Jay March2011

Jay Frucci, President and Owner,
Furniture Consignment Gallery

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The Five Worst Mistakes You Can Make when Selling Your Furniture



Salespeople are among the highest paid workers in many companies. Why? Selling is not easy! Smart companies know there are few things as valuable as winning new customers and keeping old ones happy. Top salespeople make a good living because they know the art of the sale.sales person resized 600

You don’t need a business degree to learn how to sell your furniture, but there are some handy tricks of the trade.  

  • Don’t show dirty furniture. Clean it before inviting in prospective buyers. Vacuum the upholstery. Try to remove stained couch resized 600stains. Nobody wants to see popcorn kernels and puppy hair when they are considering buying your sofa. And few things are as disgusting as gum stuck on the underside of a table.  Trust me, I've seen it!  Dust your furniture, but don’t use a polish that will rub off on buyers’ hands.  Make sure an old gum drop doesn't stick to someone’s pants when he sits on your sofa. Yep, that's happened to me, too.  Yuck!
  • Don’t fib about flaws. You didn't notice the giant crack in the middle of the dining table you rated a perfect 10 out of 10? "Wow, I didn't see that!"  I love that little lie. Be honest about your furniture. If there are scratches, run to the hardware store and buy a couple of furniture markers. Minwax  makes markers that costs less than $5. They work like magic.
  • Don’t overprice your furniture. If you set too high a price, you are wasting your time. Do a little research. Is your furniture old, worn or out of style? Respect your potential buyers. They are looking for a bargain, but they aren’t fools.
  • Don’t have your furniture professionally cleaned. You Spring Cleaning Countdown Polish full article vertical resized 600shouldn’t invest more money in items that you want to sell. And, often, you can do a good job yourself with a bit of elbow grease. 
  • Don’t restore furniture before selling. Refinishing and reupholstering is very expensive, and you rarely get your money out of this kind of an investment. Price your furniture based on its current condition. Let the new owner decide whether or not to refinish your piece.
Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Furniture Pick-up Adds Value to Consignment Services



A personal highlight of our business for me is getting the opportunity to pick up high-end furniture consignments from private residences in the New England area.  For starters, I get to ride around in a truck, which helps me to connect with my inner manhood. Aside from the windows down and sports radio blaring, it is never boring when we enter a consignors home.

Working with people and helping them to solve their furniture logistics problems just tickles me to death (to borrow a line from my wife's Southern roots).  Even more than that, new furniture means new excitement and energy in our showroom for our staff and for our on-line and in-store shoppers.  But what about our valued Consignors?!  What's in it for them? After all, they have to wave goodbye to all of these beautiful pieces that were recently purchased that for one reason or another, won't fit wherever they are going.

Here are some reasons why a furniture consignment store that offers in-house pick-up services should get top consideration when choosing a channel to sell your items:

1) If a furniture consignment store accepts an item for consignment and places it on their truck, they feel they can sell it.  Therefore they have a vested interest in removing the item carefully from your home and transporting it safely to their showroom. Safe transport preserves the condition and allows for the highest possible sale price which means the most money for all parties involved.  The last thing we want to do is cause damage to a piece we can sell.

2) Furniture consignment stores move more furniture than any professional moving company.  Thursday, we brought a sofa into the store for sale, sold it one hour later, and then swiftly removed it from the showroom floor. We delivered the sofa Friday.  To put it bluntly: We move a lot of furniture!  This is important because you have people who know what they are doing, have a vested interest in your furniture and have the expertise to remove items from your home quickly and safely.

3) If you have beautiful and marketable furniture, a good furniture consignment store should make arrangements to adjust their schedule to yours.  This leads to great convenience when dealing with life's otherwise stressful and transitional situations.

Safe and convenient pick-up service offered at a reasonable price, is a great reason to consider consignment as an option when selling upscale furniture. 

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Price Your Upscale Furniture To Sell



It should come as no surprise that in furniture consignment, sellers almost always think their items are priced too low and buyers tend to think items are too highly priced.  So how do we arrive at a price?  Though it’s far from an exact science, there is a methodology.  Unlike selling a house, boat or car, there is no MLS system for furniture or Kelly Blue Book to tell us how to value pre-owned furniture, so we must be market savvy.  If you are selling a dining set that you paid $15,000 for 5 years ago, you should look at how many dining sets are selling for $15,000 today. You will quickly find that there are a great deal of dining sets available in today’s market.  Since most buyers can purchase a new dining set of their dreams for $15,000, how do we create an appropriate economic incentive for a buyer to purchase your pre-owned furniture?  Here are some things to consider when pricing your furniture:
  • Start by dividing what you paid in half, then see what is available in the marketplace at that price. Let's go back to our dining set example. What if we surveyed the marketplace for dining sets priced at or around $7,500?  How does your set fare against those other sets that are for sale in that price range?
  • “Retail” is a fictional number so throw it out the window.   "I paid $15,000 for my dining set 5 years ago, but a similar set retails for $25,000!"  Retail pricing is a bizarre phenomenon in the furniture industry.  Nothing sells for retail.  In fact, most furniture stores discount 30% to 40% off of retail.  So the dollar figure we want to work from is the price that somebody can actually buy the set for "new".
  • On top of retail discounts, we are currently in the midst of a recession and so there are two factors to consider: First, furniture retailers are doing anything to get customers to open their wallets, so there are heavily discounted sale prices to consider. Secondly, many furniture stores offer financing, which you cannot offer as a seller.  Again, this may factor into how you decide to price your piece.
  • Customization does not translate into resale value.  In fact, it may make your sale more difficult.  "I paid $200/yard for this fabric on my sofa".  Upgraded fabric means that it matches the rest of your home, not a potential buyer’s.
    • The question you have to ask yourself is:  “Am I searching for a special buyer who is going to appreciate this unique fabric?” If your answer is “Yes”, you will have to price your item more aggressively than you may have anticipated.
  • If you have extraordinary furniture, such as pieces from D.R. Dimes, Eldred Wheeler, Kindel, etc., one of the advantages that you have is that people can have it now! Often pieces from high-end furniture manufacturers are built after the sale, meaning that lead times can run from a few weeks to a few months.
    • For this grade of furniture, you should be able to achieve an asking price that is closer to the original purchase price.  These manufacturers pitch their product as an appreciating asset. While they may not actually increase in value, these pieces do have strong marketability on the resale market.
  • Condition is paramount!  Tiny scratches can affect the purchase price that you are able to achieve.  Try having a friend evaluate the condition of your furniture and ask them to be picky.  You want to be sure that you have accounted for imperfections in your pricing. 

If you're furniture sells right away, then you likely did your homework and priced it just right. The buyer feels like they got good value for their dollar and the seller walks away with fair market value, some space in their home, and money in their pocket.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!
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