How to Buy or Sell a Used Standing Desk Converter
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a pre-owned standing desk converter there are things you should know, and our staff experts who review these products every day are just the people to help. We’ve asked them to write up their best advice below – just click the tab for BUYING or SELLING.
One thing to note about standing desk converters is that the term “standing desk” is often used interchangeably to describe them. This article deals specifically with the desktop converter variety, the kind that sit on top of a traditional fixed-height desk. If you’re looking for info on buying or selling a full-fledged height-adjustable desk check out our article on How to Buy or Sell a Used Standing Desk
How to Safely Buy a Used Desktop Converter
Like a boat, barbecue grill, mountain bike , or any mechanical device caution must be taken in buying a used item, and standing desk converters are no exception. We wish we could send out one of our desktop converter experts to go give it a thorough checkout for you, but since we can’t we asked them to come up with a checklist of things that you can go through yourself when inspecting a pre-owned desktop converter.
The first thing to understand about this product category is that it’s actually no less than six sub-categories: Z-Lift, X-Lift, Hover, Post-and-Base, Electric and Desktop Riser. Each design type will have a different criteria for evaluating the condition of the equipment in question. For example, a Z-lift or X-lift converter is going to be far more stable than a hovering or post-and-base type converter. So our recommendation is to first read our detailed review on the product in question so you can at least know what it’s stability would have been like when it was fresh-out-of-the-box new.
The easiest way to find a link to our review for any product in the overall category of desktop workstations is to look for it in our comprehensive Standing Desk Converter Reviews round-up, look for it in the right sidebar menu, or just search for [product name]+”workwhilewalking review” in your favorite search engine. We also have a specific article for How to Sell a Used Varidesk, given specific market dynamics of this highly popular brand.
On to the checklist:
- Warranty. The warranties on items like this are typically not transferable to a new owner, so you want to make sure that the desk is in really good condition and is going to last long enough to make the cost worthwhile. Out-of-warranty replacement parts, as with most things, could wind up costing you more than a new desktop workstation—and don’t expect free shipping. Note that for many models there are no user-serviceable parts; warranty replacement is handled by shipping out a replacement unit and having the customer ship back the defective one in the box its replacement arrived in. If you do wind up needing replacement parts down the road it would help to have the original invoice on the desk since they typically do not have serial numbers and the easiest way for the manufacturer to determine which rev of the product you own is to look it up in their order processing system.
- Test stability at your standing height. The first thing anyone does when they’re checking out a new desktop converter (or full standing desk) in the showroom is to take it up to its maximum height and push it around a little to evaluate its stability. There’s an incredibly wide spectrum of stability in this product category, as noted above, and it can vary greatly with the height of the unit (most have a height adjustment range of 17″-20″). The important thing is to test the unit out at your full standing height, to see how stable the setup will be for you. If it seems excessively wobbly as compared to our description of a new unit in the test lab, it’s possible you might be able to tighten up some bolts somewhere, but chances are that its past its prime and you might want to take a pass on buying something that’s on its last legs. Too much wobble can be incredibly annoying and counterproductive, especially if it impacts your typing proficiency. If the unit has a monitor arm as part of it make sure it doesn’t shake too much when you’re typing, or you might wind up with a mild case of vertigo after long work stretches.
- Check for wear on key components. For most units this comes down to whether height adjustments are easy to make, and how well they hold after adjustment. Look for too much “slop” in any joints, or bounciness, such as on some keyboard platforms.
- Check the work surfaces for signs of delamination, deep scratches, or discoloration from sun exposure. Some wear and tear is to be expected, and desktops can be replaced easily enough—the base is usually the more expensive component that you’ll want to focus your attention on. But if there’s any exposed MDF, such as inside the grommet holes (if it has any), be sure to check that there haven’t been any spills that go absorbed into the wood fiber. Basically you’re looking to make sure the work surface is flat, not warped, and doesn’t have any exposed seams where glue may have dried out, leaving the desktop susceptible to humidity, liquid cleaners or bacterial build-up.
- Testing with a full load. The best way to check a standing desk converter’s performance is with your own stuff on it. If you use dual 27″ monitors on a heavy duty monitor arm clamped to the back edge of the workstation, and just a light keyboard and mouse on the keyboard platform, try to simulate that kind of weight and balance on the unit in question. For most standing desk converters some effort is required from the user when lifting the platform to standing height, and in some cases this requires a little bit of leaning over. Make sure that lifting and lowering the unit with the same amount of weight you intend to keep on it doesn’t cause strain on your lower back, or any other musculoskeletal difficulty.
How to Sell Your Used Desktop Converter
Getting rid of a standing desk converter is pretty easy—if you’re willing to let it go for free. But if you want to try to recapture some of your original investment in the desk it becomes a bit more challenging.
The first problem is the warranty will not transfer to a new owner, so if the unit hasn’t been maintained in excellent working condition the user would be taking a significant risk on replacement components should anything go wrong after the purchase. (See the other tab on this article for things that the well-informed buyer will likely want to test your desk for before plunking down their cash.)
You’ll also need to decide whether you want to cast a wide net and look for buyers nationally, or just in your immediate local area. You’re bound to get a better price with a national audience but you’ll need to disassemble the desk (if it’s the kind that comes apart), find the proper packaging to keep all the heavy parts for from banging into each other in transit, or breaking through the box, and then pay a whopping shipping bill after all that. Our advice? If you’re using a national platform like eBay limit your offering to a reasonable driving radius from your location so the customer can come pick it up.
So with that said, here’s what our standing desk converter experts recommend you do to try to maximize the value you can retain out of your original investment.
- Try eBay. The good news is there are a lot of standing desk converters for sale on eBay. The bad news is there are a lot of standing desk converters for sale on eBay. So there’s a lot of competition but unless you own one of the more popular brands of standing workstations there’s a good chance that yours will stand out as unique. And if yours is a model that comes in make sizes and colors it is unique in its combination. Someone out there will have the available space and decor that your desk will be a good match for, but it may take some time to find them. The real reason to check eBay first is to get an idea of where to price your desk.
- Try Offerup or Craigslist. Both have plenty of listings as well, so it’s the same good news, bad news story, but there are generally fewer on these platforms than on eBay. Of course there are also fewer buyers on these platforms.
- Try local-only online classifieds like NextDoor.com, selecting just your immediate surrounding neighborhood. The GOOD news here is that there are generally very few standing desk converters for sale, and local buyers might be more trusting because they can come look at it in person and make sure it’s in good condition before committing to purchase.
- You can quickly spend a fair amount of pocket change getting your for-sale listings noticed on eBay, Offer-up, et al, so if you’d really rather save the hassle consider donating your standing desk to anon-profit organization, like a school, a church, or The Good Will, and at least enjoy a tax deduction for whatever amount you decide it’s worth.
- Some standing desk makers offer a conquests bonus to get you to switch to their brand for your next standing desk, just like the car dealers do. For example, iMovR offers a $35 rebate on any of their standing desk converters if you or someone else in your organization has previously purchased one from Varidesk, Ergotron, Flexispot, Kangaroo, Winston, Helium, Autonomous, UpLift, Fully, or any other competing brand.
If you’ve already tried all the easy ways to sell it, or just don’t have the time and patience to even bother listing it online, try donating it for a tax deduction. And if you’re upgrading to a higher-quality standing desk converter or full standing desk see if you can at least earn a conquest bonus. The best strategy? Do both!