Big box stores are great for many reasons. You can get multiple items on your shopping list at one location, the prices are often great, and the return policies are typically fairly lenient. Whether you’re shopping at a big box store in person or online, there’s a lot to love about these retail giants.
But big box stores have their downsides as well, some of which were revealed in the recent pandemic. Many consumers turned to smaller retailers to counteract the deficiencies in the big box market and get the products they needed. For example, when people started working from home exclusively and found themselves in need of a desk from which to work, many looked to smaller, stateside companies making minimalist computer desks, since the big box stores were all sold out.
Even now that it seems like we’re through the worst of the pandemic, there are still several great reasons to avoid big box stores. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t shop for a minimalist computer desk at one of them:
Shipping and Supply Chain Issues
Most of the shipping and supply chain issues that affected the availability of minimalist computer desks during the pandemic have begun to sort themselves out, but some still exist. In addition, demand for minimalist computer desks is way down, making them more readily available. However, there are other issues that can pop up at any time and affect the availability of products.
Most of the desks found in big box stores are manufactured overseas. In normal times, products coming from overseas can get to you fairly quickly, but it seems like there is no “normal” anymore. Ordering products from overseas is a risk—especially if you need them right away. You could be forced to wait weeks, or even months, for your desk to arrive.
When you order from a company that manufactures their products in the United States, you greatly reduce the risk of your desk being backordered or having the order canceled on you altogether.
Lack of Customer Support
Another reason to avoid big box stores is due to inconsistent customer support. For many people, a piece of furniture like desk is a big purchase. They want to be able to ask questions about it before they decide to click the “purchase” button. A small company is typically happy to get on the phone with a potential customer or will answer an email inquiry in a timely manner. Finding a knowledgeable and helpful customer service representative at a big box store can be difficult.
Products Made Overseas
As we mentioned earlier, many of the products sold in the big box stores are made overseas and shipped to the United States. If you’re someone who cares about supporting the American economy, look for companies that make their products here. One company to consider is RLDH, a company that designs and builds minimalist computer desks and other office products in California.
Made from Materials that Are Not Eco-friendly
If being eco-conscious is important to you, you’ll be hard pressed to find a minimalist desk at a big box store that fits the bill. Most of the desks sold in these stores are made from materials that contain all kinds of nasty chemicals, including formaldehyde. Although this situation seems to be improving, as more large stores are starting to sell products that are a little friendlier to the environment, it’s still difficult to find desks made without chemicals at big box stores. Instead of only considering products sold at big box stores, look to purchase from smaller companies that pride themselves on making and selling products made from CARB-compliant materials.