Trying to sell your couch? A business came to San Diego to do just that
San Diego is the latest West Coast market for Kaiyo’s services for buying and selling pre-owned furniture.
Kaiyo, a second-hand furniture marketplace is expanding its services to San Diego County. The New York City-based startup offers a full-service platform and white-glove delivery that doesn’t require lugging your furniture to a parking lot to sell it to a stranger.
Convenience is a key element of the company’s business model.
For people selling furniture, they submit it to the Kaiyo team for inspection. Once it is accepted, the seller can schedule the item to be picked up, cleaned, professionally photographed and stored by Kaiyo all for free. The seller can wait until the item is sold to get a percentage of the final sale or accept an instant offer from Kaiyo.
For shoppers, they can browse Kaiyo’s site for pre-owned furniture from brands like West Elm, CB2 and Restoration Hardware and pay the company for delivery.
Alpay Koralturk, founder and CEO of Kaiyo, is a serial entrepreneur who started the company in 2014 after multiple moves in New York City. He was having to buy new furniture because there wasn’t a one-stop shop for getting pre-owned items.
In addition to creating a more trustworthy and streamlined process, he said that one of his goals was also to offer an environmentally friendly option for consumers through a second-hand marketplace.
“Furniture is one of the largest waste categories in the U.S., meaning millions of pounds of furniture ends up in landfills each year. In addition, there is virtually no recycling for used furniture,” Koralturk said in a press release. “Expanding into San Diego allows us to further our mission.”
Whether it’s a used car or an outfit from a thrift shop, consumers today are more open to buying second-hand merchandise.
Koralturk said the company saw a shift in demand early in the pandemic for office items as people adapted to working from home and had a hard time getting furniture due to supply chain issues.
“More recently, we’re starting to see people more and more price conscious with inflation,” he said in a phone interview.
Kaiyo uses artificial intelligence to help price the items below their original purchase price but at a comparable rate to their market value and condition.
The current do-it-yourself options for re-selling anything big or small include eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or Offer Up.
Koralturk noted that there are other high-end furniture reselling platforms such as 1stdibs and Sotheby’s Home. But, those offer more expensive items, and he said that Kaiyo fills the gap by offering a full-service option.
If a seller doesn’t accept Kaiyo’s instant offer, they will receive a share of the final price once it’s sold. In this revenue share model, Kaiyo takes a slightly larger percentage of the sale — between 10 and 60 percent depending on the price — compared to other marketplaces to account for its services, Koralturk said. Kaiyo charges the buyer $19 to $79 for white-glove delivery, depending on the item’s size.
He said the company has had its eye on the West Coast market for a while now and noted that many Californians have a keen sense of style and design that gives way to an opportunity for their services.
A key factor in this expansion was the $36 million in Series B financing that Kaiyo raised earlier this year for a total of nearly $50 million in funding to date. This summer, Kaiyo launched in Los Angles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It operates out of a 78,418 square-foot warehouse in Chino Hills.
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