Designer entrepreneurs · Designers

Why it's hard to sell furniture online?

islem binous Passionné de l'innovation et des NTIC

Last updated on February 27th, 2020

Hi everybody,

I am currently working on a project of a digital tool that simplifies the furniture procurement process.

During my research, I noticed that there is no known furniture marketplace or a successful startup in this field.

Does a marketplace like this already exist and if not, why?

Thank you

Serendipity Strikes Problem solver/Creative/Inventor/Musician COO/FOUNDER

Last updated on February 29th, 2020

BuyUsedGoGreen! There are more people in the world every day and most new furniture falls apart and thrown away within 10 years so with an average lifespan of 70 years, we will each go through about 7 generations of buying new furniture. Buy USED ANTIQUES and they will OUTLIVE those 7 times of buying and probably a few lifetimes after this and beyond if cared for and treated reasonably, and if broken, serviceable! It kills me how this new generation has no respect for antiques but they are so green minded with everything else. Save the planet! The first way to do this is make items that can be fixed. Cushion chairs/sofas made today are nothing more than a few thin pieces of wood with layers of molded cardboard and strategically placed layers of fiber. I recycle these sofas/chairs back into packing materials. What a great piece of foam to ship a glass clock! Oh, the clock was made 200 years ago. And the person got it for about what a new battery operated version would have cost.


New cabinets are put together at home which is why all these apps are available because most people don't want to put the particle board pieces together. So just have someone come and put that bookcase together.


One BIG problem I noticed just yesterday. Since taxes are applied to online auctions, buyers can no longer pay cash if they decide they want to pick up the item because the auction house needs to collect the taxes on the sale. So a local buyer MUST ship (a deterrent) due the high price of shipping large items, local online trade will drop. (OMG I think I just got a great idea!!!! lol Unfortunately, I think I can't mention it here.

Serendipity Strikes Problem solver/Creative/Inventor/Musician COO/FOUNDER

Last updated on February 28th, 2020

Hello Islem! Are you thinking of something for used furniture like Chairish or 1stdibs? These places are not for the average seller instead sellers are vetted. Ebay is for the average consumer as is Craigslist, but It's hard to sell furniture online because of the cost of shipping the goods and headache potential regarding returns for items that are damaged in transit or items not described accurately resulting in a buyer remorse situation.. Also a problem is Paypal policy does not protect sellers who let buyers pick up because they can't provide a tracking #. (Taking a picture of the buyers license or plate driving away with the goods doesn't help much. unless you need to contact the authorities or report a crime) New furniture is a different world as large warehouses have deals with shippers and there is no way the average person can compete unless they drop ship at which point they need to overcharge and hope the buyer doesn't shop around.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

February 29th, 2020

Furniture, like clothing is something that a significant portion of your audience wants to put their hands on before buying.

It's also often regarded as a commodity. People either buy by brand name or they buy by price.

And the production of furniture is a hidden part of the information, because the cost to make make furniture has almost nothing to do with how it's priced.

A marketplace is not going to solve how furniture is made and sold.

Tino Go CEO and Founder of HelloBaru.com, Corporate Finance and Operations, English, French, Italian

February 27th, 2020

We're working on it at HelloBaru.com.

Priyesh Srivastava Just building it

February 27th, 2020

There is Pepperfry and Urban Ladder in India