A Review of Kaiyo, the Site That Sells Used Designer Furniture Up to 90% Off

Jerome Powell
couch

Photo: Composite by VICE Staff

I’ll level with you. Shopping for secondhand and vintage furniture online isn’t hard. But it can be expensive. Etsy’s decor is vast and eclectic, but it’s always a gamble with shipping rates; eBay is a ride or die classic, but a wild card (and can also be sneaky with fluctuating shipping costs). Big retailers like Urban Outfitters now have vintage and upcycled sections, and good for them, but $999 is a lot to ask for sewing together some hankies from Godspell. No, no. An exigent Goldilocks are we, who would like to test all the bedframes beyond ‘ol reliable IKEA, but aren’t quite on a 1stDibs budget. And if you feel the same, you should really try buying pre-owned furniture on Kaiyo. It hath changed me. 

Kaiyo is like the love child of 1stDibs and Craigslist. It’s an online marketplace based in New Jersey (East Coasters, you can opt for free pickup) for buying and selling pre-owned furniture, with a landing page that looks like the site of a Japandi design museum. The user experience is akin to browsing all the professionally photographed, itemized wares of CB2 or West Elm, but with craft marketplace prices and a white glove delivery service that’s super reasonably priced. When my roommate and I bought a $600 sofa, delivery was a mere $150—pennies, when you consider the weight of the eight-foot-long, golden 1970s burner couch we found in the bowels of Kaiyo. Often, shipping for big pieces of furniture like that can be over half the cost of the item itself. 

Prior to Kaiyo, I had also never heard of “white glove delivery service.” But, hey. This [licks Bushwick hydrant] is not Downton Abbey. Like you, I spent my stimmy a long time ago. Also (maybe) like you, I just moved into a new apartment, and have a sliding decorating budget somewhere between a few magic beans and an investment designer piece every few months. White glove delivery just means you will get your goods delivered and assembled right where you want them in your house, and when the Kaiyo Krew arrived with our couch, it was like watching a well-oiled time-lapse: In 10 minutes, the dudes had hoisted our baby up the stairs, un-cocooned it, and placed it riiiiight where we wanted. How the Kaiyo Kleaners got the couch to not smell like the decades of cigarette smoke, jizz, and jazz that almost certainly seasoned it (all items are professionally cleaned at no extra cost) is a holy mystery. 

TL;DR: This was the first time in a while that I was shopping for Nice Adult Furniture. (Not in a horny way; but please do hump someone on the third couch in this article.) Kaiyo made me feel like I had options, straightforward shipping, and in the company of pieces that are priced to move. You can get a set of four Starck chairs for around $1,000. You can get Versailles-worthy tapestry on markdown from $5,000 to $724.  If you also want to browse one-of-a-kind decor, or pre-owned pieces by brands like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Ralph Lauren, Ethan Allen, and Pottery Barn, then you will love Kaiyo–and it will love you back. 

To give you a sampling of some of the picks on the site right now, here are our primo faves. We’re all vaccinated and ready to sit on each other’s couches and faces again, so let’s go.  

A velvety couch for under $500 

10/10 would find Lana Del Ray dropping an ashtray on this at a party. Not that it would matter, with a stain-friendly shade of Rich Person Blue like that. 

Wayfair

Square Arm Loveseat

Your media center is your life

Why do we feel like we could Frisbee-toss a 50-inch flatscreen onto this media cabinet, and it would perfectly Velcro itself to the headboard? So sturdy. So reliable. We may not have a dad, but we have the next best thing (and it’s 86% off!!). 

You need a multi-functioning cabinet

This could be a combo bar cart, TV stand, and crafting cabinet (peep those many storage compartments), and it would look just as good in your entryway, living room, or bedroom–no matter the size of your home. 

West Elm

Mid Century Bar Cabinet

Still working from home?

What is it about mid-century, Eames-style chairs that just works? Inspires us to write the memoir? Learn how to smoke pipe tobacco? It’s not hard to find these floating around the web, but it is tricky to find one that comes with an ottoman (easily costs a few hundred bucks on its own).   

Vintage

Eames Style Chair with Ottoman

You’re really good at Minecraft

Love a side table with all the confidence of a dining table. That’s the energy, man. 

West Elm

Geo Hex Side Table

A (lowkey) statement rug

The pattern says just enough, without going overboard (leave that to novelty, jumbo 90s pop art decor). This is the kind of rug you can easily layer with different patterns and colors. Graphic, cozy, and will always feel contemporary. 

Safavieh

Mirage Collection Area Rug

You need a couch (but don’t have room for a couch)

…And you don’t just want a boxy loveseat. A curved couch or chair will add softness and create a more relaxed space, and this swivel boy by Crate & Barrel is juuuuust right for you to eat your porridge in/have sex on/arrange the entire collection of Madame Alexander dolls in your studio apartment. 

Crate & Barrel

Tillie Grande Swivel Chair

Damn, the Pixar lamp looks hot these days

Overhead lighting is for dentists, grocery stores, and psychos. You need mood-setting lighting that can target your book, toenail-clipping sessions, and the mouths of all those summertime cuties you’ve yet to invite over with a strong but buttery glow.   

West Elm

Overarching Floor Lamp

When Morpheus comes over for cocktails

Glass coffee tables are a great way to gain the illusion of space, and this one has a little extra storage underneath to peek-a-boo all those sexy Taschen books and your new Atari (did you know Amazon sells those now?). 

BDI Furniture

Stream Long Cocktail Table

Build a room around this couch

Another decorating tactic is to get swept off your keister by a statement piece of furniture. Find a pattern, and make it your world. Splurge on a couch that reminds you of a year in the 1970s you never lived through, roll up the Dad Grass, curl up with a blanket, and tune out your troubles.   

Vintage

Plaid Mid Century Modern Platform Sofa

Make your bedroom feel like a luxury hotel

You bought the Buffy linen sheets. You spritzed the pillows with lavender. Now, you just need a bed with a headboard that says, “I own more than one cashmere house robe, and I also want to be spanked.” 

Room & Board

Jade Queen Bed

Already framed wall art

We don’t have a problem finding cool, expensive-looking wall art for cheap–it’s more about finding the time and energy to frame that dooms the said wall art to months of chilling in the corner of our room. No more. Hang this enigmatic ombre at your door, and ask each one of your dinner guests what they see in its watery strokes on arrival. Keep ‘em on their toes. 

Williams Sonoma

Sun and Sea Ombre Landscape V

You’re a hot forest goblin

And you need somewhere to hang the acorn cap you use as a hat/ soup bowl. How tall are you, BTW? 

West Elm

Rustic Wall Mirror

You want a pop of color 

Hard Science has proven it: You cannot go wrong with a burnt orange-red piece of furniture. It’s one of the neutral colors in decorating world (fight me), feeling both design-forward and nostalgic at the same time; we could picture both Humphrey Bogart and Troye Sivan rolling cigs at this desk. 

Happy bargain hunting. Can’t wait to crash on your new old loveseat.


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. VICE may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on our site.

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