Ever since I was a wee little lad, I’ve had desires for possessions that exceeded the money in my wallet. One of those possessions was the Herman Miller Aeron chair that I’ve wanted since 2001. When I realized that the chair cost $800+, I promptly added it to my ever-growing list of “Things That I Want, but My Wallet Won’t Let Me Buy.” Even though the chair was was out of sight, it never left my mind, especially when I worked long hours at my desk at home and experienced back pains from my value-quality office chair that I got for $59.99 + tax. Eventually I decided that I needed to give this seemingly unattainable product a home in my room and I started to pursue it. This is the story of how I was paid $400 to keep a brand new, fully loaded Herman Miller Aeron Chair.
Back in June 2011, I took a mini vacation to a hotel in New York City to take a mental break from starting a new business, and as I sat in my hotel room, I had two goals:
1) Figure out a way of [legally] getting wifi without paying the exhorbitant fee
2) Devise a strategy to get an Aeron Chair for minimal money
I accomplished goal # 1 in ten minutes, but goal # 2 took a bit longer. My strategy was to use my negotiation skills to purchase three chairs at a deep discount, then I’d sell two chairs for enough profit to cover the cost of the third. This seemed like a very easy task until I realized the incredible demand for these chairs, as if they were personally crafted and sold by the King of Morocco. The sellers seemed to leave very little room for negotiation because the demand greatly exceeded the supply and this left me in a bind. The goal that I hoped to accomplish within one week proved to require a bit of patience to see a return. Unfortunately, patience isn’t my forte!
I stepped my search into high-gear and gave myself a deadline of two weeks to complete the mission. I used a website to inform me within seconds of any Aeron chair that was listed on Craigslist and whenever there was a new listing, I immediately contacted the seller to negotiate a deal before anyone else knew that the listing existed. This method proved to be successful, as I was able to purchase a total of three brand-new, fully-loaded, size “B” Aeron chairs with the posture fit add-on and a full warranty for a total of $700—a deal that would’ve otherwise cost me $2,607 if I purchased from Amazon.
Within three hours, I picked up my chairs and drove home looking like an office supply kleptomaniac, as they were awkwardly jam-packed in the backseat of my car. Soon after, I listed two of the chairs on Craigslist with a detailed description and many images at different angles. I found buyers for both chairs within a few weeks and eventually sold them for a total of $1,100.
In the end I was able to have my perfect dream chair plus $400 cash, by simply spending time devising a strategy and using a bit of effort. As a result of this, my back feels great when sitting in the chair for hours, and there are two other two happy people out there who are having the same comfortable seating experience as a result of my strategy that was birthed in a hotel room.