FurnitureConsignment.com Blog

A Little Mischief In February

Posted by Jay Frucci on Thu, March 03, 2016 @ 12: 01 PM
 
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“Is Roxie okay?” Our three boys were huddled around our two-year-old brindle Boxer, clearly worried. Roxie was sprawled on the floor asleep, snoring as loudly as a souped-up Harley. Earlier, she’d snatched a bottle of cough syrup out of the bathroom, chewed off the top and guzzled the contents. Now, she was sleeping it off.
 
February is a month for mischief. Housebound and winter-weary, we’re all a little too eager for adventure. Why do you think there’s a February boat show in Boston? You walk in, a solid citizen with a well-balanced checkbook. You walk out, a wild-eyed boat owner with dreams of Margaritaville. 
 

 Roxie, as it turned out, was just fine. But even FCG is not immune to mid-winter madness. Our adventure? This week, we made the decision to open a big new showroom on Route 9, eastbound, in Natick.
 
Our grand opening is scheduled for July 1. We’ll spend the next five months racing to meet that deadline, but we’re excited to bring 11,000 square feet of the finest pre-owned furniture in New England to Boston’s Metrowest.      
 
With a huge new showroom in Natick, we’ve also made the decision to close our tiny jewel box of a store in Chestnut Hill, but not until the new showroom opens. We’ll miss our loyal shoppers there, but we’ll be only a few miles down the road with a huge inventory of the furniture bargains you love.   
 
If you’d like a little adventure in your life – but a new boat is too big a commitment – why not update your home with a new piece of furniture? Consider a bold yellow Italian leather sectional by Friggheto Casa Italiano: furnitureconsignment.com/product/35081-126601frighettoleathersectional.php Or finish off your master bedroom with an elegant walnut lingerie chest by Henredon: furnitureconsignment.com/product/35034-125849henredonlingeriechest.php
 
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This weekend, stop by one or all of our three stores in
Hanover, Chestnut Hill and Plymouth. We’ve got hundreds of quality pieces of furniture not to mention some fantastic buys on accessories, art and lamps. Live a little! 

Topics: Furniture, ITALIAN FURNITURE, Frighetto Casa, Frighetto

Let's Give Your Home A Refresh

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 02, 2016 @ 12: 27 PM
topper-Jan9th.jpg“Time to clean,” Lisa, one of our sales associates, announced last week. She affixed me with a firm look and pointed at a file cabinet stuffed with old contracts and receipts. “You’ve got to get the positive energy flowing in here.”

Full confession: furniture, I understand. Feng shui, not so much.  But Lisa was determined to undertake a dramatic re-organization of my office. I suspect she’d read that bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Once I reluctantly agreed, she was relentless, purging our files of clutter, flinging all the flotsam and jetsam of last year into the trash.

When we were done, I felt a surge of energy and purpose. Like a lot of people, I hate to let go of the comfort of familiar clutter. But getting rid of old files and long-forgotten to-do lists opened up a kind of psychic space for new thoughts and ideas. Hey, I thought, maybe there is something to this trend of reorganizing.      

So we’re extending the concept to you, our customers, and to our showrooms. Take a good look around your house. Is that recliner looking a little ratty? Is the coffee table a little wobbly? Start 2016 off right. Sweep out the old and bring in the new. We’ve got showrooms full of beautiful furniture and accessories to refresh your home and help you prepare for the holidays and other family events of this new year.    

And here’s a little incentive.

Starting today through Wednesday January 6, 2016, we are having a sale. Take 10% off any item in the showroom.  

2015 was a very good year. But if you de-clutter, refresh and apply some feng shui, 2016 might be even better.

Topics: Furniture

Man Chair Love

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 14, 2015 @ 04: 48 PM
"Can you do anything with this?" The older gentleman slid a photo of a tattered plaid chair across the counter at me. "Well," I said hesitantly, hoping not to hurt his feelings, "that might be difficult for us to sell..."
 
"Sell it?" he growled. "I don't want you to sell it! I want you to fix it!"
 
Turns out, this chair has been his throne for almost four decades. The pitch of its recline was perfect. Its cushions supported his neck and back properly. And, best of all, his plaid chair had some powerful sports mojo.
 
From that throne, he'd watched quarterback Doug Flutie throw the infamous Hail Mary pass in 1984. He'd witnessed Larry Bird steal the ball in 1987 to win the game for the Boston Celtics.  He'd seen the Red Sox reverse the Curse in 2004, the Bruins hoist the Cup in 2011. Now, he's asking me to fix that chair so he can watch Brady continue his Revenge Tour into 2016.
 
Upholstering a chair is expensive, I explained. I took him on a tour of the showroom, hoping he would find a replacement. 
 
Little did he know, I've been looking for the perfect chair, too. I prowl the showrooms regularly, sitting in every one on the floor searching for a throne made just for me. One with a flat - not rolled - arm so I can rest a cold bourbon on it in the evening. One that soothes my sciatica. I've been looking for years. I have my eye on the American Leather swivel recliner. I gently steered him away from it because that might be the one for me.
 
Regardless, my customer, the older gentleman, decided he didn't have the time for that kind of odyssey. He opted to reupholster his faithful furniture companion. After all, he figured, it's a small price to pay for a chair that brings good fortune to his favorite teams.
 
"You can pick it up after this Sunday, but I want it back before the Denver game," he barked. 

Topics: consignment, Furniture, reupholstery

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

Welcome Return to Quality

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, October 27, 2015 @ 10: 35 AM
img_4940Our Hanover showroom boasts a trove of treasure this week: 49 pieces of new furniture made by master craftsmen right here in our hometown. Their artistry is extraordinary. Every piece of hardwood has been meticulously matched for figure and grain. Every surface has been planed by hand, every dovetail cut by hand, every decorative element carved by hand.
 
Finally, each piece was signed by the artisan who made it, a personal pledge of pride in meticulous craftsmanship.
 
I thought a lot about the quality of those pieces this week. I was making my first pilgrimage to High Point, North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world. Diana and I were there to buy accessories such as lamps and art for our three showrooms. Diana was also picking out fabric for a new line of chairs we plan to offer in our store in Chestnut Hill.   img_4880
 
To the uninitiated, High Point can be overwhelming: 10 million square feet of items for the home from frou-frou pillows to bedroom suites, oil paintings to faux plants, chandeliers to candlesticks, tassels to teapots.Over three days, I wore out the leather soles of my shoes trying to see everything.
 
What struck me hard was the questionable quality of the furniture. Much of it is mass-produced in pieces overseas now, shipped to our shores and assembled here in the U.S. Like those towns that once pocked the Wild West, featuring slapdash stores with fake facades, High Point seemed to me to be oversized and overpriced. In other words, it was all show, no substance.  
 
What a relief to come home to quality.

Topics: High Point, consignment, Furniture

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

Our Policy on Policies

Posted by Jay Frucci on Mon, September 21, 2015 @ 04: 01 PM
holdit-sign"We need a policy!" Ron, veteran manager of our store in Hanover, said firmly, looking directly at me. "Enough is enough."
 
Policy. That word fills me with dread. Ten years ago, Diana and I made the leap from Corporate America into our own small business in part to escape the rigid policies that big companies inflict on employees and customers. We believe policies hamper creativity and initiative. At FCG, we hire smart people and we trust them to make good decisions on behalf of the customer and the company.
 
Still, Ron had a point. He was frustrated with all the confusion - and, at times, disappointment - created when one of our customers puts a piece of furniture on "hold."
 
At FCG, we allow our customers to put a "hold" on a piece of furniture until they can make a reasoned decision as to whether the piece is right for their home. We'll honor that hold - that is, we won't sell that piece - generally for 24 hours.
 
However, there's a catch. If another buyer comes into the showroom and expresses an interest in buying the piece, we'll call the person who put it on hold. At that time, on the phone, they have to make a decision to buy or not to buy.  We make every reasonable effort to reach the first buyer, but if we can't, we will sell the piece to the person in front of us.
 
That's only fair to our consignors who have entrusted us to sell their items quickly and at the highest possible price.
 
I don't like holds. They cause confusion. Some buyers think a hold will last for a week - or a month. Others are upset getting a phone call that will require they make an instant decision. We don't like disappointing anyone.  
 
Still, for our business, holds are a necessity. Some buyers spot a piece of furniture online and are willing to drive an hour or more to check it out. Sometimes, they'll call us as they are pulling out of the driveway to ask us to put the piece on hold. Or wife may want her husband to see the piece after work before they buy it. We think it's only fair to give our buyers that time, if possible.
 
I understand the frustration our salespeople and managers encounter explaining and enforcing a hold. But I still don't want to put in place some legalistic policy, one that would have a hold expire precisely at the stroke of midnight. I want to empower our employees to use common sense and do what's right for the buyer, the seller and the business.
 
So we're not going to join the cable company, the utility and the rest of Corporate America. We're not going to put a lot of policies between us and you. In fact, to us it is a point of pride: FCG has a non-policy policy. 

Topics: consignment, MA, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, consignment policy

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

Neighborly Agenda

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, August 22, 2015 @ 12: 43 PM
neighborMoments after the moving van pulled out of the driveway of his new waterfront home earlier this summer, she appeared at the front door. Tiny, silver-haired and roly-poly, she thrust out a tray of mouth-watering, freshly-made cannolis dusted with sugar. He had to stop himself from snatching one off the plate, he confessed later.
 
"I comma to say hello," she said in an accent as thick as the day, seventy years ago, that she left the Old Country.  "What you eat today? Burger? That's-a no good. I've got meatballs at home. And I wanna you to cut down-a the trees so we can see-a the ocean."
 
An Italian grandma is a force of nature, irresistible and unstoppable. He cut down the trees that week and earned a seat at the family table for dinners on Sunday. He's gained a few pounds this summer much to the delight of his neighborhood nonna.  
 
Now, Italian Grandma has decided it's time for him to furnish his new home properly. Out went the shabby recliner, the card-table in the dining room and the old mattress on the floor of the master bedroom.
 
Then, she sent him to us at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Nonna, apparently, knows quality.  And she knows a bargain when she sees it. 
 
In a whirlwind hour, he found a sectional, a leather chair and a dining room set. (We've got three amazing sets on the showroom floor priced below $1,000.) As he was paying the bill, he was talking about inviting nonna and her husband over to watch a game so he could show off his shopping prowess.
 
"I wonder what she'd bake?" he mused aloud.
 
I felt a pang of jealousy - and I could almost taste the cannoli. "Anybody selling on your street?" I asked.

Topics: sale, consigment, grandmother, neighbors, consignment, MA, chestnut hill, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, moving, neighborhood, salesman, brand names, italian, neighbor, busy, desirable, canoli

August Sale Event Starts Now

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, August 11, 2015 @ 03: 29 PM

topper7 17

"Are you guys busy?"

 

I heard that same question at least three times an hour this week. Our phone is ringing off the hook. What consignors really want to know is whether we can sell their furniture.  Are there customers in our showrooms?  Do people still want this stuff?

 

We all know that every real estate agent and used car salesman will tell you they are flooded with buyers when the truth is entirely the opposite. Who can you believe?

 

Here's the hard evidence: our movers are panting not only from the heat but from the workload. Rob, foreman of the delivery team, has logged more overtime in July than any month this year. This summer, we've sold more furniture - of every make and style - than any other summer in memory.

 

Hell, yeah. We are busy.

 

Now, for the second question: Do people still want this stuff? We accept the most desirable styles of furniture in good or excellent condition. New, some of the pieces in our showroom would be prohibitively expensive. Say, for example, you covet a set of six armchairs by Thomas Moser. The price new would be around $8,000. At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we have a set in perfect condition. Price: $3,500.

 

Our three showrooms offer amazing deals like that on extraordinary - but affordable - furniture. So, go ahead, ask the question: do people want this stuff? My answer: hell, yeah.

 

TSale Facebookhis week, Furniture Consignment Gallery is going to get busier. Starting today, we're cutting prices on everything by 10%. This means new mattresses, accessories and the thousands of high-end pre-owned pieces in our three showrooms. The sale starts today, Saturday, August 8th and lasts through the tax-free weekend, Sunday August 16th

 

You could wait for the tax-free weekend, but be aware that the item you covet might be gone by then. Quality furniture, priced to sell, is hard to resist. Are we going to be busy this week? You betcha.

Topics: sale, consigment, consignment, MA, chestnut hill, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, moving, salesman, brand names, busy, desirable