Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Introducing the furniture calculator: a "blue book" for furniture

 Value my furniture now!
Because we love nerdy fairness
even more than you do.
Let's say you and your roommate Nathan split a new $500 couch when you moved in together 2 years ago. The couch is currently in "very good" shape - the pillows are a bit flattened and there are some very minor signs of wear and tear, but not much else.

Now you are both moving out, and Nathan wants to keep the couch. You want to keep the $300 TV that you split around the same time (the TV still works fine). You should be paid back for your share of the couch, and Nathan should be paid back for his share of the TV. But what is the value of the couch and TV now, 2 years later?

Just like splitting rent, it's awkward and tricky to just "make up a number." We wanted to create a simple calculator to value used furniture shared by an apartment, so that it's easy to sell to friends. The idea is kind of like the "blue-book" for used cars. (Our answer for the above example: the couch is still worth $329.00 while the TV is worth $197.40, and since you split both originally, Nathan owes you $65.80 - half the difference.)

How the furniture calculator works

The new furniture calculator is an awesome tool for helping you move out of an old apartment. As we mentioned in the introductory post, the calculator takes three things into account:
  • The purchase price of the furniture
  • The change in condition/quality of the furniture
  • How long the furniture has been in use since it was bought
It uses this information to calculate the current value of the furniture so that you can sell it to your housemates, or split up furniture fairly when moving out.  But how does it work?