"Well, it looked great in the photos," I said glumly.
I was talking to staffers in Plymouth, where our delivery truck had just brought in a dining room table. The tabletop gleamed with nary a scratch. But I couldn't say the same about the legs. They looked like a pooch's chew toy.
My mistake, I know. Before authorizing a pick-up by our delivery team, I'd gotten some photos from the consignor. All of them showed a table in excellent condition. Not one offered a hint of the damage done by what looked like a hybrid woodchuck-Dachshund.
At FCG, we trust our consignors to give us full disclosure on the condition of their furniture. From time to time, we will accept flawed pieces if the damage is minimal, if the style is popular and if we can agree upon a discounted price. Many of our consignors are honest to a fault; they detail the tiniest nick.
Other consignors are so desperate to get rid of their furniture that they photoshop away all evidence of damage. Our delivery guys are usually careful to examine furniture before loading it on the truck, but sometimes damaged pieces end up being carted into our showrooms.
In the case of the masticated table, I called the consignor to discuss the problem. "It's used furniture," she huffed. "People should expect wear-and-tear."
This was far beyond ordinary wear-and-tear, I gently told her. FCG accepts only stylish, brand-name furniture in good or excellent condition.
After getting off the phone, I encountered a staff mutiny. "How are we supposed to sell a table in that condition?" Plymouth staffers demanded, glaring at me, arms akimbo, as they gathered around the table.
Luckily, Plymouth has a talented furniture fixer, Karyn, who paints and repairs pieces in her spare time. To her, the table looked like a manageable challenge. "I'll get my sander," she said. "That might help."
At FCG, we do our best to work things out with our consignors. Over the years, we've made lots of phone calls to disappointed consignors. We've also returned more than a few items. In some circumstances, we were able to fix pieces so they were would be showroom-ready.
In life, but especially in consignment, honesty – on both sides --is the best way to proceed.