If you need to sell or buy second-hand furniture the best bet is you’re going to go to Gumtree or eBay and sift through the really weird to relatively normal item offerings until you find a true gem. It’s a marketplace saturated with multiple categories for users to offload any item they want through a bidding system where people can receive all sorts of odd ball offers.
The scale and size of these marketplaces has resulted in many off-shoots like Couchelo, Carousell and Remoda where people buy and sell their secondhand goods from furniture to fashion. These apps and sites are working in smaller markets to deliver more personalised items to their users and by focusing on niche items they filter out the clutter and the headache of scrolling through a mountain of virtual items.
Sydney startup Nabable is another new marketplace for users to buy and sell secondhand furniture. However, where it differs from the others is in the fact that it also gives users all the perks of a full-service offering by managing the listings, facilitating payments and transactions and taking care of pickup and delivery.
Cofounder of Nabable Ben Ko had issues with buying and selling secondhand furniture on Gumtree. As furniture is usually quite large and won’t fit in a regular sized car, pick up and delivery usually needs to be scheduled and requires the hire of a truck. Gumtree and other classifieds leave all delivery and pickup handling to the user, which can be quite tricky to deal with when you want to buy a secondhand dining table and have no van to pick it up.
“Having to borrow a van or a truck from someone to go pick up furniture from somewhere else would sometimes mean taking a half day off work,” said Ko. “There should be an opportunity for a full service offering that kind of does everything for you, just to save all the hassle, get rid of all the complexity and just make things easier for everyone.”
Nabable covers the pain points of classified sites like Gumtree where listings need to be managed by the users and delivery needs to be scheduled between the buyer and seller. Nabable aims to position itself as a one-place online location for secondhand furniture and hopes to roll out the service Australia wide, so no matter where you are in Australia, the items from couches to beds can be delivered to your doorstep with a delivery fee starting from $49.
Like any ecommerce experience Nabable has users browse and search through product filters to find exactly what they’re looking for. Once an item takes a user’s fancy they fill in their location and payment details and Nabable will pickup the item from the seller and deliver it to the buyer within five to 10 working days.
From a seller’s point of view, after an item is listed for sale Nabable looks after all the logistics and manages the listing. Once the item has been sold Nabable calls the seller and schedules in a time and date for pickup.
Nabable charges a 30 percent commission on all sales, which is quite high given they also charge for delivery. However the service handles all aspects of the sale and delivery process and is targeted towards users who don’t want the hassle of dealing and managing their own sale. Users don’t have to pay to manage the sale of their items or pay for additional adds to bump up their sale.
Of course the biggest challenge for small startups like Nabable is logistics, especially when the products can’t be sent through Australia Post and require larger modes of transport. To transform goods from point A to B Nabable has a storage warehouse and hires professional movers to make sure products are delivered within the right time window. These movers also cross check each item to ensure buyers receive exactly what was offered.
It will be interesting to see if the startup can partner with some shipping companies or courier startups like others have done in the past to drive ecommerce and digital market growth in Australia.
In March this year Australia Post aligned with delivery startup Shippit.com to take advantage of smart delivery technology. Through the partnership Shippit has gained access to 90 percent of the business-to-consumer delivery market that is currently held by Australia Post. Shippit.com focuses on both standard and fast delivery of parcels with Australia Post and aims to reach customer demands and manage customer engagement and experience.
For Nabable, which is still in its early stage of growth, forming partnerships and relationships with bigger players in the market will be crucial. Currently the startup has its eye on growing across Sydney and proving the demand in the market for a sales and shipping secondhand furniture service.
Ko said Nabable is currently testing the marketing and looking for the next opportunities of growth outside of Sydney. No launch date for the service is set as it is still running in its beta stage to service test and communicate between early adopters.
“We’d love to be all over the country and be able to move furniture between all the capital cities as well as a lot of the regional cities as well, so we want to make moving easy all across Australia.”
Image: Ben Ko. Source: Supplied.