The risk of buying low-quality standing desks from overseas

Standing Desks for Work

The risk of buying low-quality standing desks from overseas

Anybody who shops online regularly knows that it can be a bit of a minefield. 

How do you know that you’re getting a product that’s quality, and how do you avoid cheap goods manufactured en-masse, using low quality materials?

The truth is, when you go with the lowest bidder, you often get what you pay for.

And that means products that:

  • Break sooner
  • Are of a poorer build quality
  • Lack essential features
  • Feel flimsy or cheap

Needless to say, you don’t want your standing desk to be any of these things!

A real example of the risk of poor-quality standing desks

We recently completed an order for a major Government organisation who learned this lesson the hard way.

Essentially, instead of going for a quality, locally made option, they opted for cheap low-quality standing desks from overseas.

After a few short months, their electric sit-stand desks were failing and motors seizing up.

They even told us of instances of one or two legs failing while the others continued to operate, making the entire table skew and leading to computer monitors falling off and breaking!

Needless to say, they weren’t happy – not only had money gone to waste, but they also had to deal with all the disruption that came with failing sit-stand desks.

Luckily, Ergomotion was able to help.

We produce standing desks in Australia, combining Aussie ingenuity and engineering with high-quality motors imported from Europe.

Now they’re much happier, and their staff are now free to enjoy all the benefits that an electric standing desk can bring into workplaces such as yours!

Spotting a low-quality standing desk

Sure, it may be cheaper upfront – however, replacing a poor or low-quality standing desk can be expensive.

Also so if you have to replace the desks in your entire workplace like the client we mentioned above had to!

Avoid that additional cost altogether by buying a quality desk right off the bat.

Just one problem: how do you spot a dodgy, cheap desk?

Red flag #1: it’s unstable

Stability is the number one factor that you should look for in buying standing desks.

We’re talking shaky legs, wobbles when you write and a general feeling of ‘flimsiness’.

Needless to say, your standing desk shouldn’t shake or wobble, regardless of whether it’s in sitting or standing mode (and more importantly, when it’s actually being raised or lowered!). 

Standing desk brackets should support the standing desk and should be strong enough to support and provide stability. Screws and glides should be perfectly fitted and aligned, while the whole construction should feel solid.

If it doesn’t, you’ll probably find yourself falling back into the trap of sitting all day – exactly the opposite of what you wanted to achieve in the first place with your height adjustable desk!

Red flag #2: loud motors 

The benefits of choosing an electric sit-stand desk during your work day are numerous.

Without a doubt the biggest one however is that you can adjust the height with the push of a button – no more need to fiddle with knobs and levers.

(Find out more about why you should choose an electric standing desk over a manual one in this blog post.)

When you hit that button, electric motors and hydraulic systems do the rest of the work, allowing you to seamlessly transition between sitting and standing.

If you ask us, this process shouldn’t only be fast – it should be quiet too!

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case when you opt for a cheap, overseas option instead of a standing desk made in Australia. 

One of the most obvious symptoms of a cheap, low-quality desk are loud and clunky motors. Not only is it annoying, but it’s a major distraction too!

At Ergomotion, we make standing desks in Australia, combining Aussie engineering and workmanship with high quality motors sourced from Europe, guaranteeing quiet operation.

Red flag #3: Slow speed adjustment

We know that you’re busy, and that you don’t want your work disrupted.

That’s why each of our standing desks is designed to adjust from standing to sitting in as little time as possible. With an Ergomotion desk, you can adjust between both modes in a matter of seconds.

Poor quality overseas standing desks on the other hand often have slow speed adjustment, taking upwards of 30 seconds (or more) to adjust the height of your desk.

Combine that with low lifting and load-bearing capacity, which can limit the amount of work you can perform using your standing desk.

Now, it’s pretty clear that you’ve bought a cheap, low-quality standing desk that may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Standing Desks in Australia

How to avoid low quality standing desks

So now you know what to look out for. But what can you do to avoid it?

Luckily for you, there are a couple of ways you can avoid accidentally saddling yourself with a low-quality solution like our recent client did!

Look beyond price – do your research!

Many office managers focus on the initial upfront cost of fitting out their office with standing desks.

While this is an important consideration, it isn’t the only one – think of standing desks not as another box of office paper or printer cartridges, but like buying a new printer or computer.

That means looking beyond price, and instead looking at value.

Before you decide on buying a standing desk, do your research.

In particular, you’ll want to focus on the specs such as:

  • Maximum and minimum height requirements
  • Desk width
  • Lift speed

Doing thorough research gives you an idea of what to look for a standing desk that you can compare from one product to another.

Check customer reviews as it tells highly of what customers have experienced upon buying the standing desk.

If you see a lot of complaints from customers, this is a clear red flag that you need to pay attention to.

Choose a manufacturer that provides a warranty

As with all other high-level office purchases, you should ensure that you order a product that comes with a generous warranty.

That way, on the off chance that your standing desk encounters problems, you can have them replaced at no cost, minimising the financial disruption that comes with a broken desk.

Of course, it would be better to not have to worry about your desk going haywire at all.

Luckily, a warranty can also be a sign of this too!

Not only does a warranty cover you in the event that something goes wrong with your desk (a slim chance if you do your due diligence), but it also signifies that your standing desk manufacturer is confident in their product!

For example, at Ergomotion we offer a 10-year warranty on the frame and electrics, giving you peace of mind.

Buy from a reputable company

And finally, make sure you’re buying a desk from a company that has a good reputation, and which you can trust!

There are standing desks available online from a range of manufacturers – where do you start?

We’ll tell you – you’ll want to start by looking at the manufacturer and their reputation!

First, see if you can even find a manufacturer’s name anywhere. Many cheap overseas manufacturers will release “generic” standing desks sold through resellers with no branding tied to them.

The problem is this often leaves you with no direct point of contact with the manufacturer, which can impact warranties and customer service when something goes wrong.

Needless to say, unbranded desks should be avoided altogether!

Okay, so you’ve found a desk with a name attached to it. The next thing you’ll want to do is look up the manufacturer’s website.

In addition to reviews, you’ll also want to take a look at their portfolio.

Standing desk companies will be more than happy to show off successful projects.

In particular, keep an eye out for case studies involving large businesses.

In addition to the aforementioned government agency, Ergomotion standing desks can also be found in:

  • The Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne)
  • The City of Kingston (Melbourne)
  • Caulfield Hospital Brain Injury Unit (Melbourne)
  • Ambulance NSW (Dubbo)

Click here to read more about our past projects.

Don’t fall for cheap, poorly made standing desks

Ergomotion makes high-quality standing desks in Australia

Don’t be like our most recent client and get stuck paying to replace an entire office worth of standing desks.

Get ahead of the problem by fitting your workplace out with high-quality, locally made solutions.

Ergomotion is in the business of improving the health and safety of individuals in business, healthcare, education and even in Government.

Ergomotion’s electric height adjustable standing desks are designed for everyone who wants to break free of their sedentary lifestyle and stand up for their health. 

Contact our ergonomics expert today on (03) 9579 1454, or click here to get in touch online.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

Google Reviews


Google Reviews

Andrew Pieterse 14/06/24

Great service and really quick shipping. It is great to know that you are getting quality parts from a Scandinavian manufacturer with your standing desk purchase rather than the cheap knock off stuff you get from other major brands. Reasonably priced for the quality too!

Janette Clarke 20/05/24

Guy was very accommodating with meeting him at a time that suited me. He assembled the desk prior to me collecting so I only had to carry it inside with help (it's pretty heavy). The desk is great, the storage racks underneath with the 6 x built in powerpoints was worth the extra money. I have a functioning & tidy workplace.
Guy was brilliant, I highly recommend.

Nickel 10/05/24

Have now purchased 2 stand up office desks off Guy, benchmark sales service from him, all via email, so easy; from quote to plug in, only matched by the strong quality of these machines, solid and stable. If only everything in life was this easy and reliable.

Jennifer Fadriquela 23/03/24

I purchased an EDesk this month from Ergomotion, and it was a remarkably smooth transaction. Guy was eager to answer all my questions before my purchase. As a first-time buyer of a standing desk, I truly appreciated how he addressed my queries with thorough details and provided options within my budget.

The delivery process was also smooth, despite a slight delay in the ETA. Guy ensured I received all necessary updates from the courier/removalist.

I've been using the desk for a couple of weeks now and I'm satisfied with it. It's sturdy on all height adjustments and the motor works as expected. I also like oak finish because it's clean-looking and suits my room setup.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and I'll definitely recommend Ergomotion to someone looking for their desk needs.

Josh Oliver 04/02/24

I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

Michael Cheung 18/01/24

Great service from Guy and the team at Ergomotion! Helped with all my queries and was able to source a standing desk part for me when many others weren't able! Highly recommend!

Shao Lei 30/11/23

Decent desk and awesome service. Highly recommend

Rod Hathway 10/11/23

Awesome experience. Great value, super customer experience, ordered, assembled and picked up in 24 hours!

Dom K 06/11/23

Skip the big name brands and buy from Guy instead, 10/10 linak parts with a very well built tabletop.

Chris Wu 06/11/23

I purchased the edesk from Guy at Ergomotion. Guy was a pleasure to deal with and the desk arrived the next day. Guy was highly knowledgeable on the desk and provided very prompt support on the installation. I can highly recommend Ergomotion.