• Clint Engel

Online consignment marketplace Chairish debuts

SAN FRANCISCO - Chairish, an online consignment marketplace featuring primarily upscale furniture, art, lighting and other home accents, was launched this week at www.chairish.com.

The company is promoting the new website as a place for buyers to access "a curated selection of high quality, designer, and often unique home decor of all types and styles, from ‘like new' to those with great bones that need a little love."

For sellers, the site is a way to market to a broad online audience and convert home furnishings they no longer want into cash. Listing is free. Chairish takes a 20% commission on sold goods, notifies seller when their items have sold and arranges white-glove shipping to the new owner.

A concierge service (for a 40% commission) is available in the San Francisco Bay area, where Chairish is based. That service features a Chairish representative, who inspects items in-home, handles the listing, arranges for storage and photography and manages shipping and payment.

Not all the items listed are produced by high-end sources, but many are linked to upscale retailers and suppliers, the company said.

"You can find Knoll, Herman Miller, Room & Board, some reproductions, custom designer pieces, as well as unique vintage and antique items where people are uncertain of the original manufacturer," said Nancy Ramamurthi, a Chairish co-founder.

On the website today, items for sale included a side table "likely by Barbara Barry," for $500, an oval dining table by French designer Christian Liaigre for $8,500, and a pair of white wool sofas from San Francisco design firm Marsh & Clark for $4,350.

Ramamurthi said the company is working with various shippers, and while the cost depends on volume, weight and other circumstances, a "rough ballpark for a table could be as little as $100 or as much as $500 in a cross-country move."

Chairish was founded by a team of "design obsessed individuals," according to a release, with backgrounds in companies such at Hotwire, TripIt, Yahoo! Expedia, eBay and Levi Strauss & Co. In addition to Ramamurthi, they include Gregg and Anna Brockway, Andy Denmark and Eric Grosse.

Grosse and Gregg Brockway are founders of travel planner site TripIt.

Ramamurthi said that by creating a market for used furniture, Chairish can benefit the furniture industry by helping people sell existing furniture that doesn't work for them anymore.

Also, it creates a secondary market "for high quality furnishings, which we think is great for those brands featured and says a great deal about the quality of that manufacturer," she said.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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