When you have an entire home to furnish, you get creative! Some folks are lucky enough to work with a professional designer to design and furnish a home from top to bottom - at once. But, the truth of the matter is that our homes are most often collected over time. Each piece in our home tells a story and most even mark important milestones. But, when you are furnishing a vacation rental, like me, the design process and furniture selections become a little less personal and a lot more urgent.
For the past 4 days, I have scoured the internet to find the very best apps to buy furniture. I have spent COUNTLESS hours on these websites. Here is what I've learned!
#4 - Chairish
PROS - Chairish gets points for the "cheeky" name, gorgeous photos and high quality furniture. There are amazing deals on name brand furniture. Want an Eames Chair? Henrendon side table? Head over to Chairish for fine furniture finds. They also have an expansive contemporary fine art selection and a penchant for mid-century modern.
CONS - "Chaching!" The high price tag on Chairish items makes me gun shy. I'm not saying that the items are not worth the prices at which they are offered or that you can't find an amazing deal. You shop on Chairsh because you want really high quality furniture and you don't mind paying much closer to retail than you would on another site. But, that's kinda the problem...a lot of what you see on Chairish you see on other sites at a lower price, albeit lesser vintage or name brand. The greatest challenge with Charish is that the items that are offered are from sellers all over the USA. They must be shipped. Depending on the item, this could get really expensive. There is no search feature in the app that allows a local filter (please correct me if I'm wrong - couldn't find one!).
#3 - Everything But the House
PROS - Everything But the House is an online auction site with a powerful app to help you access sales easily. The site is easy to use. The search capability is robust. It allows searches by cities where EBTH has auctions and then a further search by category and subcategory. You can narrow in on your targeted items quickly. The quality is generally good. There are multiple photos of each item, albeit a characteristically short description.
CONS - Shipping (again)! If you find something that you like out of town, it requires expensive shipping. EBTH is in select cities so depending on where you live, you may only have 1 local market to shop. I find that the items are typical estate sale items vs. current resale items. So, you'll find more antiques and traditional pieces vs. an "almost new Pottery Barn sofa" that you might find on the other apps. And, I don't know if it's just my app, but it often requires me to re-log on and enter my credit card info to bid, which is a major pain.
PROS - I made my first OfferUp purchase a few days ago. The format is like Pinterest for resale, but way less pretty. The app opens with images of items that are for sale near your location. Since I'm only interested in home related items, there is a lot of ancillary stuff on my home page. But, OfferUp gets to know your searches and they start promoting items. So, one "feature" might be items picked for you. Similarly, it suggests other items when you click on something that you like or message someone. The BEST feature is the ability to message the seller directly from the listing. Gone are the old Craigslist days where you send a blind email and....wait. The seller might not respond, but you can ask a question or make an offer in real time and see if the seller has read your message. You also get a message when items are sold or you receive a message from the seller. Awesome!
For safety reasons, the app is great because it conceals your identity and gives you a away of communicating without giving your phone number or full name. On the contrary, you can add a photo and use your real name to reinforce to folks that they are dealing with a real person. I think it personalizes it in a good way.
CONS - This could be personal and/or regional, but I don't find much that I just love on OfferUp. I feel like its more clothing and personal items (old iPhone, anyone?) than quality furniture and housewares. The descriptions of the items are super short. I'm pretty sure that there is a limitation (like Twitter) on word count. So little information forces you to ask questions which often go unanswered.
**I purchased 2 Arhaus coffee tables that were cross listed on OfferUp and LetGo. They retail for $2,500 but I paid $500 for both!**
#1 - LetGo
PROS - All of the same pros for OfferUp exist on LetGo. It is virtually the exact same model. I find that after hours of searching through both sites over a number of days, the quantity and quality of items on LetGo is superior. When I looked through my LetGo "text" log, I realized that I had communicated on nearly 10 items vs. 1 item on OfferUp. After comparing search results on both, LetGo is a better choice for quality resale home furnishings and accessories.
CONS - I can't think of any!
**I purchased a West Elm Impala wall sculpture on LetGo for $40 vs $200 retail. I have offers on a pair of nightstands and a bed.**
So, go out and try the Craigslist alternatives to score big savings on resale furniture and housewares! Remember safety first! Take someone with you when picking up items and choose a neutral location when possible.