FurnitureConsignment.com Blog

Learning to Leverage Assets

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 07, 2015 @ 12: 15 PM
What's the scariest time of year? Hint: it's not Halloween. The scariest time of year is the week after Halloween. That's when we rob our kids of the candy they've stashed under their beds. Secretly snacking on their Skittles, we gain ten pounds just in time for all the holiday parties.
 
Candy is potent stuff.
 
Consider the black market that sprang up in our neighbors basement after our boys and their friends went trick-or-treating. The ringleader was our youngest, seven-year-old Robbie. Typical teenagers, those boys are eating machines, the sharks of the human eco-system. Robbie sensed an opportunity in that hungry subterranean mob.
 
Standing on a podium like a seasoned auctioneer, he held in one hand a tasty morsel pulled from his sack of candy. "Delicious and nutritious," he said in a loud and serious voice, "a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup to the guy who can tell me the best swear word. Going once, going twice ..."
 
When you're seven, a good swear word is a pretty valuable item on the playground. They're hard to come by on these polite suburban streets. And Robbie figured this was a crowd of swearing virtuosos.
 
He had plenty of bargaining power. The Kit-Kat bar was sure to win a real zinger of a swear. Not so much the apple, which came from some earnest vegan neighbor, or the toothbrush from the dentist down the street. (Their houses are on the blacklist for next year's trick-or-treating.) But the sticky, crunchy, tooth-rotting Snickers? An ace, for sure.         
 
The older kids sensing that this could mean trouble for them shut down the bidding quickly and gave the adults a heads-up.  Innocence was preserved. Robbie didn't get anything stronger than a "damn." But I gotta give it to that kid. He knows how to capitalize on his assets. If we can hone those bargaining skills for good use in enterprise and not for vocabulary resources, he'll do well in business someday.
 
Speaking of assets, we have some terrific items in our three showrooms this weekend, just in time for the holidays. You want to miss the B&B Italia sectional that was a designer error. The designer's price on that was $13,000, but you can have it for $3,899. You can also save thousands of dollars on the Ethan Allen Abbott table and ten Chauncy chairs in mint condition. Together the set is $3,999 and sells for double the price in the current Ethan Allen catalog.  
 
At FCG Bargains reign. Even kids like Robbie would see this opportunity and would suggest taking inventory of your resources so that you can acquire some assets. 

 

Topics: fun, boston, Furniture, boston consignment, assets, halloween

Come Meet Our Amazing Staff!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, October 10, 2015 @ 03: 56 PM
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On a whim, while visiting Boston, she'd stopped at our showroom and fallen in love with a mirror. She'd spent a year renovating and redecorating a home in Kennebunkport, Maine, and this mirror would be the final jewel in her masterpiece. She bought it, delighted to have found such a treasure, only to come to a crushing realization a few minutes later. The mirror wouldn't fit in her car.
Ron, manager of our store in Hanover and a nine-year veteran of FCG, has a deep compassion for this kind of drama, which is a decorator's version of 'the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.' So, also on a whim, Ron offered to deliver the mirror to her home on his day off. Himself. 108 miles, each way.
 
I was dumbfounded when I discovered what he'd done for that customer. In a tone that was half-guilty and half-defensive, he waved away my objections. "I've always wantesnowfurnitured to see Kennebunkport," he said as if a five-hour spin was a typical outing for anyone. "What a pretty town! Her House was beautiful!"
 
In reflecting on the ten-year anniversary of our acquisition of Furniture Consignment Gallery, I realize that our success is in large part because our employees care so much about our customers. They are always willing to go the extra mile - or hundred miles. Brian, assistant manager of Hanover, once delivered a pair of lamps to someone's home on his way home then stayed for an extra hour or two to help the hapless customer rearrange the furniture.
        
We value our employees not only for their willingness to provide extraordinary customer service but also IMG_6013bsmfor their loyalty to FCG. Our most recent hires have been with us for almost a year: Brian, Julia, Lisa, Josh and Mike. Brad, manager of our showroom in Plymouth, joined us about three years ago to launch that store and Drew, Tevin and Nick have been with us since the opening. Bryan and Diane joined us about a year ago. Donna was in Plymouth before being promoted to manage our showroom in Chestnut Hill and Meredith has been a part timer in Chestnut Hill for nearly five years! Gloria, our bookkeeper, has been our Guardian Angel in accounting for all Ten Years!!
Our delivery crew includes six-year veteran Matt, four-year vet Rob, two-year vet Dana, and Matt, the newcomer, who joined us eight months ago. They are, to a man, the most careful, pleasant and competent delivery team you will ever encounter. Christa, our marketing manager, photographs our furniture in Hanover and is responsible for our website. She's been with FCG for four years.
 
This weekend, we will wrap up our ten-year anniversary celebration. Our 10%-off sale goes through Monday. Please join us Saturday for treats and refreshments. Each of our three showrooms is hosting an open house between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Come meet our staff, the heart and soul of FCG.

 

 

Topics: consigment, employee, boston, Used Furniture, MA, Furniture, Hanover, anniversary

Go To School

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, September 05, 2015 @ 12: 00 PM
We sprang out of bed even before the alarm. Diana raced to the kitchen, started the coffee and tossed the cereal bowls onto the table. Upstairs, I slathered my face with shaving cream while singing a tune. I nicked myself a couple of times, but, still, I knew it was going to be a great day.
 
I was full of adrenaline, as excited as I'd been for my first day of college, my first job interview, the day we acquired Furniture Consignment Gallery. go to school cake
 
I didn't need any coffee, but what the heck, we were ready to live dangerously. Diana grinned as she slid a hot cup of java across the table to me. Our eyes locked in a conspiratorial gaze.
 
"We need to focus -" she said.  "We can't screw this up," I blurted out at the same time.
 
 "Those kids are going back to school," we agreed. "Today!" We exchanged a high five for good luck.
 
Moments later, the boys straggled into the kitchen. Soon, the French toast was flying from griddle to plate. Sure, there was some whining, a few mild curses mumbled under the breath, and the occasional hostile stare from the offspring.  But in record time, the boys were fed and out the door. They looked like a trio of turtles trudging down the driveway with their bulging backpacks strapped to their backs.  
 
Son #1 was on the bus at 6:55 a.m. Son #2 left at 7:05, and #3 at 7:25.
 
"See you later!" I sang, waving goodbye as the last bus rumbled down the road. Then, I broke into an impromptu and utterly joyful "moon walk" back to the house.
 
With three boys ages 7 to 15, summer had seemed to last forever. I'd had three long months of repeating myself, louder and louder, to break through the sound barrier of their headphones.  (Favorite phrase of the oldest, repeated endlessly: "Huh?")
 
Then there were all those last-minute excursions with friends. "Dad, we're going to the golfing range... the ice cream shop ... the pool ... the mall." That was followed by "Can you drive? Can you drive? Can you drive?"
 
When I wasn't a chauffeur, I felt like the clean-up crew trailing after a three-ring circus. I spent the summer turning off lights in empty rooms, flushing unflushed toilets, emptying full bins of trash and clearing a path through the sports gear into the house. I was ready for this moment.
 
Diana gave the boys a sneak peek at their afternoon snack as they walked out the door. She'd baked them a cake. On it, in fresh frosting, she'd written the words GO TO SCHOOL.
 
Freedom! It's wonderful. If the school nurse calls, I'm not answering.

Topics: family, consignment, school, boston, MA, chestnut hill, newton, Furniture Consignment, Hanover, plymouth Furniture, plymouth, furnitureconsignment.com, children, kids, school bus, back to school, boston consignment

When Haggling Bury The Hatchet

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, August 29, 2015 @ 10: 55 AM
Get out," I said firmly. "And don't ever come back."
I was shocked - and so was he. In ten years of business, I have never once kicked a customer out of the store. Until now. And, yes, this guy more than deserved it.
What happened?
He approached me at the store one day last week with a question about a "crappy piece of furniture that's seen better days." Actually, the piece was an antique pine cabinet full of vintage charm. Gesturing at it with contempt, he launched into a litany of its imperfections. The doors didn't line up correctly. The lock was sticky. The glue on the dovetail drawers had loosened.
"Your price," he said, raising his voice, "is crazy." 63523_hatchet_lg
At this point, I must admit, the guy was starting to irritate me. The imperfections, I told him, are partly by design and partly the result of age, neither of which should be fixed or repaired. Apparently angered by my response, he began insulting me, my business and my integrity.
Now, in our business, we see a lot of folks who want to haggle a bit for a better price. In some cases, certain pieces have lingered on the showroom floor too long, and we may discount the price for a buyer eager to take the item home. In other situations, we will demur, knowing that a piece will sell quickly as priced.  
Our goal is to keep all our customers happy. Our consignors want us to sell their items for the highest price. Our buyers, on the other hand, are looking for a bargain on quality furniture. We walk the knife's edge every day trying to please both.   
At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we welcome all customers, including the bargain-hunters. If you think there's room to haggle on an item, make us an offer. We'll do our best to help you buy the piece you love at a price you can afford.
But try to remember: negotiating is an art best done with a butter knife instead of a hatchet.

Topics: haggle, consignment, boston, MA, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, bury the hatchet

Beds Made

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, July 11, 2015 @ 12: 36 PM

triple bunksWe always fought over the top bunk. In fact, I usually started the fight. I was the oldest of the three boys in my family. So my dibs meant the top bunk was somehow more desirable than the bottom. In reality, I didn't want the top bunk. Too hot up there. But conceding it to my brother gave me the imperial mantle of peacekeeper. And then, of course, he owed me one.  

 

The bunks were in our camp on Lake Ossipee in New Hampshire. My parents wanted a place where their sons could run wild in the summers. My dad wasn't about to spend his hard-earned money on furniture for three rambunctious boys who were barely housebroken. So he made those beds.  

 

Frucci men, by nature, are not exactly patient or exacting craftsmen. My dad picked up a couple of pine boards at the lumberyard, shoved them through a circular saw and drilled a couple of holes for bolts. It probably took all of an hour.

 

"File these," he said and without any more instruction he handed the boards off to me. I took a metal file to the rough edges. Then we stained the wood and assembled the beds. Voila! We boys had something infinitely valuable to fight over for year to come.  

 

I slept well in that bunk. I laughed a lot with my brothers. We raised all kinds of Cain. I remember the cool lake breeze and the water lapping against the rocks. When my parents sold that camp years later, the new owners insisted on keeping those rough-hewn beds. Probably knew there was good kid magic in those old bunks.

 

Among the many things I learned from that experience was that furniture has to be functional. People needed a place to eat, sit, work and sleep. Our bunks were sturdy, safe and, best of all from my dad's point of view, cheap.

 

If you're looking for bunks - or any kind of kid furniture built to survive major shenanigans - skip the lumberyard. Stop by one of our three showrooms. You will find the good stuff, made well, at the best prices at Furniture Consignment Gallery.

Topics: bunk bed, new hampshire, store, consignment, boston, chestnut hill, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, bed, plymouth, children, childhood, brother, craftsmanship, beds, lake ossipee, brothers, bro

New Adventurer is Traveling Light

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, June 23, 2015 @ 11: 36 AM


She was stunned. She was just putting the finishing touches on a redecorating project. Window sheers had been ordered but hadn't been installed. And now she was packing up and moving.

Only a few weeks ago, someone had lobbed an unsolicited offer to buy her home for a price she couldn't resist. The house had been a sanctuary after a hard divorce. She loved the long gated driveway and the peaceful gardens. Her three girls had lived like princesses there, riding a social merry-go-round through childhood and adolescence.

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The girls left for college. Now, the brick mansion seemed to echo with loneliness. Selling hadn't been on her to-do list this spring, but the unexpected offer held out the happy promise of a new adventure.  

So she called Furniture Consignment Gallery. 

Mitchell Gold had just delivered a living room set. She admitted I was the first to ever sit on the sofa. That, too, went into our truck.Within days, we were at the house filling our truck with treasures including an EJ Victor china cabinet and an extraordinary console table by Dessin Fournir.

I asked where was she going. She said she had a temporary apartment, but no firm plans. "Where do you think I would like to live?" she asked. Our moving guys started tossing out ideas: Hingham, Duxbury, Marblehead, Manchester-by-the-Sea.

"When you guys are finished," she mused, "I think I'll go for a drive." She's traveling light. No baggage. That's the best way to start an adventure.

Topics: divorce, redecorating, packing light, mitchell gold, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, children, moving, mansion, massachusetts. mass, dessin fourir, ej victor

Designer Wasteland: It's Not All Wasted

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 06, 2015 @ 01: 54 PM

"Oh, no!"img 8319 One of our best customers, an interior designer, was in mid-conversation with a staffer when she caught sight of a new sectional across the showroom. "Impossible!" she exclaimed, striding over to examine the piece. "I simply don't believe it."   

 

Turns out, she had a history with this particular piece of furniture. Six months ago, she had been working for a couple that had been - hmmm, how to put this nicely? - very challenging clients. They bickered so much during the design process that she felt like more of a referee than a designer.

 

What really broke her spirit, she confessed, was selecting their sectional. Last winter, the trio trekked through the snow to all the furniture showrooms in and around Boston. Every couch she suggested they dismissed as too soft, too firm, too stiff, or too sloppy.

 

Eventually, they agreed on a style. That's when picking the fabric became the new nightmare. They spent endless hours poring over swatches. Finally, the couple settled on a custom tight-back sectional with a chaise and the designer placed the order.  

 

Sixteen weeks later, and a dozen or more anxious client phone calls to the designer, the sectional was delivered. The couple had a rare moment of miserable agreement - they just didn't like it. Without telling their designer, they shipped it off quietly to FCG.

 

So here it was sitting in our showroom. The sectional was spotless, stylish, and well crafted with vivid colors.  Its price tag was a fraction of what the couple had paid only a few weeks earlier. The designer ran her hand over the fabric. "What a waste," she said sadly.  

 

Shortly after she left, a family of six wandered in. Catching sight of the sectional, the teens raced across the showroom and leaped on it joyfully. "Can we get it?" they begged their parents. "It's awesome!"

 

I wish the dejected designer had stayed long enough to see how much this family loved the sectional. All her work and talent were finally being appreciated. I thought it was proof of the old adage: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Happy people can find it pretty much anywhere.

Topics: consignors, designer, clients, consignment, boston, Sofa, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, kids, interior designer, sectional, couch, chaise

My Vote Goes to Concord

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 30, 2015 @ 02: 33 PM

concord by barberEleanor Roosevelt once declared Main Street in Hingham to be the loveliest street in America. Now, I don't want to detonate a firestorm of civic pride here. Wellesley, Weston, Salem and Gloucester, I'll concede you've got your charms. But I beg to disagree with the First Lady. My vote goes to Concord.

 

Rich in political and literary history, Concord is a quintessential New England village, serene and timeless. Louisa May Alcott wrote "Little Women" here. Thoreau fled to its woods to chop wood and pen his famous epistle, "Walden." The town is graced with proud homes, elegant gardens, lush lawns, simple churches, cozy taverns and dark ponds.  

 

That is why I was so excited last week visiting a beautiful historic home in the center of town. Built in1884, this three-story 7,000-square-foot brick home has four chimneys and a barn out back. Originally built as a summer home for his family by a wealthy merchant in Boston, the house has been lovingly preserved and renovated many times in the last century. Its current owner is selling the house - and has offered its furniture to FCG. 

 

Our moving crew worked tirelessly, filling our truck with custom furniture designed just for this extraordinary home. The list of items is long: gold damask sofas by Baker, occasional chairs by Lillian August, a pristine mahogany dining set by Kindle, a drop-leaf table in gleaming bird's eye maple, leather chairs and sofas.

 

Concord's favorite son Thoreau urged us to seize the day, breathe the spring air, taste the new fruit - and, he would have added, appreciate the workmanship of our nation's top craftsmen. Our Hanover store is chockfull of amazing furniture pieces from this grand home. Come in and take a look. I promise you'll be as thrilled as I am.

Topics: consignors, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, concord, mass, Eleanor Roosevelt

A Party for The Ages

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 23, 2015 @ 10: 42 AM

48d0abb0dcdfd512c105c36e0cf67cae"Hey, Jay!" one of the other dads hollered at me from the other side of the ballpark as our sons were finishing up soccer practice. "Looking forward to the party!" I nodded, grinned and waved back at the guy trying not to look totally confused. "Party?" I thought. "What party?"   

 

Ten minutes later, I found out. Parked in my driveway was a truck. Two men were hauling a massive inflatable bouncing house into my backyard. Yes, we apparently were having a party. Robbie, our youngest, was turning seven. His buddies were coming to our house to celebrate. All of them.

 

Inviting 20 seven-year-old boys to a backyard birthday party is sheer lunacy. There are no carrot sticks on the menu, just pure sugar bombs. Add an arsenal of plastic weaponry and you've got an incendiary mix. You'd have less damage from a horde of Mongols.

 

Other parents - that is, the ones who value their homes - outsource these kinds of events. They rent an indestructible party palace for the afternoon. That's so the joint can be hosed down and, if necessary, rebuilt after the party. 

 

Whose idea was this wingding anyway? Diana, my wife, looked remarkably cheerful for someone about to be overrun by munchkins with inflatable pickaxes. "Jay," she insisted. "It'll be fun!"  

 

What actually happened was two hours of utter mayhem.  Like an invading force of troop carriers, SUVs pulled up in front of our house at precisely 4 p.m. Out spilled an army of howling kids. The party instantly devolved into a battle scene. Their parents stood at the perimeter - wine and beer in hand - watching in shock.

 

Robbie's older brother, Cade, had been enlisted as a kind of bouncer to keep the peace. At 15, he is six feet tall and 190 pounds, but he was no match for a swarm of seven-year-olds. They attacked and beat him into submission with their axes. I could hear muffled cries for help, but I wasn't about to risk the fury of the mob.

 

Considering the battlefield wounds, we probably should have had a MASH Unit. One boy ran up to his mom with blood running down his lip. "Mom," he said breathlessly. "Can you hold my tooth?" He dropped the tiny pearl into her hand and raced back into action.

  

When the party was over, I surveyed the yard and tallied the damage. They came, they ate, they conquered. One tooth was extracted. A lawn chair had been twisted into a pretzel. The flowerbeds were shredded. No casualties. All in all, according to Robbie, it was a pretty good party. Would have been better if Cade had suffered a little more, but overall -- pretty good.

Topics: consignors, hoard, axes, consignment, boston, child, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, children, gallery, kids, bounce house, attack, party

Bargain Driver Puts Us to The Test

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 16, 2015 @ 11: 44 AM

fist full of money clip art 22967Over the course of the week, she just about drove me crazy. She'd found an inlaid mahogany game table in our Hanover store that she thought would be perfect for her condo in Back Bay. The table was exquisite - and a bargain. Still, she wanted to haggle.

 

"Call the consignor!" she insisted after I demurred on a discount. "Ask them to drop the price by $30." Her offer was rejected. Undeterred, she pressed for $20 off - rejected again - then $10. In the middle of the negotiating ping-pong, I found myself wondering: is she seriously going to ask for a discount of $1?   

 

Finally, with a sigh, she agreed to the price. Then, she got a second wind. She'd observed a tiny scratch no bigger than a hair on one leg. Could we touch it up? And then buff the piece with furniture polish? Swaddle it carefully in bubble wrap? And have it ready for pick up in an hour?

 

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we pride ourselves on extraordinary furniture, unbeatable prices and excellent customers service. Every now and then, someone comes along and puts us to the test. That's what happened last week. And I'm pleased to say we passed with flying colors.

 

Precisely an hour after her call, a car peeled into the parking lot. Out leaped the woman's husband, looking a little sheepish. As one of our staffers carried the table carefully to the car, he approached me cautiously. "How bad did she beat you up on the price?" he asked.      

 

I burst out laughing. "We couldn't do anything on the price," I admitted, "but we jumped through a dozen hoops to get it ready for you this afternoon." 

 

"She drives a hard bargain," he admitted. More like a blood sport, I thought. "But," he added in a confidential tone, "she really, really loves your store. Thanks for making her happy. We'll be back for more - you can count on it." 

 

Keeping even the toughest customers satisfied - and coming back again and again - is our goal at FCG. So stop by one of our three stores this weekend. Our furniture makes shopping here worth your while. Our dedicated staffers make it a great experience.

Topics: manomet, haggle, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, bargin, haggler, bargin driver