There are so many reasons to consider buying used furniture: it’s usually less expensive than brand new pieces, it’s ready right now (no waiting for it to be made and shipped across the world), and it’s almost always kinder to the planet.
But in addition to all of those benefits, there are some hurdles to overcome. There can be more hunting involved, you may have to transport your purchase yourself, and there’s the issue of having to access the condition.
As with many age-old problems, technology offers some unique solutions. These days, buying second-hand furniture doesn’t necessarily mean having to physically drive around town and hunt down what you need. Online retailers have digitized the process of finding used furniture, creating online listings and even handling delivery.
In this post, we’ll review 2 of the most popular used furniture online retailers, Kaiyo and AptDeco, so you can see if one of them might be right for your next furniture purchase.
Kaiyo and AptDeco: what’s the difference?
At first glance, Kaiyo and AptDeco may seem fairly similar. They both feature listings for used furniture, offering services for both buyers and sellers, and each company coordinates transportation. When you look beyond those high level similarities, however, there are some core differences.
Deep dive on AptDeco
One of the biggest is that AptDeco’s business model is actually more of a listing service. People who have furniture to sell can apply to have it listed on AptDeco (there are some restrictions). If your piece is accepted, they will guide you through the process of photographing, pricing, and describing your piece.
As a buyer, the biggest difference is that because it’s more of a listing service, there is a little less consistency with how each item appears. Many people will list the original manufacturer’s image, since they tend to be high quality, while others use only their own snapshot.
Additionally, it seems that recently AptDeco has started allowing people to list new furniture. If you are looking for the sustainability of pre-owned items, you’ll have to read the description to be sure. One final difference, because you are purchasing from the seller, you have the option to make an offer directly to that person and possibly get an even better deal.
All about Kaiyo
Kaiyo, on the other hand, has a different model. They will ask questions about your piece and if it sounds like something they could sell, they will send someone to inspect it in person at your convenience. Then, if it’s approved, they will purchase it themselves, pick it up, clean it and list it for sale on their site.
For the seller, this means that you don’t have to wait or deal with the back and forth of selling to the public. Instead, you are free to either accept or pass on Kaiyo’s offer.
When it comes to the buying process, because each item is owned by Kaiyo it does tend to make the experience of shopping with them a bit more consistent. The images are photographs of the actual item, there are more standard condition descriptions, and they are able to offer site wide discounts on shopping holidays.
Which one to choose?
It really depends on your situation. If you’re a buyer, I’d recommend checking both out as either is likely to have something you’ll love. Come prepared knowing what you’re looking for, both so you’re not overwhelmed by the vast selection, but also because things sell fast. You want to be ready to buy if you see something you like.
If you’re a seller, a lot depends on how much control you want to have. If you like the idea of having someone take care of the whole process for you, Kaiyo might be the way to go. If you’d rather have more control, AptDeco may be more your speed.
Whichever method you use to find second hand furniture for your home, you’ll be making a great decision for the planet and likely your wallet. By giving something a second life, you’re keeping it out of a landfill and conserving resources that would be needed for a new piece.
And you’ll be delighted by the great deals you’ll find on pieces that would cost much more brand new.
Amy Kleppinger is a writer and businesswoman with a passion for both the great outdoors and interior design. In 2022, she brought these loves together to create The Home Green: a resource for anyone interested in making the place they live a little bit greener. She hopes you’ll check it out.