Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

What Make the Cut at FCG: Mitchell Gold, Arhaus and Other Top Brands

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, August 30, 2019 @ 04: 14 PM

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At our house, there’s no doubt that summer is dwindling down to its last precious days. On Monday, by family tradition, Diana will bake a cake for our three boys. On it, she will write in icing a command that is thrilling to our parental hearts: “Go To School!”

For our second-oldest son, high school really started a couple of weeks ago with the launch of fall sports. First came the captain’s practices, then the more challenging double practices. After that, coaches and captains selected their teams, winnowing down the number of potential athletes to a select few. Only the most talented make the cut. It is a painful but necessary process.

At FCG, we go through a similar process of sifting through the options to choose the furniture we’re proud to have in our three showrooms. Here’s how we decide:

First, we evaluate furniture trends and styles, which are constantly changing. Furniture from the 1980s: no. The 1990s? Unlikely. Danish modern, once out of vogue, is back in style. Also popular with our customers is furniture in good condition from Restoration Hardware, Mitchell Gold, Room & Board and Arhaus.

A second factor is resale value. There’s no Kelley Blue Book for furniture as there is for cars and trucks. But FCG is expert in weighing factors including the current retail price, condition, age, quality of construction and the value of the brand as we look at every piece of pre-owned furniture.

With all those factors in mind, we come up with a sale price. Then, we decide if it is enough to qualify for a spot in one of our showrooms. In only a few rare cases does furniture appreciate in value. Most furniture depreciates quickly, especially upholstered pieces. That’s why pricing is often the hardest concept to explain to new consignors. We price furniture to sell, not linger on the showroom floor.

Just like trying out and failing to make a high school team, it’s often painful for a potential consignor to realize that their beloved furniture won’t make the cut at FCG. But we have a promise to keep to our shoppers. At FCG, we strive to make sure our showrooms are chock full of stylish and high-quality furniture in good condition. That’s why we’re the top furniture consignment stores in all of New England.

A First-time Visitor to FCG in Hanover Goes a Little Wild

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, August 23, 2019 @ 06: 21 PM

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Riding shotgun with me in my 200,000-mile Toyota SUV as I ran some errands last week was my trusty partner, Roxie, our family dog. When we pulled up in front of our store in Hanover, Roxie looked at me, tilted her head and cocked one eyebrow quizzically as if to say “Are you seriously planning on leaving me in the car?”

FCG has a policy of no dogs in our stores. But I was wilting under that plaintive look.

I conjured up a couple of justifications for breaking my own policy: it was early and the store wasn’t open for business yet. I was planning on dashing in to retrieve something, spending three or four minutes tops inside. And, despite the A/C, the car had gotten oppressively humid after I’d opened the door.

A moment later, I relented and motioned to Roxie. “C’mon girl, let’s go.”

Like many a first-time customer FCG, Roxie entered the store then paused in amazement to take in the scene. Acres of furniture! Faint but delicious new smells of polish and leather! Dog paradise!

Roxie tore through the first floor, zipping from one corner to another sniffing each item, a slightly crazed but joyous look in her eyes. Once she was satisfied she’d undertaken a complete inspection of the first-floor premises, she found the staircase and bounded up to the second floor.

Then, I could hear her overhead, whipping around the dining tables and chairs, pausing to inhale the fragrance of a mahogany dresser or a pine chest. Far from tiring, Roxie seemed to gain energy and enthusiasm the more she saw. Meanwhile, I hurried to rustle through my office to retrieve the item I needed.

When I got back to the showroom, there was an eerie silence. No thumping paws, no heavy breathing. In fact, there was no commotion at all.

It was Brian, our store manager, who sounded the alarm. “There she goes!” he yelled, pointing outside. I turned to see Roxie galloping across the parking lot, heading north. She’d snuck out a side door. I never moved so fast in my life. When I finally had her back on her leash, I just had to ask.

“Where do you think you were going?”

Roxie’s gleeful mug said it all. The Hanover store was so much fun, she just had to check out the other showrooms. You should, too.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Great Furniture Bargains This Weekend at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, August 16, 2019 @ 07: 32 PM

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Taxes were the spark that ignited the American Revolution. Colonists had wearied of paying a ransom to a king thousands of miles away. So they grabbed their muskets and fought to throw off the yoke of "taxation without representation".

Today, most of us feel just as burdened by taxes. Congress has a miserable 17% approval rating. Like the colonists, you probably think that taxes are too high and our leaders are spending the money recklessly.

So hear ye, hear ye!

Keep your tax money in your wallet this weekend. The State of Massachusetts has declared August 17th and 18th a sales-tax holiday. Any item priced under $2,500 is free from sales tax. 

Thank you, Commonwealth.

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we are making that sweet deal even sweeter. We're reducing prices 15% of on all furniture, accessories and mattresses.

We've been preparing for this event for weeks. We've traveling all over New England scooping up the most incredible pre-owned furniture. Last week, we scored truckloads of new furniture from an estate in Wayland, Massachusetts - pieces so new they were delivered only a few weeks ago. That house had bought all the top brand names: Arhaus, South Cone, Restoration Hardware, Baker, and Mitchell Gold.

We also raided homes in Wellesley, Marblehead and Duxbury. We plundered high-rises in Boston and grand waterfront homes in Cohasset. Check out our inventory online. I promise, you won't pay a king's ransom for these treasures.

This weekend only, you don't need a musket to win your freedom. The Commonwealth is giving you a two-day pass. You'll save 6.25% on your purchases. Nobody has the deals or the inventory that we have at FCG. So come on in and enjoy the revolution.

 

 

*Tax Free purchases must qualify under the Massachusetts Tax Free Holiday Doctrine. Items that do not qualify for tax free, which are items priced at over $2,500, may apply the 15% off to their purchase. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends 12:00AM, Monday August 19, 2019.

Do You Really Want to Have an Estate Sale? Consider the Pros and Cons

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, August 09, 2019 @ 05: 57 PM

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Last weekend, while running an errand, I took a short cut through a nearby neighborhood. That day, the usually quiet street was lined with cars. Lots of people were hurrying into one of the homes. I wondered what was going on. When I caught a glimpse of the sign on the lawn, I suddenly understood. It was an estate sale.

All the hubbub got me thinking. When is an estate sale a good way to sell furniture and other items? And when is it most decidedly a bad idea?

Like most well-promoted estate sales, this one was attracting flocks of potential buyers – and probably more than a few of the neighbors. After all, an estate sale is a great cover for the town’s snoops and gossips who want to poke around inside your house, your closets, your desk and maybe even your medicine cabinet.

So there are two big questions you need to answer. The first is, do I really want all those people shuffling through my home? And, secondly, do I need all those people going through my home in order to sell my stuff?

Keep in mind that an estate sale is not a garage sale, a yard sale or a tag sale, as it is known in some parts of New England. A garage sale is usually a sale on the front lawn or the driveway of someone’s unwanted household items including outgrown toys, hobby supplies, sporting goods and kitchen goods.

An estate sale, on the other hand, is typically the sale of almost all household items after someone has died, including furniture. Sometimes, in the case of an acrimonious divorce, a couple will have an estate sale to get rid of everything they acquired during their disastrous marriage.

So, back to the question of whether you actually want to host an estate sale …

Keep in mind an estate sale means opening the doors of your home to all. Some estate sales are a one-day event; others last for an entire weekend. Pricing is negotiable. Prepare yourself for exhaustive haggling with prospective buyers (and also some shoplifting as well). You can hire a company to manage your estate sale for a cut of the proceeds.

If you are looking to empty a house or to downsize dramatically, shedding not only most of the furniture but also a snow blower, tools, clothing and patio equipment, then an estate sale might be a good idea.

If you are undecided about whether to consign or try your luck at an estate sale, call Furniture Consignment Gallery. We can help you make that decision. For one, we’ll let you know whether consignment will meet your needs – and whether your furniture will meet our needs. We tend to be highly selective about the furniture we’ll accept for our showrooms.

And, if our services are not the right fit for your situation, we are happy to make some recommendations of reputable estate-sale companies who might be able to help you.

Top Secret Operation Underway at Home: Robbie’s Room Gets Marie Kondo’d

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, August 02, 2019 @ 07: 14 PM

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While 11-year-old Robbie is away at camp, there’s a clandestine mission underway in his bedroom at home. Diana, my wife, is feverishly at work cleaning out years of flotsam and jetsam that’s been accumulating in his closets and drawers. Given the extent of the undertaking, I’m not ruling out the possibility of having to bring in a backhoe.

Robbie’s philosophy is exactly the opposite of Marie Kondo, the hugely popular Japanese tidying wizard whose philosophy is to find joy in de-cluttering your life. Robbie leans into hoarding in a big way. He’s sentimental. Maybe that’s why he hangs onto a t-shirt that he last wore when he was in first grade, six years ago.

So Operation Clean-up is in full swing. Thousands of Lego morsels have been bagged and set aside for Goodwill, along with long-forgotten books and toys. This task would be impossible if Robbie were home.

Meanwhile, Cade, our oldest son, has officially abandoned the room he has shared with his younger brother for years. Cade, who vying for the position of left tackle position on his college football team, has moved into the guest room, which means he is folding his massive frame like origami to fit into one of the two twin beds there.

Apparently, Robbie’s mess has exceeded the tolerance of a college kid who’s incapable of picking his dirty clothes off the floor or flushing a toilet. His dorm room might have been a hazardous waste site, but the kid apparently has limits. “I’m not sharing a room with Robbie anymore,” Cade announced a few weeks ago. “He’s disgusting!”

Robbie comes home from camp today. I wonder if he’ll notice his room has been, well, shall we say, tidied a la Marie Kondo? I can’t wait to see him. His voice has probably changed. He might even be taller than his 6’0” Dad. Two weeks at camp usually means big changes for a kid. As for his hoarding instincts, I’m sure those are intact. We’ll probably have to repeat this room detox next year.

Furniture Faux Pas of the ‘80s: Queen Anne, Floral Chintz and the Color Mauve

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, July 26, 2019 @ 06: 35 PM

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Boston is hot these days among filmmakers, and their scouts are foraging far and wide to find settings and furniture that will help make their shows authentic. Last week, one of those scouts landed in our showroom in Hanover. 

“I’m looking for furniture from the Eighties,” she announced briskly. “What have you got for me?”

Inwardly, I cringed. There’s been a lot of dreadful furniture sold in the last few decades, but in my opinion nothing was worse than the styles that flooded the market when baby boomers were furnishing their homes. Dark knotty pine? Dreadful. Flame stitching? Wretched. Mauve was everywhere, very unfortunately, with teal as an accent. 

Floral chintz rambled over sofas, chairs and window treatments so thickly that it begged for a severe pruning. Worse than anything was the ubiquitous dark cherry furniture in a style called Queen Anne. 

I had to informed the scout that much as we’d like to help, FCG has nothing from the Eighties - and we don’t plan to stock up anytime soon.

I have nothing against the Eighties. That’s when I grew up. The ’86 Celtics are my all-time favorite basketball team. The music was a blast. I’ve still got some cassette tapes of big hair bands and I’ve made my kids listen to all of them. And Hollywood rolled out one classic after another: Back to the Future, ET, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Star Wars! 

Yes, it was a great decade for sports and entertainment, but style-wise it was a fiasco. Who doesn’t cringe at the mullet, the haircut made famous by Rod Stewart and John Travolta? Jane Fonda gave us leotards and legwarmers, and we all spent a lot of time buffing smudges off our white sneakers with Ajax.

Okay, the clothing was an embarrassment, but the furniture should have been banned for being a decade-long eyesore. The Hollywood scout left our showroom without so much as a handful of fake ivy. Maybe she’ll have better luck at Goodwill.

Practice Makes Perfect as My Son Masters Parallel Parking

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, July 19, 2019 @ 06: 29 PM

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On the street in front of our house, Collin, my 16-year-old son, had staged a mock-up for his upcoming driver’s test. One of our cars was parked in front, another behind it with a large gap in between the two. He was driving an old lumbering tank of a Volvo, trying to maneuver it into the space without bumping into the parked cars or the curb.

Watching from inside the house, I’d lost count of all his attempts to master the most dreaded challenge on the test: parallel parking. In truth, there was probably enough room between the cars to nest a Winnebago, so there isn’t a big risk of denting the bumpers on the parked cars. I applaud his diligence.

Next to me at the window was Roxie, our boxer. She’d apparently picked up on my anxiety. Her head was twitching every time he hit the brakes and the car shuddered, mid-turn. Roxie is generally the most relaxed member of the family, so her red-alert level of tension pretty much captured the level of stress in the household over this upcoming test.

Truth be told, Collin’s success at the driver’s test will be a big win for the rest of the family. When our oldest son sped off to college last September, we lost our resident chauffeur.

So Diana and I were back at the wheel, once again wearily making the evening treks to pick up Collin and his younger brother, Robbie, at friends’ houses on the weekends. (Confession: One night, I fell asleep while awaiting the curfew. Collin had to ask a neighbor to come over and rouse me.) Diana and I also had to resume the morning drops-offs and afternoon pick-ups at the high school, a commute made longer by impenetrable teenage silence.

Robbie, our 11-year-old, is eager for a new chauffeur and comrade-in-adventures. Even Roxie, the dog, seems to anticipate the pleasant duty of sitting shotgun on trips to the odoriferous dump. And FCG’s furniture moving and delivery team will be pleased to have an extra set of hands.

Our insurance premium will go up with another teenage driver in the household. The gas card will get some more exercise, and there will probably be a few more dents on the hand-me-down pick-up truck that he’ll be driving around town. But it will all be worth it. Keep your fingers crossed. It’s a big day for Collin.

Do You Need an Interior Designer? Here are 5 Tips to Help You Decide

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, July 12, 2019 @ 06: 35 PM

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Everyone’s a decorator – or so it seems these days. With websites like Houzz and photo-sharing apps like Instagram, you can find inspiring interiors for every budget. Your home should be a reflection of you and your family, a place that’s comfortable, functional and stylish. Achieving that goal, though, can be a challenge.

Sure, great design ideas are all over the internet. But mistakes can be costly and time-consuming. Here are five tips to help you decide when you might need the services of an interior designer.

1. How big is your project? Will your renovation require structural changes? Or major electrical or plumbing work? Big projects often benefit from the advice of an interior designer, whose expertise could actually save you money. An experienced designer is skilled at putting together a plan that takes into account things that a homeowner might overlook, such as proper placement of electrical outlets. And a good designer can steer you away from common mistakes, such as over-furnishing a room, inadequate lighting or poor paint choices.

2. Are window dressings part of your plan? Window treatments add a level of complexity that requires real design skill. They can make an incredible difference in a home, but they are expensive. Certain high-end treatments can cost as much as $1,000 per window. If your plan calls for anything more than the most basic window treatments, call an interior designer.

3. Are you looking for an interior that’s unique? Many people are satisfied with a home that borrows its style from the pages of an catalog such as Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn. You don’t catalogue need a designer for that. But if you crave a custom look – say, a style that integrates the eclectic artifacts you’ve collected on your world travels – then you need a designer.

4. Good design takes time, talent and effort. It’s a kind of visual storytelling. If you don’t have the time or talent, then hire a designer. A designer will visit the showrooms and make the choices that will fulfill your concept. And, importantly, a designer can be an effective and professional bridge between you and your contractor if things get tense, which they often do on a major renovation.

5. And, lastly, the best time to hire a designer is before you start your project not when you are picking out paint colors. A good designer will have lots of resources and contacts so you won’t have to worry about hiring a fly-by-night contractor whose mistakes could cost big money.

At FCG, our sales associates are skilled at offering ideas on stylish decorating. That’s one of the things that makes it so fun to shop at our three showrooms. But if you are investing serious money in a big home makeover, hire a designer. You’ll never regret it.

Tips on Tipping Furniture Movers

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, June 28, 2019 @ 06: 52 PM

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I could hear the astonishment in her voice even over the phone. “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a thank-you note from anyone after giving them a tip,” she said. “So I just had to call and let you know!”

Our crack team of movers had delivered some furniture to her home a few days earlier. Some of the pieces were pretty big. FCG’s guys had wrestled them into her small condo without scratching the furniture or nicking the trim of her door. To make room for the new stuff, they even moved a couple of other pieces upstairs for her. 

Grateful, her husband tucked some money into an envelope and handed it to the movers. Because they were a hurry to make their next delivery, the guys hadn’t even peeked into the envelope. Later, when they did, they were surprised – and pretty darn happy – to find a generous tip. Unable to thank the couple in person, one of the movers decided to write a note. 

That’s the kind of white-glove service that makes me proud of our team. They went above and beyond that day. We trust our movers to make these kinds of decisions. If they have time and the request is reasonable, they’ll try to accommodate the customer. That day, they earned that tip. 

Sometimes, it seems to me that some other businesses have gotten confused about the point of tipping. 

Last week, I bought some beer from my favorite craft brewery. A young man at the counter rang up the sale, flipping the tablet around for me to approve the charge. Before I could scribble my signature, I was confronted with a request on the screen. How much did I wanted to tip: 10%, 15%, 20%? 

At the bottom of the screen, in letters so tiny you needed a jeweler’s loupe to see them, there was another option: no tip. 

Are you kidding me? I hadn’t even gotten my beer yet. And a four-pack didn’t require any heavy lifting. What a dilemma! Would I be penalized for being a cheapskate? The guy at the counter seemed nonchalant, but what if he held a grudge? Would I get last week’s leftovers instead of the delicious fresh stuff reserved for the big spenders? 

Of course, it’s no crime to ask for a tip. But, seriously, is it appropriate? I hit “no tip,” but I felt like a grinch for doing it. 

I am a fan of rewarding superior service. And I’m proud of our guys who work hard to deliver your furniture with the greatest care in winter snow and summer heat. They may never ask, but they’re always grateful for your appreciation whether it’s a bottle of water or a few bucks in an envelope.

Five Tips to Consider When Buying Used Furniture

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, June 21, 2019 @ 10: 17 PM

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In my closet, I’ve got a green and blue striped golf shirt that’s one of my favorites. Diana, my wife, is lobbying hard for me to get rid of it. After all, I bought it right after college and that would be twenty years ago. But I’m fighting hard to keep that shirt. I’ve just gotten it broken in.

Needless to say, I don’t believe in fast fashion. But styles are changing ever more speedily, not only for fashion but also furniture. Most of us don’t live so lavishly that we replace the living room furniture every spring. Still, adding a piece here or there to your home is a great way to stay up-to-date.

Buying quality pre-owned furniture is smart because you can find great bargains on great styles. How can you be sure you’re getting a good deal? Here are five tips to consider when buying used furniture:

  • Look for a reputable brand. The top furniture makers adhere to high standards, year after year. As with a BMW or a Mercedes, the styles change but you can always count on quality manufacturing. Look for premium furniture brands such as Baker, Thomasville, Ethan Allen, and Henkel Harris. As an example, all Baker sofa frames are hand-tied eight ways, insuring stability.
  • Determine the original purchase price to calculate your savings on a pre-owned piece. Don’t be fooled by catalog prices, which are usually irrelevant because of sales and other promotional deals. The original buyer probably paid far less than what you see in the catalog. Remember, too, that some merchants offer special savings to “members.” Restoration Hardware gives members 25% off every item for a $100 annual fee.
  • Has the manufacturer stopped making a certain item you covet? Let’s say you’re looking for some chairs to match your Ethan Allen Newport dining table or a Pennsylvania House sofa table to match your side tables. These mass-produced pieces aren’t true collectors’ items and they have depreciated over the years. But finding very specific used pieces in good condition can be a major challenge. You should worry less about saving a few more bucks and more about some other shopper snatching up your long sought-after piece.
  • How well was the piece made? Ask the seller the age of the furniture, its price when new, who made it and where it was purchased. If the seller seems fuzzy on the details, walk away. Cheap no-name furniture is no bargain, especially when used. Also, look closely for signs of high-quality craftsmanship: solid wood construction, dovetail joints, and crisply sewed seams.
  • Did the piece have a hard-knock life? Maybe you’re looking for a rustic dining table for your beach home and a few scratches won’t matter to you. But if a table is going to be a focal point in your formal dining room, those scratches could prove costly. Beware of sellers who suggest reupholstering or refinishing; both can be expensive and time-consuming.

Still worried about whether you’re getting a good deal? My best advice is to buy from a store you trust. At FCG, integrity is our watchword. Sure, everyone loves a bargain. What’s more important, though, is knowing with certainty that the furniture you have purchased on consignment is not only high quality but also a good value.