He barreled into our showroom, yanking the door open with such force it nearly ripped off the hinges. His wife followed sheepishly. “I’m looking for a quick sale!” he announced loudly to everyone in the showroom. “Quick! Get it?”
Hanover was bustling with buyers, and all heads turned to watch as he stomped to the front desk. He whipped out photos of the furniture he wanted to consign and, I’ll admit, it was tempting. All of his pieces were high quality and well-kept.
After five minutes, though, I knew this deal wouldn’t work for either one of us. For one, he was demanding prices so inflated that his furniture would never sell, never mind speedily. Then, he unleashed a list of other demands, including the specific spots where he wanted his items placed on the showroom floor.
Ultimately, he left in a fury. Everyone in the showroom breathed a sigh of relief.
Our consignors want to sell their furniture fast. And we want that for them, too. Here are some tips on how to do it:
1. Price to sell: Furniture is not an appreciating asset. Your furniture lost 30% of its value the day it was delivered to your home. Every year afterward, it loses value. That’s true even if you keep it wrapped in plastic. 1985 is ancient history in furniture years. Tiny nicks and dents also take a toll. But buyers will overlook imperfections if the price is right.
2. Find the right market: I recently got a call from a homeowner in northern Maine. Her house is full of Barbara Barry, luxurious furniture with a Southern California vibe. She knew her rustic area, dotted with rustic log homes, wouldn’t yield a lot of buyers. At FCG, sophisticated buyers with more contemporary tastes will snatch it up.
3. Good photography is essential: The internet makes it possible to sell anything online. But quality photos are a must. Furniture needs proper lighting and multiple shots from good angles. Dirty laundry in the backdrop? Shabby wallpaper? That’s a turn-off for buyers. At FCG, we pride ourselves on crisp, clear photos of furniture from multiple angles.
4. Placement is important: Buyers don’t want to look at furniture that’s stacked up like the plumbing supplies at Home Depot. They want a clean, stylish and safe environment in which to shop. They don’t want dust, grime or last night’s garlic chicken lingering in the air. They want to see furniture in spotlessly clean and beautifully staged rooms that whisper quality. Just like our showrooms.
5. Think like a buyer: Yes, you can borrow a marketing tactic from BMW and call your furniture pre-owned rather then used. But if it’s been stored in a musty attic and buyers have to climb into the rafters and over a stack of board games you won’t get a quick sale. No buyer wants to navigate an obstacle course. But most of all, buyers want a bargain. They don’t want to haggle with an unreasonable seller.
Selling your furniture is difficult. We understand that. Most of us have an intense emotional attachment to our homes and everything in it. All those holiday dinners around the dining room table! The heirloom desk at which you negotiated that big deal!
Difficult as it may be, you should listen to the advice of a trustworthy consignment service like FCG. We’ll help you achieve your goals.