Luxury use caution

May 11, 2005 18:01 · 591 words · 3 minute read

If you do work that requires a lot of sitting, you don’t want to skimp on your chair. The cost of a good chair is small compared to the cost that bad ergonomics can extract from your body.

Of course, not everyone will agree on what the perfect chair is. I’ve spent about 3 years working at companies where my chair was an Aeron. It’s a shame that the Aeron was one of the symbols of dot com excess. The fact of the matter is that it’s a darn good chair. I’ve been using computers for a long time and the Aeron is the most comfortable chair that I’ve sat on. Though it’s always good to take frequent breaks and move around, the Aeron always felt great to sit in, even for long stretches.

Given that I’m still in the startup phase of my business, buying an Aeron seems extravagant. But, my current chair is old and makes my rear end hurt. So, I bought an Aeron, but I did shop around.

I took a chance and purchased from Luxury They sell new condition, open-box chairs. At the time I ordered, their website was fairly sparse. The page described the “highly adjustable” model of Aeron, with the leather arm upgrade, for $599. That may sound like a lot, but when you shop around, that’s a good deal! Sit4Less charges $968 for the same thing! (Note: Luxury Chair charges $75 for shipping, sit4less offers free shipping. Even accounting for the shipping difference, Luxury Chair is still much cheaper.)

When the chair arrived, it was indeed in excellent condition. However, the chair I received was an Aeron basic, not the highly adjustable model. That would not have been a good deal. Sit4Less charges just $649 for the Aeron basic with free shipping.

Mistakes happen and the important thing is what is done to take care of the mistakes. Without fuss, Luxury Chair paid the return shipping (thankfully including pickup, so I didn’t have to haul this 55 pound chair to UPS) and then sent me the correct chair which arrived today. This second chair is the correct model and is also in excellent condition. My only complaint would be that it took two weeks between the time they received my returned chair and I received the new one. Otherwise, though, Luxury Chair took good care to ensure that I was happy with the product. I should also note that they’ve improved their website to highlight that they have both basic and highly adjustable models of Aerons, so this type of mistake is not as likely in the future.

One thing to be aware of is that Luxury Chair is not an authorized Herman Miller dealer. This means that the 12 year warranty is provided by Luxury Chair, not Herman Miller. (The tag on the bottom of the chair that reflects the chair’s date of birth has been removed.) I haven’t noticed troubles with the Aerons I’ve used, so I was perfectly comfortable with this arrangement.

All in all, Luxury Chair came through with the product as advertised at a price that was significantly less than anyone else, including other open box deals that I saw. If you’re considering an Aeron, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Luxury Chair.

Update (5/8/2007): This post has been a magnet for comments about The comments are almost universally negative. The original title was “A Good Deal”, but I’ve changed it to “Use Caution”. They worked out fine for me, but apparently they haven’t for others. YMMV.