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Outsource the Heavy Lifting of Selling and Buying Secondhand Furniture

Outsource the Heavy Lifting of Selling and Buying Secondhand Furniture
Design

Forget Craigslist, Move Loot is innovating the way we buy, sell and implement used furniture

Macala Wright

How many of you have seen a large piece of furniture on Etsy, Krrb, eBay or even Craigslist that you just had to have? Unfortunately, that item was either A) too expensive to ship, or B) the seller didn’t deliver, and you didn’t want to schlep across town to retrieve it. Well there’s a mighty Silicon Valley startup taking all of this on, called Move Loot.

Move Loot is one of many companies that are propelling the secondhand movement forward—an offshoot of the sharing economy where people find new purposes for goods they no longer want, need or use. Secondhand has new life in everything from clothes, cars, makeup and now furniture.

Move Loot is based in San Francisco, and they are an online marketplace where you can buy, sell, and swap secondhand furniture, and a fleet of trucks and drivers will do all of the furniture-hauling for you, whether you’re buying or selling. Their services are currently available in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Raleigh and Charlotte (High Point has something to do with this).

PSFK sat down for an interview with co-founders Jenny Morrill and Bill Bobbit to learn more about this innovation in secondhand selling.

How does Move Loot work?

Move Loot is a marketplace where people can buy and sell furniture. If you’re purchasing an item, we’ll deliver it to you and help you set it up. If you’re consigning with us, we’ll retrieve your items and store them for you until they sell. Our goal is to take all the hassle out of buying, selling and moving secondhand furniture by doing all the heavy lifting for you.

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Can you explain the selling process?

To sell on Move Loot, you need to submit your items via MoveLoot.com or our mobile app. We have a team of curators who review each submitted item based on quality, damage and wear. Move Loot accepts most types of furniture and select home décor for sale in our marketplace. This includes everything from dressers to bookshelves, from mirrors to framed artwork.

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Once an item is accepted, sellers can schedule and arrange for retrieval of the item whenever is convenient. Move Loot will then price the item, and you’ll receive an estimated payout offer, which you can either accept or reject. We base our estimate on the quality and wear of an item and market trends, and always suggest the highest consignment price our customer base can support.

We then clean, style and photograph the item for the website. Seven days after your item sells, you will be sent a notification via email and a payout will become available for you to view from your Move Loot account. From there, you will be able to cash out after seven days directly from your Payout Account via your preferred payment method.

Currently, we sell primarily within our market and we have plans to continue massively expanding our national footprint in the near future.

Can you explain the delivery process?

You can schedule the delivery of anything you purchase for a time that’s most convenient to you, and help set it up. That means that if you’ve bought a sofa, we’ll haul it up your five-story walk-up, and situate it in your home exactly where you want it.

How does move loot help people rethink or think of more creative ways to design interiors?

Our website is designed to showcase items to their best advantage, and in the context of complementary items and specific rooms. We group items by category, but we also group them by themes, scenes and curated collections, like our Entryway collection.

We’ve also worked with some incredible creative style personalities in our local markets to curate and style lookbooks and coordinate collections that map to the aesthetic of their specific neighborhood, including Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay, Natalie Holbrook of Hey Natalie Jean, Nicole Kliest of WhoWhatWear, stylist and author, Anne Sage, and most recently, Mallory Fitzsimmons of Style Your Senses, a local Charlotte, NC blog.

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We like to think of Move Loot as a marketplace of storied furniture, meaning that the life it has in your home, is just part of its entire lifespan. With Move Loot, furniture and belongings in your home become liquid assets that can be swapped in and out as easily as clothes in your closet.

This gives you freedom to change and refresh your space with increased regularity and ease, perhaps with the changing seasons, instead of waiting for big transitional moments like a new home or housemate. Ultimately, we strive to help our shoppers think of their homes as a reflection of themselves, we want to give everyone— regardless of one’s budget—the ability to freely refresh their personal space.

You’ve curated your furniture content into unique groups by city neighborhoods, theme and scenes? Why organize your inventory in this fashion?

It can be very daunting to furnish and decorate your home if you tackle the project as a whole. Rather, it’s simpler and more efficient to break up your space into individual projects or areas that you arrange.

Zeroing in on single space (like a breakfast nook or even a bookshelf) or theme (like Beach House or Bohemian) makes the project feel more “doable,” so we organize our furniture this way on the site to help you easily envision pieces in a certain space, and alongside one another.

Tell us about how you’re using data to streamline transportation logistics?

Our back-end technology has the big job of organizing furniture inventory within our regional warehouses, and on their journeys via our branded trucks. We assign a QR code to every piece, and that gets scanned with each step in its Move Loot lifecycle—upon pickup, any moving between warehouses, to our processing studios (where we photograph everything for the site), to its storage location, and then back on a truck for delivery.

We also have scheduling and routing software which dispatches and organizes our trucks in every location as they go out for the day’s tasks. Everything around orders and submissions flows through our internal, proprietary mobile app. Our drivers’ schedules, the items they are retrieving and delivering, customer receipts and tipping are all managed within this app.

The entire process of moving or shipping furniture is entirely fragmented, expensive and utterly exhausting. In fact, when we launched Move Loot, we were just looking to create an alternative for consumers, but there’s been a significant demand from retailers, on both a national and a local level, to open up our marketplace and offer our inventory management platform and help with the last-mile delivery service and returns.

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So this week we’re announcing Trade by Move Loot, a new platform specifically for vendors, so they can manage their online inventory (including returned and deadstock items) and e-commerce via the Move Loot marketplace. This also means they have access to our full-stack logistics, and last-mile delivery network as well as access to new audiences and revenue streams across the U.S.

This is the most inexpensive option for furniture retailers to profit off of returned goods and reduce waste, and a painless hands-free way for anyone with stock of furniture to move and profit off of it, without dealing with the complicated logistics around freight, storage and merchandising.

This also means that you’ll start seeing new furniture alongside secondhand in our marketplace. It’s a whole new world for us.

What is the most unique pieces you’ve shipped?

Great question! We’ve sold some really striking pieces from authentic movie theater marquees to beautiful handmade family heirlooms. Currently on the West Coast we have someone selling a line of furniture made from reclaimed wood from ships, every piece unique and full of character. Personally, I’m drawn to the uncommon and wonderful fabrics used for some of our upholstered furniture— bold vintage florals, vibrant stripes and other patterned motifs that really make pieces pop.

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