In 2020, everyone was spending more time at home. They also spent more money to furnish it: according to to a recent report, spending on furniture and appliances rose from $ 373 billion to $ 405 billion over the year. And while, yes, e-commerce sites across the board have seen substantial growth, one market segment in particular has grown: vintage and consignment.
Vintage and used furniture retailer Chairish saw sales increase by 60%. Luxury collection site 1stDibs, whose largest category is home, saw a 23% increase. Meanwhile, Kaiyo, a startup that calls itself âThred-Up for Furniture,â claims to have seen triple-digit growth month over month.
Why? The easy answer would be because shipping is usually cheaper, it’s still a literal selling point, especially during uncertain economic times like these. And, of course, the price is certainly part of it. But heritage and collectibles also flew off the shelves: 1stDibs was unable to keep in stock the Camaleonda sofa by Mario Bellini, the lounge chair by Ray and Charles Eames or the Ultrafragola mirror. Chair saw users sell the Togo sofa by Michel Ducaroy at a profit. In its annual report, Kaiyo said he sold an On the Rocks DDC sofa for $ 18,346, which is far from a bargain.
Then there is the fact that the vintage and the consignment should become even more Following popular over the next few years. Statista forecast that the furniture resale market will grow by 70% from 2018 to 2025.
So what happened? The first is the change in attitude towards second-hand goods. Thanks to the explosive popularity of sites like TheRealReal and Depop, Millennials and Gen Z shoppers regularly shop for second-hand clothing. The stigma quickly faded for furniture as well: a report from the Presidency found that among Millennials and Gen Z consumers, 31% say the pandemic has increased their interest in buying used, vintage or antique furniture online.
Then there is the costs factor. In the age of social media, popular mass-produced articles can seem oversaturated within months and sometimes within minutes. As a result, more and more young consumers began to search for rare or unique clothing. (“Authenticity is great”, Vogue buying habits of the generation.) Now that desire spills over into household items, especially for those with the cash to spend and an aversion to Instagram cut-and-paste apartments.“ It’s not just the lower price that attracts these true luxury consumers. It’s often the only way for them to buy rare, limited-edition, sold-out collaborations that they missed the first time around, or vintage items, â says a report by the Boston Consulting Group.
Another big reason behind the vintage boom? Durability. Buying second-hand goods supports the circular economy and therefore prevents furniture from going to landfill. (In 2018, Americans thrown 12.1 million tons of furniture.) Some vintage and antique furniture companies, like ZZ Driggs, are even B-Corp certified.
Finally, the deeply sexy, but deeply logistical problem: The supply chain. âSupply chain issues have increased the demand for upholstered items such as sofas and accent chairs, as the wait time to get these new items can range from 14 to 16 weeks,â Alpay said. Koralturk, CEO and founder of Kaiyo. Vogue. Meanwhile, second-hand furniture (especially when bought locally) can arrive in just a few days.
Durable, stylish furniture with a history and no supply chain issues? No wonder more and more people are with the new and the old.
Below, shop for some of our favorite vintage and consignment pieces.