Important Questions to Ask When Purchasing School Furnishings

You have a purchase order to be filled — student desks, computer desks, media cabinets, chairs, bookcases, and on and on — by the single item or by the hundreds of units. No matter what method you use to purchase them and from whom, there still is a process to be followed when buying furnishings for the schools in your district. But, there is also some information that is important to have before you finalize those purchases.

Knowing the questions to ask when purchasing furniture for your classrooms is as important as knowing what furniture to buy. The answers you receive can go a long way toward determining the “right fit” of product and supplier for your needs.
  • Will the furniture you are considering buying fit in with the type of classroom environment you are trying to create? Will the furnishings you choose provide you with sufficient flexibility for your curriculum and physical space requirements? Are there add-ons that can expand the furniture’s function and can they be purchased later?
  • What is the durability rating of the furniture you are looking to purchase and under what conditions of use? Will your choice last for a planned period of time? Do those furnishings meet the safety standards for your area?
  • What are the reputations of the manufacturer and authorized distributor? Can you check references?
  • Can you inspect furniture samples before purchasing? What is the return policy?
  • Who services the warranty — the manufacturer or the distributor? Is an extended warranty available and do you need to purchase it? Is the warranty transferable?
  • What after-sale support is available for repairs? Who assumes liability for damages in the case of performance defects?