After the last few days in the store, we've decided to build a confessional into our showroom. Here you can recite your Act of Contrition, and you'll be absolved of all of your furniture purchasing sins, mortal or venial.
All week long, a long line of penitents funneled through our door and poured out their hearts to us. "What was I thinking?" cried one consignor, admitting she had blown her budget for a decade on a furniture shopping spree. "Never again," another winced, recalling how she bought an enormous mansion at the peak of the market and furnished it lavishly.
We heard every variation of the seven deadly sins. One greedily wanted a house bigger than her sister's. Another lusted after a friend's inlaid mahogany desk until she found one even more exquisite - and pricier - in an antique shop.
Their stories were all slightly different, but they had one thing in common: they wanted absolution - and some money back, too.
Haven't we all been there?
I can recall attending a live auction several years ago. Consumed in the bidding process, I vaguely remember g-forces driving my paddle up in the air faster than I could think. The heat of the moment, the competition, the will to win! All three took command of my soul. And, suddenly, "Sold for $275! The hutch goes to the gentleman on the left."
When I was bidding, I was riding a motorcycle on a winding country road. When the auctioneer banged the gavel, I hit a brick wall.
The large mahogany hutch looked like a bargain when it was $50. After other buyers got involved in the fray, its value seemed to soar. Once they announced the new proud owner was moi I started to sweat at my poor decision-making. I did some fast math: $275 plus the auctioneer's commission of 12%, plus sales tax 6.25%. I had to move it within the next forty-eight hours and worse yet, where am I going to store it until I figure out what I can do with it?
I raised my hand. "Excuse me, sir... I'd like to apologize to the folks that I outbid. You see, I really don't need this hutch. It's not the money. What I was thinking? Can I give it back? This guy over here bid $250. Maybe you could sell it to him. I'll cover the extra $25."
I was looking for absolution and my money back. The room went silent. The man I outbid shrunk down in his seat. Clearly, he had gotten caught up in bidding, too. Now, he just wanted me to go far, far away.
Yes, I have been there. Haven't we all at one time or another? Life goes on. We make mistakes. Forgive yourself and move onto the next great thing in your life. And when it comes to fixing those mistakes, come see our new confessional at Furniture Consignment Gallery. We promise to listen - with sympathy - and help you get some money back, too.
Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/
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