After Brandi and her husband were laid off from the same company, a commercial furniture dealership in San Francisco, CA, she took matters into her own hands. Brandi knew that she and her family couldn’t sustain on government unemployment checks forever, so after a few weeks of going in and out of depression, she started working on a business idea that would change the future of how pre-owned office furniture is bought and sold.
This is a story of how one woman recognized the new “Work from Home” acceptance that most companies now have in place and decided to offer a platform that made selling and purchasing used office furniture much easier. Brandi believes this will be the new normal for how many of us will work in the future. She also is trying to alleviate the 17 billion pounds of perfectly good furniture that goes into landfill every year.
There’s a huge, unrecognized problem in the corporate sector when companies decide to relocate an entire office space without having any plan for the used furniture. In most cases, they don’t take furniture with them to the new premises, leaving facility managers to take care of it.
There are office buildings full of used furniture, which often is in very good condition. But, it’s really tough to sell used furniture in bulk and at a fair price. While you can sell a chair or a table at Craigslist or eBay, how would you sell used furniture in bulk?
So, facility managers get in touch with a broker, who is told to sell the furniture ASAP, and therefore he ends up charging thousands of dollars. If he can turn it around, well and good, and if not, he will just dump it in a landfill. This is the reason 17 billion pounds of used office furniture gets dumped into US landfills annually.
It’s this gap that a recently launched startup called Clear Office is trying to fill by providing a platform for companies to market and sell their used furniture. It’s a one-stop-shop for buying and selling used furniture at a fair price and that too, without involving any broker.
When an item is sold on Clear Office’s platform, the seller gets to keep 70% of the profit and Clear Office keeps the remaining 30%. The seller gets a platform, and it’s his responsibility to coordinate and communicate with the buyers.
At 70% of profits, companies can recover a significant part of their investments in furniture and prevent it from getting dumped into landfills.
For companies that don’t want to invest time to take the photos, upload to the platform, communicate with potential buyers, and coordinate the pick up, Clear Office will do it for you; however, the seller gets to keep 30% and Clear Office gets 70% for doing most of the work.
The founder of Clear Office, Brandi Susewitz, has been in the office furniture industry for over twenty years. She has seen the problem of dumping used furniture closely. Brandi took it upon herself to find a solution, and that’s how Clear Office was born.
“Every time companies scramble to find someone to buy their office furniture, they end up giving away their valuable office furniture to a broker, who turns around and sells it for thousands of dollars. Or, they end up throwing it in a landfill,” said Brandi Susewitz, founder, Clear Office.
Many tech-giants in the San Francisco bay area have already signed up with Clear Office, and the platform is getting great traction.
Corporate America is realizing its potential, and very soon, Clear Office will become the go-to platform for buying and selling used office furniture.
Clear Office was built with a mission to address the massive environmental problem of used office furniture getting dumped into landfills. In the process, it has also found a way to help corporations monetize their investment in furniture.