FurnitureConsignment.com Blog

Making Memories On Easter Sunday

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 15, 2017 @ 07: 29 AM

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For many Orthodox Greeks, Easter is the most important holiday of the year, an extravaganza of family tradition capped by a day of feasting and fun on Sunday.

That's when she missed the big house most of all. Fragrant with the rich scent of baking bread and roasted lamb, her house was filled with noise and joy and rambunctious children every Easter.

This year will be different. Years ago, she and her husband had sold the house with its generous rooms and manicured lawns and downsized into a luxury condo. Earlier this year, they'd downsized again. Travel – especially to see the grandchildren – was more important now than square footage.

Amid all the change, though, some things remain the same. Easter, for instance, and the importance of family. Tomorrow, their condo will be jammed with relatives. Every corner of the kitchen will be stacked with savory treats.

Traditions will be observed. Candles will be lit, chocolates exchanged. Children will be hushed for the ceremony when eggs, hard-boiled and dyed blood-red, will be cracked, symbolizing the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. All this will happen under the eagle eye of her mother-in-law, who at the age of 90, was still the commanding matriarch of this very large brood.

That's why she was in our store this week. Her new condo may be considerably smaller than the sprawling suburban home, but it was being buffed and polished to spotless perfection. She needed new lamps for the foyer so the house would glow brightly.

"This is the final touch," our customer said with satisfaction when she found the perfect shades. "I'm ready for Easter."

Whatever your family tradition this spring, we wish you the warmth of family and friends, the comfort of traditions and the joy of spring. At FCG, we have all the final touches you need to make your home a welcoming place.

Happy Easter to all of our great staff and, especially, our customers. Thank you for letting us be a part of your home and your family celebrations.

Made in the USA: Good For Beer and Mattresses

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 08, 2017 @ 07: 59 AM

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I've never really been a beer guy. Bourbon is more my style. But I had the chance to taste a fresh batch of a locally brewed IPA, and I have to admit it was delicious. The beer was smooth and pumped full of zesty hops and citrus flavor. "'Double dry hopped," the tap room manager said, by way of explanation. That's a brewing technique adds a depth of complexity to the flavor and aroma of the beer.

There was a millennial next to me at the bar, all smug in his fake glasses, blotchy beard, untucked shirt and his beer connoisseurship. He treated me to a lecture on India Pale Ales, or IPAs. Apparently, the English created a special kind of beer for ships bound for India; brewers added extra hops and alcohol to preserve the beer during the grueling six-month voyage.

He nattered on about hoppiness and history for a while. Then, his pal offered a simpler explanation. "Beer is like bread," he offered. "Fresh is best."

Well, that's true in a lot of businesses. As I stood in line for a batch to take home, I thought about the customer we just had in our store in Natick. He'd driven almost an hour to the store to buy a mattress from FCG. With all the mattress stores between his hometown of Hudson and Natick, I was understandably curious why he was such a fan of our mattresses.

He explained: He'd heard that FCG's mattresses are constructed by a third-generation company in nearby Hartford, Connecticut. FCG's mattress maker not only believes in hometown craftsmanship, the company makes it standard practice. All the mattress materials are locally sourced – and workers are hired locally. Even the owners work in the factory.

Most of all, our customer said, "I like the fact that your mattresses are fresh."

What does that mean? Well, when you order a mattress from FCG, our supplier makes it the next day. Unlike our competitors, we don't buy our mattresses from China. Our mattresses aren't stuffed into plastic bags, packed into containers, shipped across the ocean, then jammed into a warehouse for months.

No, FCG's mattress are fresh, just like a great craft beer or an oven-hot loaf of bread. And it doesn't take a snobby connoisseur to know the difference between stale and fresh.

Consignment Pricing Is a High-Wire Act

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 01, 2017 @ 08: 32 AM

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Like a gorgeous poppy, the sofa lit up the room. It was a massive tangerine sectional, custom-made by an interior designer. Only a few years ago it had been featured in a photo spread in New England Home. The original cost of the sectional: $17,000.

Now, the homeowner was redecorating. Tangerine was not on the new color palette. She wanted to consign the sectional at FCG, but first we had to agree on the price. “$3,499,” I suggested, hoping she wouldn’t faint at the steep decline in value.

“I understand,” she said. “That’s fair.” After all, orange is not the new black, grey or beige. This weekend, her sectional will be featured in a show-stopping display in our store in Natick, and hopefully it’ll score a quick sale.

Negotiating the price of consignment furniture is a challenge. Pre-owned furniture typically sells for a fraction of its original price. Even hand-crafted pieces with exquisite detail won’t fetch anywhere near their original prices at consignment.

Furniture used to be an investment. Now, it’s more like fashion. Styles and colors come in and out of vogue quickly. The hard truth is that furniture depreciates rapidly and dramatically. For some first-time consignors, that’s stunning news.

Consider the tale of two rugs. One was an 8’x10’ Ethan Allen in popular muted tones. We’ve sold similar rugs for around $800. “Absolutely not!” this consignor said, offended at the suggested price. “I paid four times as much for that rug years ago.” She left, dragging her rug with her. 

Later in the day came another consigner with a gorgeous hard-tied rug that originally cost $25,000. At FCG, that rug will likely sell for about $4,000. That’s a fraction of its original price, but the consignor was a realist.

“I’m happy to recoup even a portion of my investment,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed the rug for years. Now, someone else will have a chance to do the same.”  That rug will be on our showroom floor this weekend.

Consignment pricing is an art. Many homeowners are eager to consign their furniture. And we’re eager to have those pieces on our showroom floor. But, first, we need to agree on a price. Our years of experience selling the finest in pre-owned furniture have sharpened our pricing instincts. Trust us on that.

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we’re always trying to strike a balance. We want you, the consigner, to get the highest price for your furniture. We also want to provide our customers with the great bargains they’ve come to expect from FCG. That’s a high-wire act we try to do every day with grace and skill.

Sell it or Store it? What to do with Furniture You Might Not Need After the Big Move

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 25, 2017 @ 08: 15 AM

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“What’s taking so long?” I grumbled.

Diana and I were newlyweds, looking for our first home. I’d walked through the house briskly noting the necessities. Roof, garage, furnace? Check, check, check. Ok, done. Meanwhile, Diana was evaluating each room with the intensity of a diamond cutter.

“Shh!” the realtor said. “Give her time! She’s imagining your furniture – and your future – in this house.”

Moving to a new home is a major life event. It can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging. Over the years at FCG, we’ve become experts in helping our customers over these hurdles, whether they’re navigating a corporate transfer across the country, upgrading into a bigger family home or downsizing after the kids have grown.

Here are some tips we’d like to share:    

 

  1. Consider your new home – and how you want to live in it. Are you moving from a formal suburban colonial to a casual oceanfront cottage? A sprawling single-family home to a compact city condo. Are you shrinking square footage or expanding? These questions will help you determine whether some of your furniture – or any of it – will work in your new home.

 

  1. Don’t delay. As soon as you list your current home for sale, contact FCG. We can help you determine the value of your furniture. Some pieces may have limited resale potential. Others could generate cash quickly. Our promise: we’ll be prompt and honest with our evaluation.

 

  1. Coordinate with your realtor before you move the furniture. Most realtors will want to stage your home to appeal to potential buyers. Few want to sell an empty house. Your realtor may want you to keep some furniture in place for showings while getting rid of oversized or outdated pieces.  

 

  1. The P&S is the trigger. Once you have a “purchase and sale agreement,” you have a sharply defined timeframe. That’s when you’ll need a precise moving plan. If you haven’t yet contacted FCG, send us an email with a link to your home listing. Based on the listing photos, we can evaluate your furniture for possible consignment.

 

  1. If you do decide to put furniture in storage for a time, take photos – and make some notes about the size and condition of the pieces. Trying to remember the dimensions of a beloved china cabinet in storage is difficult when you’re in that new home. So grab that camera or cellphone before the moving van arrives. Later, if you decide your furniture won’t work in your new home, you’ll have the info we’ll need to decide whether those pieces can be sold at FCG.

 

  1. In fact, catalog everything that is going into storage. Label boxes clearly. You’d be surprised how quickly you’ll forget what is stacked in the farthest corners of the unit. Storage is expensive; fees run about $150 a month and up. Do you really want to pay to store those old board games?

 

Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of customers with their moves. We can help take some of the stress out of a move. As you plan this next new phase of your life, let us put our experience to work for you.

On Time Arrival? Your Flight, No But FCG, Yes!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 18, 2017 @ 08: 25 AM

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Our customers and consignors know that we’re fussy about furniture at FCG. Only quality pieces are selected for our three showrooms. We’re choosy, not only about the style and age of the furniture, but also brand and condition.

What you might not know is that we’re just as fastidious about our pick-ups and deliveries. We treat your time, your home and your furniture with care and respect – and, if we do mess up, we promise to do our best to make it right.

New England’s weather often makes that a challenge. Case in point: last week’s blizzard.

When the first snow warnings were sounded, FCG reluctantly decided that all deliveries had to be scrapped on Tuesday. Once we’d made that decision, our team immediately jumped to the phones, alerting customers of changes to the schedule.

By Wednesday, though, our guys were back on the road. Arctic air and high winds? Not a problem for our crew. Armed with shovels, sand and a can-do spirit, they navigated icy roads and snow-clogged sidewalks to keep their promises to our customers.

FCG is fortunate. Our guys are pros. Once committed, they are ultra-reliable. Your furniture – and your time – are valuable. That’s why we promise to be at your home within a two-hour time window. This isn’t your typical cable company with its sloppy work and hollow promises. We’re the Marine Corps of movers.

Despite the lingering snow, spring is coming – and so are all those special events: weddings, graduations, showers, and reunions. FCG has the furniture you need to entertain family and friends. Shop with confidence. Your furniture will be delivered on time. You have our word on it.

Take a Walk On the Wild Side: Buy the Purple Chairs

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 11, 2017 @ 07: 41 AM

 

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"What's selling these days?"

Well, that depends. Ask a suburban realtor and the answer is a four-bedroom bedroom colonial with an updated kitchen. Ask a car dealer and it's a Tesla for the nouveau riche and, for the rest of us, a pre-owned low-mileage mid-size SUV.

Lots of people ask that question of us here at Furniture Consignment Gallery. The easiest answer is what's not selling: soiled chairs or sofas, country dining room sets with chicken wire instead of glass on the china cabinet, television cabinets as big and heavy as sarcophagi, or anything Queen Anne, Italian Provincial, or Mediterranean.

The fastest selling items in our showroom? Predictably, those are the pieces in neutral colors with classic lines. A white sofa with simple lines sits on the showroom floor for about five seconds. As soon as one arrives, I can close my eyes and silently count "one, Mississippi, two, Mississippi" – and the sofa vanishes instantly!

What I love are the bold, the daring, the fun pieces. Purple velvet chairs with nailhead trim stop our customers in their tracks when they're strolling around our showrooms. Everyone pauses to brush the soft velvet with their hands and exclaim over the rich color and style. But when it comes time to buy, they opt for the white swivel chairs every time.

Take a walk on the wild side, folks. Don't be afraid to show some personality. Give the neighborhood something to talk about. Buy the purple chairs or the orange chaise and make a statement. Style should be exciting, enthusiastic, and opinionated. It's your home. Have some fun with it.

DIY Trouble: One BoyAnd a Can of Spray Paint

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 04, 2017 @ 07: 16 AM

 

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"Okay, Google, how do you get gold spray paint off a new white fence?"

If that sounds like a desperate man, well, it was. That was my query last weekend after an afternoon puttering around the yard doing projects while keeping an eye on our eight-year-old son, Robbie.

Okay, I'll 'fess up. I wasn't exactly keeping an eye on Robbie. Fully absorbed in my work, I was vaguely aware that he was outside playing happily. He seemed energetic and busy.

Whatever he's doing, I thought, at least he's outside. For months, he and his two brothers have been video-game zombies every weekend, barely budging from the couch while staring saucer-eyed at a television screen. Finally, last week, we got a warm day and we all had a chance to breathe some fresh air.

I could hear the kid humming a tune and rummaging around the garage, but, as I said, I wasn't paying that much attention. How much trouble can a kid get into outside in late winter?

Years of parenting three boys should have taught me better. I missed all the warning signs.

Sign #1: "Hey, Dad, I found some paint!"

Sign #2: Robbie's hands and sweatshirt were smeared with paint. It's an old sweatshirt, I thought. I didn't register the obvious: whatever he was doing, it wasn't a simple touch-up job...

That's when Mom came home – and immediately noticed the shirt, the hands and the now-empty can of gold spray paint bought a couple of months ago for our middle son's science project, a mobile of protons and atoms. (He got an A.)

I, on the other hand, did not get an A for watching Robbie. She was furious. "Where were you?" she demanded. And, more ominously, "have you seen the fence?" Robbie, it seems, is a budding Picasso. Our new white fence now boasts a riot of gold streaks and curlicues, adding a dash of modern art to our traditional colonial neighborhood.

So, thanks to my artistic son, I have a new do-it-yourself project, one that involves acetone, a few scrub brushes and latex gloves, a bucket of warm water, a bucket of cold water, towels and a lot of sweat. Thanks, Google. I hope this $#@! works.

Are you yearning to DIY? Feeling the urge to splash some paint around? Come check out our great supply of Dixie Belle chalk paints. They're odorless. They clean up with soap and water. Let your kids have some fun with an old piece of furniture. Just keep them away from the spray paint – and the fence.

Lessons Learned Over Twelve Years

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 25, 2017 @ 09: 19 AM

 

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"Remember me?" he asked. "Ten years ago you helped me sell the furniture from my house in Newton. Back then, you were just a kid starting out!"

Yes, I remember him well, and I'm wincing at the memory. In 2007, FCG was a fledgling business. Moving furniture was a skill we were still learning.  We didn't know how to wrap, tape or pack. His stuff was a major challenge.

Back then, he was living on the top floor of an apartment building with an elevator. Lugging every piece out of the apartment was a finger-pinching and shin-bruising operation. We were mopping rivulets of sweat by the time we wrestled the furniture into the elevator.

Even after we managed to everything to the basement of the building, we had to figure out how to load the truck. Think of a Rubik's Cube – with every block weighing 75 to 100 pounds.

Thankfully, we made it back to the store without a nick or scratch on any of his furniture. It sold quickly and for more than he'd hoped. Now, ten years later, he has more to sell and he's back at FCG.

He's changed – and so have we. His taste shifted from traditional to high-end contemporary. At our store in Natick, we are selling his Arketipo sectional, a Mateo Grassi cocktail table, Geiger Herman Miller I-beam end tables, and a Dona cabinet.

Meanwhile, we've polished our skills. Among other things, we've also added professional movers to the roster. Now, we fill our trucks without any blood, sweat or tears.

Repeat customers are a prized asset in business. They indicate a bond of trust. We value our relationships with all our customers – consignors and shoppers – and we've made it our goal to serve you well this time and every time.

Fleeing the Winter, Leaving the Furniture

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 18, 2017 @ 08: 12 AM

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"Take it away!" he said with glee. "I've got a flight to catch."

Twenty-five years ago, he'd built the waterfront mansion as a family home. Now, with the children grown and his career shifting into low gear, he and his wife were wintering in Florida. After one month as snowbirds, they impulsively decided to sell the big house.

Who says downsizing has to be time-consuming and exhausting? One week was all it took this guy. He flew to Boston, met with a realtor, hired a mover, brought in the painters and called in FCG. Of course, he was highly motivated: three days of winter snow and slush convinced him this was the right move.

"Have your guys at the house to take the furniture by 3 p.m.," he said. "I don't want to miss my flight. I've got a golf game in the morning."

Well, FCG knows how to hustle, especially when our consignors have something urgent on their calendars. And, after last week's storms, I'd like to think that an early morning tee time on a golf course ringed by palm trees is urgent.

These snowbirds are leaving behind some pretty pieces including some gorgeous oriental rugs, a Baker Serpentine sideaboard and a Hekman executive desk all of which will be arriving today.

You'll also save a lot throughout President's Weekend. Take 10% off just about everything in the stores now through Monday. The only thing better than a golf tan is an FCG Sale Event. Stop by one of our three stores today! Look for New Arrivals all weekend long as Natick has a shipment of top end contemporary furnishings scheduled to arrive this afternoon.

Patriots' Parade Yields A Father-Son Memory

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 11, 2017 @ 09: 04 AM

 

"Dad, I'm freezing!" Robbie was cold, hungry and weary after two hours of waiting as the crowds thickened on Boston's Boylston Street. His sneakers had been marinating in slush and street sewage for two hours. His socks looked like the nasty grey rag left the bottom of an industrial sink.

"Dad," he grumbled, "I can't feel my feet!"  

Yes, Robbie was complaining, and loudly. But this kid and his dad weren't about to give up. Of course not. The Patriots hadn't given up – even when they were down by 25 last Sunday. Just when almost everyone had given up, the turbocharged team turned it around in a miraculous surge and scored a historic victory, winning their fifth Super Bowl.

Eight-year-old Robbie and I joined a record one million ecstatic fans in Boston on Tuesday to celebrate the Pats' return with the Lombardi Trophy. Just before noon, the iconic yellow duck boats started to roll by and the crowd began to roar. In the first boat was Robert Kraft, team owner, hoisting the silver trophy. Then came the players.     

I hoisted the 65-pound lad on my shoulders so he could get a better view. "Do your job!" I yelled, echoing the mantra of Pats Coach Bill Belichick. Robbie took the cue, waving and howling like a banshee.

Maybe it was my son's bright red hair – or his ear-splitting cheers. Maybe it was my wild leap in the air with a wobbling kid atop my shoulders. Who knows? But it worked. As his duck boat moved down the street, Tom Brady, best quarterback of all time, swung around and, grinning broadly, seemingly pointed directly at us. It was an epic father-son moment.

Someday, Robbie will forget the frozen feet and the slush-filled sneakers. He'll probably forget that he was hungry and tired. What he'll remember is this: he was just yards away from the greatest coach and quarterback of all time.

Before I could catch my breath, the duck boats had passed. I felt a tug on the hood of my jacket, then a knocking on my head. Robbie leaned over and stared me straight in my eyes. "Dad," he said impatiently. "Can we get out of here now?"