Cross Border Commerce

As Games Unfold, Olympic Furniture Awaits Next Chapter

Thousands of athletes are staying in the Rio Olympic and Paralympic village, but what happens to all of the furniture after they leave town? One company is working to auction off more than 200,000 of those chairs, tables, beds and other pieces of furniture to buyers around the world with Olympics’ fever (or who may just be looking for deals). PYMNTS recently caught up with Howard Rosenberg, the founder and CEO of B-Stock Solutions, to discuss the handling of cross-border payments and shipping for the winning bidders. You can find that, along with the latest news from around the cross-border space and a directory with profiles of more than 100 players in the industry, in August’s X-Border Tracker.

We hear a lot about what athletes do to prepare and train for the Olympics in the run up to the Games. We don’t hear as much about what goes into preparing the Olympics for the athletes. The Rio Olympic and Paralympic villages have been outfitted with more than 200,00 pieces of furniture, including 135,000 chairs, 42,000 tables, 20,000 beds and 10,000 wardrobes. But what happens to all that bulk furniture when the athletes go back home?

After the Olympics and Paralympics have concluded in September that furniture will be sold to the highest bidders by B-Stock Solutions, a technology provider overseeing the largest network of B2B liquidation marketplaces, in a special auction. That means furniture from the village will be shipped from Rio to buyers all over the world, which poses some serious cross-border challenges.

To discuss how the company is accepting payments and making deliveries around the world after the auction closes, PYMNTS recently caught up with Howard Rosenberg, B-Stock’s founder and CEO.

Here’s a preview:

Rosenberg said that being prepared for wide-ranging recipients means the company can better address cross-border clients’ needs by developing solutions designed specifically for each consumer. 

“Every customer has their own rules, business process and methodology for running their company that we tailor the marketplace to fit around,” he said.

With most auctions, Rosenberg noted, the products will typically ship shortly after a payment has been received from a winning bidder. However, that’s not the case with the Olympic auctions, as it’s time based and the shipments are triggered by the end of the Games, he said.

He also noted the shipping disparities based on the overall size of the items being auctioned off. 

“The difference is in the nature of the product, maybe the nature of each lot, meaning everything here is a full container load that can be loaded onto a cargo ship,” Rosenberg said. “Many of our marketplaces, they will sell as little as a pallet or 10 cellphones that can be packed in a box and sent by UPS. From that perspective, it’s a bit different.”

Around the cross-border commerce world

Companies around the cross-border commerce space recently rolled out new products and partnerships designed to meet the demands of the global consumer. Global online payment platform provider Payza, for one, launched an international expansion to their prepaid card after spending several months upgrading the card based on customer feedback.

Meanwhile, payment platform 2Checkout and tool provider Selz joined forces to grow their international presence to 180 countries. Not to be outdone, First Data announced a new alliance with Bancolombia, a conglomerate of Caribbean and Latin American financial institutions, to bring European and American payment innovations to the Colombian marketplace.

The August X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™ also features the latest news and analysis and contains profiles of more than 100 global payment service providers, including six new additions to the Tracker.


To download the August edition of the PYMNTS X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker, click the button below.


About The Tracker

The PYMNTS X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™ provides an organizing framework for evaluating the many players that help merchants optimize their cross-border clients effectively and efficiently.



New forms of alternative credit and point-of-sale (POS) lending options like ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) leverage the growing influence of payments choice on customer loyalty. Nearly 60 percent of consumers say such digital options now influence where and how they shop—especially touchless payments and robust, well-crafted ecommerce checkouts—so, merchants have a clear mandate: understand what has changed and adjust accordingly. Join PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster together with PayPal’s Greg Lisiewski, BigCommerce’s Mark Rosales, and Adore Me’s Camille Kress as they spotlight key findings from the new PYMNTS-PayPal study, “How We Shop” and map out faster, better pathways to a stronger recovery.

Click to comment