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.

Google Reviews


Google Reviews

Nancy Tseng 22/04/22

I would highly recommend this electric desk to all ages, the the best decision I’ve made for my sons study table. The service was excellent, prompt in responses and on time schedule with the delivery time. The removalists were very careful bringing into our study room on the second level.
Very happy with the purchase!!

Farhin C 12/04/22

Amazing e-desk - sturdy, spacious and great quality wood. It fits well into the home office. Assembling it was mostly straightforward with the video! Thanks Guy

Nick G 11/04/22

I'm only just reading all the Google Reviews now, just before writing this, after having purchased and built a desk; and this is basically going to be saying the same thing as all the others, the owner, Guy, is absolutely great and so are the desks. There's a reason why all the reviews are genuine 5 stars. I had been doing research on numerous sit/stand desks and the manufactures of the frames/motors that go into them. I wanted a good quality and reliable setup so I decided to something that utilised Linak (manufacturer) hardware and so I set out trying to find a sit/stand desk that used them. As I was after something specific, I contacted a number businesses before placing an order so that I understood exactly what it was I was purchasing. Unfortunately most of those other businesses seemed more interested in B2B, and a couple didn't even bother responding. I had even gone so far as to contact a business in Canada, who eagerly could supply everything, but unfortunately not for running on 240v. I almost gave up and was just about to head to Ikea. Then I came across Ergomotion. I shot through an email with some questions about their Edesk, and I got a clear informative response within hours. The owner, Guy, kindly followed up, answered further questions, and was also able to order extra parts from Linak on request. To ensure I had all the information I needed before placing an order, he even went so far as to warn me of a slight upcoming price increase. Guy knows his products, knows it in great detail and has a wealth of helpful knowledge.

Ronnie Bernhart 04/04/22


Alice Burgess 19/03/22

Great customer service and desk is exactly as described. Setting it all up was straight forward too. The electric movement up and down is really smooth and quiet - couldn't be happier!

Kevin Ha 17/03/22

After a very unpleasant and disappointing customer service experience with another desk from one of the more "well-known" commercial standing desk companies, I came across Ergomotion and Guy after extensive research to find a replacement and I am glad turned out this way. Dealing with Guy was an absolute pleasure, he was able to answer all my questions and provide me with a range of customisation options including a solid rubberwood desk top which I decided on after seeing the desk in person. In the end, I ended up with a higher quality desk and look forward to continue using it for years to come. Thanks Guy!

Anthony Lunken 17/03/22

We’ve had an Ergomotion High /Low Desk since 2015, well before standing at a work station was a “Thing” in Australia. It’s been fabulous! It’s reliable, speedy and quiet in its height adjustments. Guy, the business owner, is approachable for after sales service queries. To achieve more posture positions & comfort, we use a 10cm foot stool while standing! Many thanks Guy for the great service… Cheers Avril & Tony (Heidelberg West, formerly Moorabbin)

Andre Fernandez 15/03/22

Before purchasing from Ergomotion, I wondered how a business can actually have a 5.0 star perfect rating on Google. After purchasing an electric standing desk and dealing with Guy, I know how. 1) HIGH QUALITY: The desks from here all use high quality LINAK motors and frames. The desk top that I received was commercial grade laminate from Laminex. 2) GENUINE SERVICE: When I initially wanted a more expensive variant, Guy explained to me the differences and suggested the more affordable variant. 3) CUSTOMISATION: Guy helped me customise the size of the size of my desktop - something no other business offered. 4) CONVENIENCE: For a nominal fee, Guy delivered the desk, FULLY ASSEMBLED. All I did was plug it in. Can't get this level of convenience with any other of the many businesses that offer standing desks. If I buy another standing desk, it will be from Ergomotion.

Tas Maniatis 15/03/22

Amazing customer service and quality product and exceeded expectations. I would definitely recommend Ergomotion for their exception product offering and service.

Jake Port 12/03/22

Quality at a reasonable price which is made even better by Guy. You’re made to feel special and nothing is too hard which in this day and age, is honestly hard to come by. Do yourself a favour and support a local family business.