Second-hand furniture boom in HCMC

By Phuong Dong    January 2, 2019 | 05:28 am PT
Second-hand furniture boom in HCMC
There are about 10 used furniture chains in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo acquired by VnExpress
There is burgeoning demand for used furniture in Ho Chi Minh City as locals look increasingly for inexpensive items.

Second-hand furniture shops have been mushrooming in recent years, and there are now around 10 players with at least two or three stores in the city.

Thu Hang, who is openning a coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City, said she has less trouble now buying used furniture compared to even a few years ago.

"Buying furniture is much easier than it was three years ago when I opened my first business, partly because now there are a lot of second-hand items available in many shops."

Most used furniture shops in the city that VnExpress spoke to said they target families and small and medium-sized businesses with competitive pricing as the top criteria. They sell items from as little as VND50,000 ($2.15).

Pham Van Minh, CEO of used furniture store Vinasave, said his business buys items which are no longer usable, makes them over and sells them at 40-70 percent of the price of new ones.

Other benefits a customer could get are free shipping, assembling, free return and a six-month guarantee.

Minh said: "The biggest challenge is the lack of a tool to evaluate a product’s value. We usually base it on our experience. In general, our evaluation is close to the true value of a product."

Most of these stores are located in suburban areas where rents are low.

Luu Vinh of used furniture chain Thanhlyhang said most businesses in this industry are not capable of competing with established retailers.

He said that customers prefer looking at and buying products immediately when they visit a store, and so a large area of around 500 square meters is ideal. But few stores can afford this, he added.

Other industry insiders say the second-hand furniture business has huge potential, but there is also high risk due to large investments in it by an increasing number of players.

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