Our economy is definitely changing. The long awaited tariffs on imported Chinese products has begun in many industries, including the office furniture world. We have been anticipating this for some time, although we were not completely sure if or when they would take place. The effect has resulted in an increase in 5-10% for some of our imported product. The date in which the increases began to take effect range from as early as Friday 9/28/18 to late November, with some companies opting to wait out increases until after the first of the year. We have seen some of our vendors pass down the increase directly to us as a dealer. We have also seen some importing companies not increasing prices at all, and some shouldering part of the burden and splitting the increase.
Ultimately the increases will eventually be felt by consumers not only within the commercial furniture sector, but also in residential furniture. While a good portion of our business will be affected, we at Office Furniture Solutions thankfully have always offered a vast array of products to our clients. Our used and refurbished office furniture is an option to consider to avoid being affected by any price increase. Our offering of office furniture made in America, or our products made in Canada are certainly strong alternatives as well.
These tariffs I am sure will have both positive and negative effects on the industry, and I am curious how others may view them. It is certainly a solid move to boost the sales and availability of American made goods – and jobs. However so many of our clients are looking for an inexpensive, and increasingly more often a FAST solution. The stocked imported product is usually the most readily available, and a low price. While Chinese product is often seen as just cheap, we have managed to align ourselves with manufacturers who offer a low cost, high value proposition.
In any case it is a great idea if you are considering purchasing furniture for your office to act before the end of the year – if you could. Tariffs are expected to increase to 25% in January. Adding to your incentive to act fast is the “Accelerated Depreciation” article in the new tax plan. This allows companies to apply the cost of the furniture and it’s depreciation amount allowed by the IRS this year as opposed to spreading it out over multiple years as in years past.
We are excited for the new opportunities that the economic changes bring. We will continue to serve our clients, and work hard to provide the best we can in terms of value. Our interior design, and project management allow for some serious added value when dealing with Office Furniture Solutions. Whether New, Used, Domestic, or Imported, we have the selection to meet deadlines and price points where our customers need them.