Is New Open-Box Aeron Chair on EBAY Actually New?


Have you ever wondered what’s up with that New Open Box Aeron on eBay? We did, so we purchased this Aeron chair on eBay for $649.11. This could be the best deal on the internet or a complete bust. Keep reading to learn more about what we found.

Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Breakroom Blog?


New Open-Box Aeron eBay Links




One thing that stands out as interesting about our new, open box Aeron chair is that it is actually a Classic Aeron, which they stopped making in 2017 as they switched to the Remastered Aeron. This means technically it could be from as early as 1994, when Herman Miller first released it.

According to eBay, the definition of a new-open box product is in new condition, but may not come in the original packaging. Typically, these products are used for demonstration or testing purposes, and all the parts are included. If the listing was accurate and truthful, we should have a Classic Aeron with all the original parts.

At first glance, the chair is definitely a Classic, so we can surmise that it is a minimum of four years old. It looks good, but it does smell like it has been painted, so a bit of a red flag there. While the paint helps it look new, that’s not what we were expecting from a product labeled “new-open box.”

Smelling Paint on Aeron Chair

After unboxing and inspecting the components, it is time to put the chair together and get a better idea of what we have on our hands. The screws were way harder to secure than they should have been and I suspect that is due to some spray paint clogging up the holes.

Attaching the Backrest on The Herman Miller Aeron

The base of the chair frame is also either dirty or the paint is coming off. Upon closer look, you can definitely see where someone had been resting their feet and wearing down the texture on the frame. A truly new chair wouldn’t have those smooth spots that are created over time. Again, the chair still looks clean, but it is probably better categorized as a refurbished chair.

Base on The Aeron Chair

To thoroughly inspect the Aeron, we are going to have to take apart some of the major components, beginning with the armrests. The first iteration of the Aeron armrests was a sort of sock that stretched over foam padding. Eventually, they came out with a more comfortable armrest that had a plastic core covered with padding that created a super soft feel. The armrests on our chair have more of a firm feel, which leads me to believe that this is an after-market part.

After unscrewing and removing the arm pads, there is no question that they are a new addition to the chair. Unfortunately, they don’t provide the same softness as the original Aeron pads.

Next, we removed the mesh from the seat and back to look for any signs of use. Typically, this will be right where all the crumbs and dirt will get trapped, so it can reveal a lot about how much this chair has been used. We found that the seller did a good job of cleaning the seat back and painting it although the paint still comes off on your hand.

Backrest Mesh on Aeron Classic

As we continued to dismantle the chair, we came across another interesting find: the hardware being used in the back is different from the seat. The back is held in place with torque screws while the seat uses simple Phillips head screws. The torque screws were actually used on older chairs before the company switched hardware, but nonetheless, any chair that came from the factory wouldn’t use a mix of the two hardware types.

As expected, the front part of the seat, where your legs would rest, is pretty dirty. It is a hard spot to get into to clean and most refurbishers don’t want to take the time or put in the effort. The channel in the frame where the mesh sits is actually pretty gross. Clearly, this chair is not “lightly used” and has put in some miles.

Dirty Seat Frame on Aeron Classic

We also took a moment to remove the waterfall-style pad in the seat only to find that the after-market pad still has the protective covering on the 3M strip, so the pad isn’t even secured in place.

3M Tape Still on Waterfall Pad

Taking the cover off of the chair’s mechanism will allow us to take a look at the manufacturer’s data. We are super interested to see what we will find, especially since the seat back is clearly from a different chair and the chair came with a Hermann Miller tag and instruction booklet attached, giving the appearance that it is new.

We took the cover off only to find that the sticker that should list the manufacturing date was missing. You can even see where the sticker once was because of some adhesive residue. With a little more searching, we found another stamp on the chair that shows that the core of the chair was produced in 2009. Either way, it is clear that we didn’t get the best deal on the internet since this is clearly a refurbished chair and not a new-open box as advertised.

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