How many times have you logged on to Pinterest and looked at Nordic furniture, only to be disappointed about not being able to discover similar pieces in India? Thanks to Abhishek Chaudhry, founder of Embassy Goods, you can now access pre-loved designs with international aesthetics. Chaudhry mentions that the idea of selling second-hand goods and chattels from foreign embassies and of expats residing in Delhi was a chance encounter.
While working at a diagnostics centre in Vasant Vihar in 2012, he paid a visit to the city’s US Embassy to hand over a medical report to an expat who was leaving the country. In conversation, the expat mentioned a need to sell his belongings.
Intrigued by the thought of selling high-end goods at nominal prices, Chaudhry purchased every product. Subsequently, through word-of-mouth, other expats leaving the country began contacting him. This simple expense bloomed into a full-time venture. "This would have never happened if I had sent a messenger to the embassy instead of going there myself," he said.
Embassy Goods started on social networking site Facebook (now Meta) in 2015. Chaudhry began with a warehouse in CR Park; he now has one in Ghitorni and a showroom in Sector 6, Noida.
Although the first products he sold were electronic gadgets, his venture now sells all kinds of furniture from trundle beds from Korea, recliners from the UK, baby changing stations to doll houses and even Lego sets.
A self-taught pianist and golfer, two of Chaudhry’s favourite goods are second-hand pianos and golf kits.
Selling the products at 50 per cent lesser than the original cost price is their distinguishing feature. Chaudhry ensures that the goods are in perfect condition.
"I avoid buying furniture that needs to be refurbished. My aim is to buy and sell goods that I would want to see in my house," he shares. With 14 employees, Chaudhry also sells second-hand and new Ikea (Swedish furniture giant) products to Indian buyers and embassies in the city.
Chaudhry's usual clientele are young couples looking to furnish their homes at nominal costs. Amit Kumar, a 42-year-old businessman from Faridabad, talks about a recently-bought table and gym equipment, "To get high-end products at such a nominal cost is always a plus. Moreover, Abhishek makes sure that the goods are in perfect condition so most people don’t even realise they are second-hand."
Chaudhry shares that, many times, the customers are willing to wait for him to acquire certain products.
He also says that with such a huge demand for pre-loved goods in the city, Embassy Goods often conducts virtual auctions twice a week on their Facebook page, and invites bids from buyers. "I get affordable and unique products at the click of a button and that is the best part about Embassy Goods. I have never had an issue with pre-loved goods, rather Embassy Goods has helped me choose quality over quantity," concludes Randeep Raina (45) from Faridabad.