Heat Maps of Used Furniture Sales in Chicago

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One of our challenges is better understanding how people sell used furniture. Dolly helps people moving large objects that don’t fit in a traditional car. To provide exceptional service it’s important that we understand how people buy and sell used furniture.

Where do people sell used furniture in Chicagoland?

Examining our heat map, it’s clear that the Loop to Evanston is a hotbed of activity. A small arm of activity reaches out near Bartlett, with another surge in the Elk Grove area. You can also see an increase along Highway 88 extending out towards Naperville.

South Side Devoid of Activity

This was a somewhat surprising find. The South Side of Chicago is typically considered a low income region of the city. At first thought, one would assume that buying and selling used furniture would be more prominent among low income households, as the price point for these items are lower than retail. However, this might be evidence that buying and selling used furniture is more connected to middle income households due to more discretionary income and perhaps even logistical issues that Dolly aims to solve.

It should be noted that we clearly have little experience studying socioeconomic purchasing behaviors, nor intend to study this at an academic scale. We do find the antidotes interesting nonetheless.

What is activity like in downtown Chicago?

Zooming in to take a look at downtown Chicago, we see a clear spike in activity in Wicker Park, the Loop, River North, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Wrigleyville.

We’re excited to see our data line up with the general assumptions of the typical Chicagoan, as it gives us more confidence that this data is accurate.

What other interesting things can we learn?

We also wanted to get a sense of where different types of furniture tends to be sold within Chicago.

We looked at a few popular types of furniture: couches, sofas, cabinets, beds, mattresses, chairs, and desks.

Couches vs Sofas

Most people don’t know the difference between couches and sofas (in their defense, there is hardly any difference). It’s interesting to see how people tend to try to sell the two items.

Couches on the left, sofas on the right:

Couches vs Sofas

The main difference between the two when it comes to the secondhand market (aside from sofas tend to be more popular) is that sofas are popular in the River North / Streeterville area while couches are more popular in Lakeview, United Center, and Lincoln Park.

Where do desks get bought and sold?

The Loop. Not surprisingly, the Loop is where all of the action is at when it comes to desks. We love when these types of intuitive findings emerge from our data, as it gives insight that our data is more likely accurate than not. Bottom line: if you’re looking for a desk, keep an eye on the Loop for the best used desks around.

How did we collect this data?

Thanks to our investments in things like, partnerships like bookoo, and examining our own completed Dollys, we’re able to put together very interesting data sources. This data was collected over the months of September and October of 2014.


Now that you know where your used furniture will sell, learn how to craft a standout Craigslist post.

We’re very excited to release this data and hope that you also find it interesting. We’re looking forward to sharing more of our research in the near future (don’t worry, much more to come!) and would love to hear your suggestions/feedback on Twitter.

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