of a lifetime warranty, this can save your church significant money in the future.
There’s truly no one correct answer for choosing to buy new or used chairs. In most cases, new is ideal, especially if the chairs will be used often, such as in a church. However, gently used chairs will suffice if your budget doesn’t provide enough funds for new chairs.