i+D - July/August 2019 - 21

DESIGNERS HAVE MORE OPTIONS
THAN EVER FOR SOURCING THOSE
PERFECT PIECES FOR THEIR PROJECTS.
Today, designers have increasing reasons
to turn to their laptops as a source
for furnishings, from vintage to antique
goods and more modern items as well.
Here, they're finding a growing number of
resources in the form of consignment sites
and online dealer marketplaces that provide
artfully curated, impeccably vetted, and
easily searchable goods. These sites offer
a diverse wealth of furniture, area rugs,
accessories, lighting, and more. Easily
searchable by a host of parameters, with
items professionally packed and shipped,
and often at highly competitive prices,
consignment sites are poised to be a valued
resource for interior designers.
How does it work? Consignors, which
include private individuals, showrooms,
dealers, and interior designers, depending on
the site, submit the items they want to sell.
Typically, items must meet requirements for
minimum price, condition, and brand. At
some companies, a representative will assess
the piece either in person or virtually to make
sure the items are well maintained, high
quality, and in impeccable condition before

posting them to the site. Sellers can expect
to receive up to 60 percent of the resale value
when their item is purchased, depending on
the site's commission structure. Usually,
each site also arranges the shipping, which
is paid for by the buyer.
For buyers, listings go a long way to educate
shoppers about each and every piece: its
provenance, construction, dimensions, and
condition. On one site, a "condition" scale
rates the item from "Revive" to "Like New"
so there will be no surprises when the item
is shipped to its new owner.
One big name that's lending credence
to the growing importance of the online
marketplace for individuals and dealers
with objects to sell is Sotheby's. The famed
auction house, which already has seen a
steady increase in online auction sales,
acquired Viyet in February 2018. Since the
acquisition, Viyet, an online consignment
site for pre-owned designer furniture,
showroom samples, and other luxury goods,
has been rebranded as Sotheby's Home.

Elizabeth Brown, CEO of Sotheby's Home,
says the acquisition helped expand Sotheby's
e-commerce presence to complement
its auction and private-sale services with
fixed-price opportunities to buy and sell.
The online-only positioning of Sotheby's
Home, according to Brown, has expanded
the horizons for interior designers and other
buyers to find goods. "We sell pieces that
ship from all over the country, so every
buyer has the full breadth of our offerings
to browse through when they visit Sotheby's
Home," she points out. "Keeping our
collection fully online allows us to be able
to showcase all of our pieces in one place,
and provide access to anyone who would
like to buy."
Sotheby's Home has quickly become a
complement to the company's auction
business. "Sotheby's maintains their auction
business as they always have, and through
[the Sotheby's Home] relationship with them,
we now have opportunities to sell pieces
from large auctions that are under the minimum
auction price point," explains Brown.

Elizabeth Brown,
Sotheby's Home
(Image: Terri Diamond
Photography)

Easily searchable by a host of parameters,
with items professionally packed and shipped,
and often at highly competitive prices,
consignment sites are poised to be a valued
resource for interior designers.

i+D - July/August 2019

21



i+D - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i+D - July/August 2019

Contents
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