What's the cheapest way to buy an original Eames lounge chair?
December 10, 2016 11:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm hoping to buy a new Eames lounge chair and ottoman either next year or in 2018. What would be the cheapest way to get it? So far I found only 2 options to get (somewhat) reduced price, are there any other tricks?

Option 1: Buy it from MoMA store. There's a 20% sale every December. Chair goes for $3948 + membership for $85 + white glove delivery (can't skip nor cancel it) for $460. Total: $4493.
Option 2: Buy from DWR.com. Herman Miller sale is every November-December with 15% off. Chair costs $4662 + $296 tax = $4958. However, occasionally there's an AMEX offer to get $500 DWR giftcard for $400. The total after 10 gift-cards bought via Amex would be $4000.

Buying from craigslist/ebay feels too risky, and decent quality chinese knock-offs are too expensive. (2k for fake when original can be bought for 4k).

Can anyone share their experience?
Appreciate any help/advice.
posted by usertm to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
DWR has it right now for ~$3400 (on sale, plus tax) as long as you get it in walnut, with the amex gift card thing that's below $3000, but I don't think it's easy to plan for where it will be available and what the prices will be in 1-2 years... The best advice is probably to save well.
posted by brainmouse at 11:17 PM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ack, sorry, that price is chair alone, no ottoman, but combined it's only $4200.
posted by brainmouse at 11:18 PM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would not really expect to find an Eames piece there, but Herman Miller does have a surplus center in Zeeland, MI. It might be worth a phone call, but don't get your hopes up.

Edit: Actually, they seem to have some sort of "monthly drawing" going on for an Eames chair and ottoman. I think it's for the right to buy it at a special price but I am not clear on that. Maybe call to find out?
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:57 AM on December 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can find these on Craigslist from time to time. I'm not sure what's risky about it? If you're afraid of getting a knockoff, just don't pay too much and, likewise, watch for deals that are too good to be true.

If anything, I find that furniture like this sold secondhand tends to resell for prices somewhat close to the price for a new item. (For example I'd expect to see this chair on Craigslist for somewhere in the $3000 range.)

I'm also unclear on why a $2000 Chinese knockoff would be a bad way to go, since it's not like there's a furniture police going around penalizing people for not buying name brand furniture. It's fine if you want the real thing and nothing else will do, and you'll always have a niggling worry in your mind that you didn't get what you really wanted. But in that case, $4000+ is how much it costs to live free of that worry. Is it really worth that much to you?

As far as I can see, your choices are $4000+ real thing purchased new from the source, ~$3000 real thing purchased secondhand, or $2000 for a knockoff. Those are the choices that exist. Choose whichever is preferable to you.
posted by Sara C. at 2:02 AM on December 11, 2016 [6 favorites]

You can also buy direct from the source, but I don't know that that option would be any cheaper than what you've listed already.

I've seen a decent condition one in an antique store in Holland, MI, but it was a "white" one, which adds $1000+ to the original price, so that one was selling for $4000.
posted by LionIndex at 5:28 AM on December 11, 2016

If you want a new one, the above are your best bets. You're not going to find a new one on Craigslist or anything. There is no overstock that dealers buy and have extra of; this is a consistently in-demand piece. DWR never sells floor models, they go back to Herman Miller and presumably get sold at that surplus center but since I have never seen one there and am a serious collector/reseller of Eames chairs and parts my guess is that they're offered to employees first, because Herman Miller takes really good care of their employees. In Europe and the Middle East, Vitra produces the chairs; if there is a very good exchange rate, sometimes you can find one for "cheaper" and ship it from overseas.
posted by juniperesque at 6:34 AM on December 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you know a willing architect or interior designer, they could pass along some or all of their discount to you. When I was in a remarkably similar situation some years ago, looking for a new Eames lounge chair at the lowest possible price, I ended up locating it from a store somewhere in the mid-South (Tennessee, perhaps?) that had a 10% discount, free shipping, and no tax. That was better than waiting for Room & Board's 10% sale and buying the chair locally.
posted by DrGail at 7:23 AM on December 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thank you, everyone!
Will definitely keep an eye on Craigslist and maybe befriend an architect. :)
posted by usertm at 9:45 PM on December 11, 2016

« Older Cooking FIlter: See's Candies and your taste...   |   Can you help me identify this ant? It's invading... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.