Bemz.com is a terrific concept… they’ve identified a set of widely-owned commodity products that degrade over time, and, for little money, offer an upgrade that makes the original better than new.
Specifically, Bemz provides a selection of upholstery options that are tailored to fit various furniture items from Ikea. For around $200, you can transform a worn out sofa into a (sort of) designer piece, which compares well with the cost of a custom upholstery job, which is probably north of $1000 and a logistical headache (can you fit a sofa in your car?).
The business model works a little bit like iPhone accessory manufacturers, renewing an owner’s object lust for something that’s just lost its shine.
But moreover, piggybacking on an company whose generally gripe about the longevity of its products, Bemz is solving a real problem for a wide audience in a way that is relatively cheap and easy to produce and ship to the end-user.
I think that this kind of eCommerce could reflect well in other industries and would be a welcome service, at least in the United States, which could use some help re-purposing (rather than throwing away) some of its aging goods.