Second Hand vs New Salon Furniture

Some of the toughest decisions you will need to make as a new salon owner concern your salon’s finances. Plan it all you want, an unforeseen expenditure will occasionally muddle the waters of your carefully crafted budget before you launch your new salon and start turning the investments into profits. When new expenses crop up, you may need to trim over and there to be able to furnish a new salon to the tiniest detail.

Many salon owners find a helpful solution in selecting several second-hand pieces over getting one-hundred percent brand new furniture. Some research for used furniture online. With a healthy dose of creativity and imagination, they are able to turn second-hand chairs, stools, and workstations into an awe-inspiring salon ensemble.

But not everyone is born with an inner talent for finding exquisite used furniture. Furthermore, not all salon owners are blessed with a designer friend who can find the perfect vintage piece and place it exactly where it needs to be in the salon so that it becomes an object of adoration by your customers. After all, no owner likes repelling customers with a massage bed that’s overly worn out or a reception desk that gives a poor first impression.


Obviously, there are pros and cons to both options – second-hand and new furniture. If you are a prudent business planner, you can get the best of the two worlds. Nevertheless, shopping for second-hand furniture is a game of hit and miss and it may cost you dearly if not played well.  

Second Hand vs. New: What Goes on Your Shopping List?

When you consider what type of furniture fits within your budget, second-hand or new, these planning principles can come up handy for producing a penny-wise shopping list that will turn heads on the salon’s opening day.

Decide which furniture must absolutely be new.

New pieces must not only be aesthetically pleasing but also tick two other important boxes – functionality and hygiene. It can be difficult to sort out second-hand furniture when its design doesn’t fit in the salon layout and, instead of serving as a functional piece, it makes your work harder.

Another problem with used furniture is that it’s typically not sold in custom packages. A custom package includes multiple items in the same style and can help you avoid colossal design mistakes. With second-hand, there is no guarantee that you will find enough beauty beds and spa lounges that match the already chosen cabinets. You’ll need to spend more time trying to solve this scarcity issue later.

In view of cleanliness and functionality, here are the items from a salon furniture shopping list that are absolutely better when bought new:

  • Beauty beds
  • Hairdressing basins
  • Spa lounges
  • Colour bars

As key pieces, the items on the above list will make or break your salon’s functionality. A must-have list of crucial new pieces will give you more room to play with tastefully selected second-hand stools, used trolleys and a custom-made reception desk that will provide that oh-so-desired unique allure to a salon.

Pick the save vs splurge items.

Ask any hairdresser who has had problems with the rotating mechanism of an overused squeaking chair and they’d tell you they wouldn’t do the same mistake ever again. It’s not only unproductive to try to adjust it all the time, but it is also terribly annoying to a customer who is in your salon for a pleasant experience.

Occupation-specific pieces, such as a hairdressing chair for a hairstylist or a manicure table for nail technician, are so much in use that they get substantially run-down with time.

Therefore, don’t be stingy with salon furniture items you know you’ll use on daily basis. New furniture it’s totally worth investing in if it supports the main line of your business.   

Run a market comparison.

If you decide to go for a mixed selection of second-hand and new furniture, create a shopping list with an old vs. new section (or a spreadsheet – if that’s your forte) and do a market research to see which items belong to each of the columns.

Furnishing a brand new salon or even a low-scale revamp gets done so much faster if you have a clear budget overview that will help you remain flexible and creative.

This list will help you move items between the columns and become more confident that you’ll come up with an optimal plan as you move along with the shopping process.  

Check previous owners, warranties and quality assurance.

“A picture is worth a thousand words” – goes the old saying. Image inventories of second-hand furniture don’t always tell the full story, though. It would be amazing if second-hand retailers could provide the same level guarantee for used furniture but that’s simply impossible because of so many resellers and brands competing for the customer’s attention.

This can turn out to be a no laughing matter if you end up with an item that resembles nothing to the poorly lit original photo uploaded on the second-hand shop’s online inventory.

New furniture manufacturers work harder to maintain the brand’s reputation. In terms of quality assurance, here is why new furniture wins the race:

  • As a first owner, you know the item’s origin and can avoid unpleasant surprises that may show up as hidden faults in used furniture.
  • New furniture comes with an appropriate fresh-from-the-oven product description  – you get what you paid for.
  • Brand new furniture comes with warranties and other QA backup, allowing for simple and easy, and often free repairs and maintenance.

Although second-hand picks beat the prices of new salon furniture, if you think in the long run, you will be able to convert the initial expenditure to its lifetime value and actually come up with a different price.   

Think of how you are going to scale up salon furniture as your business grows.

Sooner or later, each salon owner must remodel a part or the whole salon. If you’ve taken the path of used furniture, when scaling up, you can face problems like not enough new chairs, trolleys, beauty beds, cabinets and shelving. You can’t just pick up the phone and order some more. Insufficient pieces can require a design overhaul and actually end up costing you more. Missing furniture accessories and mismatched workstations can really slow things up.

Therefore, before shopping for salon furniture, keep in mind your plans for growth, and think of how what you buy at the beginning fits into the long-term business picture.   

Price is an important factor when deciding what salon furniture will beautify your exciting new endeavor. Although there is no one else but you who can make the final choice of what works for your salon furniture shopping list, the above tips will point you in the right direction and help you avoid typical beginner’s mistakes.  


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