| Mar 5, 2014 |
Five new online designer resources decoded
By Staff

The interiors landscape is teeming with online resources for buying and selling antiques and designer furnishings. A few of the newcomers (one-year-old or younger) include The HighBoy, LOFTY, Viyet, Chairish and Hunter’s Alley. Here’s a rundown on who’s doing what and how designers can benefit from using them.     

1. The HighBoy (thehighboy.com)

Age: One month

Number of items: 1,600

Type of items: Antiques, Decorative Arts, Fine Arts

Who can sell: Vetted dealers

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“There are several players in this market with whom we overlap, but we feel that each has a unique point of view,” said Olga Granda-Scott, a second-generation dealer who founded The HighBoy with her husband, Douglas Scott. “We are coming in with our own mission, our own aesthetic, and our own team. We want to speak to clients looking for an inspiring experience, seamless shopping and perhaps an interesting tidbit they didn’t know previously. But most importantly, we’re here to get people as excited about antiques, art, culture and history as we are.”

Designers may take advantage of automated trade pricing, the ability to hold items for 72 hours, a dedicated customer service expert, early product previews, and access to special events. “Designers will quickly know what their final price is, and how much it will cost to deliver it,” said Granda-Scott.

Partnerships and collaborations with designers are in the works and will be announced in the coming months.

2. LOFTY (lofty.com)

Age: One year

Number of Items: A few hundred

Types of Items: Fine Art, Antiques, Collectibles

Who can sell: Anyone


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LOFTY founder Mark Lurie, a 28-year-old Harvard Business School graduate, created the site to help collectors and interior designers buy and sell items worth $500 to $50,000 with more confidence, less hassle and at a lower commission than any of the existing options.

“LOFTY makes it really easy for designers to sell items in storage or help their clients sell items,” said Lurie. “All it takes is snapping 10 iPhone photos and then uploading or emailing them to LOFTY. We'll do the rest. We are best for items that are too special for eBay but aren't worth the complexity and high commissions of Sotheby's or Christies.”

LOFTY charges a 10% Seller's Fee as well as a Buyer's Premium of 15%. The site also offers designers a trade discount of 5%.

“Most other websites only let dealers sell items, which means prices are very high and most collectors and designers aren't allowed to sell,” he said. “LOFTY allows anyone to buy and sell at fair prices because we evaluate each item. Unlike other online auction sites and marketplaces like eBay, LOFTY’s skilled experts evaluate each piece and guarantee authenticity.”

LOFTY is backed by venture capitalists and angel investors including Founders Fund Angel and entrepreneur Fabrice Grinda. They have raised $3 million to date.

3. Viyet (viyet.com)

Age: 11 months  

Number of items: 100 items per week

Type of items: Consignment furniture and accessories

Who can sell: Anyone


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“Viyet serves the top echelon of the furniture consignment market by only selecting and featuring a highly-curated selection of merchandise as well as providing unparalleled white glove service every step of the way—from listing to photography, selling and delivery,” said Jennifer Koen, VP of marketing and PR for Viyet. “Our focus on building relationships in the design community makes us different—offering discounts and services that meet the specific needs of the interior design community.”

With sales tripling every three months, Viyet focuses on designer and brand name furniture that is in good condition or that can be easily brought to life again with design direction and a little love.

“Designers are our biggest and best customer group as they are constantly looking for products and view Viyet as their new secret weapon to buy design finds at great prices, without a wait, that they can customize for their clients,” said Koen. “They also consign merchandise they have left over from show houses, clients and their own personal items.”

The site is preparing to launch a designer trade program that will offer designers a discount, and services to help them deliver product to clients.

“If a designer consigns, we offer a traditional consignment model of 50% for them and 50% to Viyet,” added Koen. “We offer a white glove service where once we get the call from a designer that wants to consign, Viyet sends a curator to the site and then photographs, details dimensions, conditions and gathers information on selling features so that Viyet can market and sell the items. Once sold, Viyet arranges white glove pick up and delivery and then sends the designer a check.”

Viyet is privately funded but plans to start a round of funding this fall.

4. Chairish (chairish.com)

Age: One year 

Number of items: 5,000

Type of items: Pre-owned furniture, lighting, décor 

Who can sell: Anyone


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“There is space in this market for many players such as eBay, Craigslist, 1stDibs, One Kings Lane,” said Charish co-founder and chief curator Anna Brockway. “We strive to offer the most product in a curated space with key differentiators like: mobile selling and buying, verified price negotiation, shipping services and local pick-up options. We also offer best-in-class search capabilities to allow for efficient shopping by style, furniture type and location.”

Chairish is built for bargaining, she explained. The site enables sellers to negotiate price through an automated ‘make an offer’ feature, and it offers special pricing and services for selected designers.

For an item submitted through the iPhone app or online, Chairish takes a 20% commission once the item is sold. Listing is free and the buyer pays for shipping. If a seller wants help with product photography or for Chairish to store an item(s) before it sells, the commission rate increases a bit.

The criteria for selling items on Chairish are style, condition, brand and price. Interior designers can also have their own “store front” with multiple items for sale.

Chairish is backed by venture capital partners including O'Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV) and Azure Capital.

5. Hunter’s Alley (huntersalley.com)

Age: 10 months

Number of items: Hundreds added daily 

Type of items: Pre-owned furniture, lighting, décor, artwork, rugs

Who can sell: Anyone

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“Hunters Alley provides a curated experience with many ways to shop and discover, including themed sales,” said co-founder Alison Pincus, who is also the co-founder of One Kings Lane. “Our team lightly vets all submitted product, so shoppers see the most interesting pieces. Hunters Alley is also a community-centric space for design lovers to interact. Because of our social offering, buyers and sellers get to know each other, interested shoppers can comment on merchandise and individuals can follow each other.”

Pincus described Hunters Alley as a design democracy. “Enthusiasts, hunters and designers have an equal shot at finding something fabulous,” she said. “From a listing and selling perspective, the process is the same for everyone. In certain instances, we shine a spotlight on designers by featuring their products in special sales events that appear on our homepage. We call these ‘Former Loves.’

Hunters Alley takes a 25% commission and the buyer covers the shipping fee.

“We believe we’re sitting in a very unique place,” said Pincus. “Our offering is different from anything else out there right now.”

Hunter’s Alley is funded and owned by e-commerce site One Kings Lane.

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