Pre-owned furniture marketplace Chairish raises $3.2M

Steven Loeb · July 18, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/30b5

Chairish helps sellers list their items, and gives buyers more control over what they purchase

Chairish, a marketplace for buyers and sellers of furniture and home decor, has raised $3.2 million in seed funding, it was announced Thursday.

The money came from Azure Capital Partners and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV). This is the company's first capital, and it will be used to accelerate Chairish's growth and expand its marketplace.

"We're raising money to move into additional markets, to tell more people about the service, to build new features and to grow the team," Gregg Brockway, co-founder and chairman of Chairish, told me in an interview.

San Francisco-based Chairish is a consignment marketplace that helps both buyers and sellers of furniture and home decor.

For sellers, the company offers a range of services, including the Standard service for do-it-yourselfers, which lets sellers post photos and descriptions themselves. It also offers both Concierge and Concierge Plus services, where Chairish will send photographers to the sellers home, write descriptions and even move and store their items in a secure warehouse if needed. Chairish also handle the shipping and payments.

On the buyers side, Brockway said, the company gives them "some quality control" over what they accept, rather than having to go on Craigslist, eBay and traditional consignment shops, the entities that he sees as Chairsh's competition.

"As most people know, selling furniture is a painful process. We're making this easier by helping individual sellers to find buyers who value their items and also taking care of the messy shipping and logistics hassles that go along with buying and selling used furniture," he said. 

it also helps them save money.  According to Chairish, buyers can save up to 70% of retail price on pieces by designers such as Christian Liaigre and Holly Hunt.

Since the company launched in February, it has been growing quickly; its transactions are increasing 10-20% per month on average and it seeing even faster growth in its mailing list size.

The typical Chairish customer, said Brockway, "is a design savvy individual looking for a great deal on a unique piece of furniture or home accessory."

"While many of our customers are in the same market as the item, we're also shipping product nationwide as buyers are finding that the savings on the product that comes from buying directly from the owner can greatly outweigh the cost of shipping."

Ultimately, he told me, the company's goal is to make the pre-owned furniture space as lucrative as the new furniture space.

"The pre-owned furniture market is a multi-billion dollar business today, but it's still relatively small compared to the new furniture market," he said.

"If we're successful, we expect the pre-owned furniture market to become more liquid and grow significantly.  As a comparison, the used car market is roughly the same size as the new car market in terms of dollar value and 3 times bigger in terms of units sold.  This says to us that there is a huge growth opportunity here."

(Image source: https://shop.chairish.com)

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