Everything But the House, once one of Ohio's most valuable startups, is now restructured and ready for even more success. Read on as we chat with the founders of this locally-based service that helps connect people who want and have the most uncommon goods in the world.
Connecting those who have and want uncommon things. That’s the idea behind Everything But The House (EBTH).
Jacquie Denny and Brian Graves founded this Blue Ash-based business in 2007 to bring uncommon things to their customers by leveraging their knowledgeable staff to help people realize the value of their possessions, through a simple-to-use, transparent, and one-of-a-kind online marketplace.
For buyers, you’ll find everything from furniture and home goods to designer handbags and baseball cards. And everything starts at $1. For sellers, EBTH’s white-glove service takes care of everything—you never lift a finger. Their experts sort, catalog, photograph, and authenticate every item sold.
“Emptying an estate, selling a collection, or changing lifestyles, it is a much needed service,” says Denny. “For buyers, the desire to buy unique items that create their individual style and define their decorating taste, it is an uncommon marketplace.”
Denny says the inspiration for EBTH came from a passion for helping others understand just how valuable the things they owned were.
“As with most entrepreneurial journeys, the inspiration was a personal experience with a gap in the market for selling second-hand goods, specifically estate items, and a passion for service,” says Denny. “This led to the creation of what EBTH is today, a best in class service, that disrupted an industry.”
Denny and Graves are the two biggest drivers behind EBTH, but they are supported by a team of over 200 staff members that come from a variety of backgrounds and include business professionals, technologists, fine art, antique, and jewelry experts, photographers, logistics professionals, marketers, client relations representatives, and, not to mention, the numerous integrated professional partnerships without which Denny says they couldn’t exist.
EBTH’s first online sale went live in early 2008, after Graves and Denny decided to join forces and merge her service-centric, client-focused estate sale business with Graves’ technology- and marketplace-driven approach to offering pre-owned objects for sale.
Since then, the two have experienced a great deal of success and struggle. Once labeled Ohio’s most valuable startup, EBTH grew rapidly until a major restructuring and management change in 2018. Then in 2019, the business was put up for bid under a court protection similar to a bankruptcy. The founders worked with an investment syndicate to help buy it back for a reported $3.5 million.
Regardless of the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial journey, Denny says one thing has stayed the same since the beginning: EBTH uniquely works with both buyers and sellers to help them gain value from their belongings or find new-to-them belongings.
Denny says the secret to EBTH’s success is to make the entire process simple for clients. “We work with sellers of all types who have one item to truckloads of unique possessions to determine how best to offer them for sale, giving them a variety of options from personalized pick-ups to mail-in alternatives,” explains Denny. “At the same time, we make it simple and transparent for buyers to access, learn about, and bid to win items with options to pick up items locally or have them delivered right to their home or business.”
Denny says this serves a wide range of clientele. “The truth is, in order to service those clients, it takes a huge amount of effort and investment in terms of human capital, technology, and resources, which speaks to why no one has worked to scale our type of business the way that we have,” says Denny. “We’re constantly working to improve and reinvest for the benefit of the marketplace first, and the business second once the clients and indirect beneficiaries of our marketplace have been well taken care of.”
Denny says that expanded partnerships and a continued investment in the company’s infrastructure means that, although their operations are now centered in the Ohio region, they’re able to serve customers nationwide while also adding to the unique collections they are able to grow.
“We also continue to look for ways to support charitable organizations and our communities and look forward to rolling out a more defined strategy to address this over the coming months,” says Denny. “Finally, as we continue to increase the volume and diversity of product availability on the Everything But The House site, we’re aggressively developing methods to personalize our platform based on our consumer’s preferences to provide the most ideal experience for them.”
To learn more about EBTH, whether you’re a buyer, a seller, or someone who likes to browse unique items, visit EBTH.com.