I was flipping through emails from folks offering furniture for consignment when a photo caught my eye. Frosted glass! Chrome! That’s exactly what our customers have been looking for in recent months.
From the photo, the cabinet looked like some fancy European contemporary piece, possibly German. My excitement was growing. I emailed the seller for more details but he couldn’t remember much. His other items were quality brands, though, so I figured this piece would be a winner, too.
A few days later, the moving van pulled up to the store. One by one, the movers carefully unloaded our consigner’s furniture, all nice pieces, but I was holding my breath for the grand finale. The Frosted Glass and Chrome was in the back of the truck lavishly swathed in a black shrink-wrap. A priceless masterpiece, for sure!
Like a kid at Christmas, I could hardly contain my eagerness. “I can’t wait to see it!” I said to the mover. He looked at me sourly then offered his opinion in a thick Eastern European accent: “Zis is – how you say—a peaze of sheet.”
Stunned, I thought maybe I didn’t quite understand him. Surely he must be wrong. He shook his head and reiterated plainly, “No, no. You watch. Is a peaze of sheet.”
He tore off the last of the black wrapping. The cabinet of my dreams emerged, then slowly toppled over and crashed on the floor in pieces – on my foot. Apparently, the only thing holding this item together was the black wrapping.
I shook off the fractured pieces and circled the cabinet in a fury. How could I have been so wrong? How had I been bamboozled? This was no exquisite piece of contemporary furniture from Germany. It was, to be blunt, exactly as described by the mover.
It was Ikea.
The mover was looking at me with a smug expression that said “I told you so.” I couldn’t wait to sweep up the rubble and get the cabinet out of the store. Ikea at FCG? Ugh.
Made of particle board and assembled, often ineptly, by customers, Ikea’s stuff is suitable for dorm rooms and first apartments, but it sags and crumbles under pressure. It’s disposable, like a cheap razor. Ikea is the antithesis of FCG.
I wandered off, berating myself angrily. What was I thinking? What a dumb mistake. I should have asked more questions. I should have demanded the sales receipt. Have I lost my touch? I made a vow to myself: never again.