Those with experience of media jobs in ecommerce might not have noticed a new era which has been gradually building momentum; Kalam Dennis and Reham Fagiri, co-founders of New York’s up-and-coming quality used furniture marketplace, AptDeco, call it the age of the sharing economy.
The sharing economy
E‑commerce analysts unfamiliar with the term might ponder a couple of facts about the used furniture market: not only is it worth around a billion dollars in the U.S. alone, it’s constantly active. Fagiri explains:
“In the U.S., people move a lot. The average person moves nine times after the age of 18 — so that’s a lot of moves, and whether they’re moving to a bigger place they’re going to need to buy furniture or update their furniture, or they’re consolidating and moving to a smaller space, getting married… they’re going to have to get rid of furniture, so there’s a need for this. Especially now [in the sharing economy age] — people are just more comfortable sharing their possessions with other folks.”
And AptDeco’s mission, since its recent graduation from Y‑Combinator, is to facilitate that sharing securely, efficiently and with the minimum of fuss for sellers and purchasers alike. Savvy ecommerce managers might well at this point recall that there are some rivals in the used furniture marketplace, notably Charish and Viyet. But while, like them, AptDeco does take a cut of the final sales price, it’s no more than between 14 and 19 percent, safely below the 20 percent charged by Charish.
AptDeco also offers a fully insured pickup and delivery service, so buyers and sellers have one major source of stress deftly removed for them. All the items sold on the AppDeco website are fully curated, so prospective buyers just look online for the items they like and submit their credit card details for authorization (sellers simply submit a requested purchase price). Payment is taken automatically a day after delivery, scotching any risk of last minute bartering at the pickup point.
Another clever feature which helps keep overheads down and prices highly appealing is the fact that AptDeco doesn’t keep any stock. Currently, it operates its delivery service within New York’s Tri-State area, but the co-founders are eyeing up other affluent and densely populated areas, both in the US and internationally, for future expansion.