In a creative application of the sharing economy, Outer is solving for the challenge of furniture viewing before purchase by turning private residence into showrooms, letting potential customers see items in owners' homes

The sheer size of outdoor furniture can make it difficult for retailers to have a showroom in every area shoppers may want to see a product. Furniture startup Outer has a program to address this pain point, connecting those looking to buy with customers who already own the piece in question.

The showroom viewings are by appointment only. Interested buyers can check Outer's website to find the closest property with the item. While this might seem too intrusive, company co-founder Jiake Liu thinks being an outdoor furniture company makes this idea more viable. He says, “Airbnb has made it common to have strangers in your space. Casper would have problems turning a bedroom into a showroom. But the backyard is a public/private place, a place of gathering.”

Outer hopes this program will expose as many consumers as possible to its products, without renting expensive showroom space. The brand will soon be adding more pieces to its line and plans to incorporate those into the showroom program.

Outer

The sheer size of outdoor furniture can make it difficult for retailers to have a showroom in every area shoppers may want to see a product. Furniture startup Outer has a program to address this pain point, connecting those looking to buy with customers who already own the piece in question.

The showroom viewings are by appointment only. Interested buyers can check Outer's website to find the closest property with the item. While this might seem too intrusive, company co-founder Jiake Liu thinks being an outdoor furniture company makes this idea more viable. He says, “Airbnb has made it common to have strangers in your space. Casper would have problems turning a bedroom into a showroom. But the backyard is a public/private place, a place of gathering.”