FurnitureConsignment.com Blog

Lollipops

Posted by Jay Frucci on Wed, September 26, 2012 @ 11: 49 AM

Closing up the other night, I checked every 66 dumdumscorner of the store. As always, our showroom has seen a lot of traffic, and I've found everything from balled-up tissues to my own business card - with trample marks - on the floor.  But I can always count on finding at least one item that will make me smile.

 

After a busy day, I always find remnants of lollipops scattered around the store. A blue wrapper in one corner. A red one under a dresser. Here, a well-gnawed white stick. You wouldn't think I'd like picking up trash every night. The truth is, I'm O.K. with it.

 

That's because lollipops changed this business.

 

Seven years ago, Diana and I bought Furniture Consignment Gallery from the couple who started the business. They'd had some good years, but they had grown weary of the grind of moving furniture, and they wanted to move onto the next phase in their life. To us, it seemed, they'd also tired of the challenges of retail.

 

The showroom was littered with signs, none of them friendly. "Don't Touch Me" was stuck on a topiary. "No Strollers" greeted shoppers at the bottom of the stairs. "Keep Children in Hand" was taped to the front door. Tacked in the stairwell: "No Food or Drink."

 

On our first day as new owners, Diana gathered up all the signs. Stopping in to say goodbye, the former owners were appalled. "What if someone spills coffee on a white sofa?" the woman demanded. "What if someone trips on the stairs carrying a stroller?" her husband asked.

 

"Well," I offered, a bit hesitantly. "We think you were missing a market."

 

"Really?" the woman huffed. "Which one?"

 

"Moms with kids," I said.  

 

The next day, Diana filled a bowl with lollipops for our customers. By the end of the week, it was empty. We filled it again. A few weeks later, we got a bigger bowl.

 

After seven years, I can offer the Federal Reserve a reliable new indicator of business growth: lollipops. The faster we go through candy, the higher our sales.

 

As it turns out, moms with kids aren't the only ones who love a sweet treat while shopping. So do newlyweds. And twentysomethings furnishing their first apartment, "empty nesters" outfitting the new townhouse. And even the seasoned business man who was unraveling a root beer flavored pop. He was asking me why we seemed to be doing well in this difficult economy.

 

I gave him a dum dum answer.

 

So, stop by anytime. We promise to keep the showroom stocked with quality furniture - and the candy bowl filled with lollipops. Try to throw your wrappers away, but if one sifts through your fingers and hits the floor while you are admiring a glistening mahogany chest of drawers; I won't mind picking it up at the end of the day. Really.

Topics: Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Furniture History, kids, customer service, lollipops

The Brave Cyclist

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, July 24, 2012 @ 03: 01 PM

     old timer racerHe parked his bicycle outside the store on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill, opened the door and staggered into the showroom, out of breath and sweating profusely. "It's hot out there," he announced, wiping his brow.

      "My wife sent me to check out some chairs," he told us. He was an older gentleman, but it was apparent from his build and his firm hand-shake that he may have been quite an athlete years ago. We pulled up a chair for him and offered him a gulp of water.

     Like him, the Chippendale chairs had a rich patina, were full of character and solid as a rock. He looked them over and bought them decisively. The decisiveness is a trait that had likely served him well during, what we guessed to have been, a successful business career.

     He decided to forego the bike ride home, and called his wife for a ride. Twenty minutes old bikelater, a woman strode into the store, clearly exasperated. She was a bit younger, pretty and a polished suburban wife. "What were you thinking?" she scolded the man. "The bike? In this heat? Route 9? Are you crazy?"

     Despite the lecture - and a tumultuous medical history - he didn't look a bit sheepish. In fact, he ignored the rant and turned to us with a reasonable request. "Put those chairs aside for me. I'll be back to get them a bit later. Oh, and don't sell my bike."

      After he left we thought: who wouldn't want to almost kill themselves by bicycling down Route 9 in blazing heat to buy their wife some chairs from FCG? It all made perfect sense to us.

Topics: Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Furniture Spotlight, Dining Room Set, Furniture History, dining chairs, Chippendale Chairs, chairs, bike, bicycle

Two Octogenarian Youths

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, July 17, 2012 @ 10: 20 AM

love this book? Click and support the artist!"Beautiful!" the octogenarian bellowed at his wife a few feet away. The pair was admiring a massive cherry hutch with beveled glass they found in the showroom and intended to buy. "We can move this ourselves," his wife hollered back with delight. "We don't need to pay the delivery fee."

 

Looking a bit doubtful, he gingerly made his way over to the hutch and attempted to lift the top half of the hutch an inch or two to gauge its weight. "I think we can get it," he announced with confidence to the entire population of Hanover, MA. She made her way to the opposite side and concurred. "Oh, yes, dear, we can."

 

To this pair, life is a bucking bronco - and you'd best grab it by the horns.

 

Married when Elvis was crooning Love Me Tender on the Hit Parade, the two were still feathering their nest and having adventures. After a buying spree in our showroom, they were going to look at motor homes for a cross-country jaunt. 

 

He was 82. She was 81. The fun, they assured me, was just starting. 

 

The two actually preferred the view at 10,000 feet. Both have been aviators since they were first married. They have flown the friendly skies in his-and-her single-engine planes for more than a half-century.

 

Hers is a sporty 1968 Beechcraft, a plane that just Untitled 1begs for a flight outfit of go-go boots and a miniskirt.  She went out to the car to get photos. "I'll never sell it," she exclaimed. "It's my baby." Her husband just put a new engine in it for her.  

 

As for the hutch, I proposed they leave the heavy lifting to the pros. Why risk a slipped disc when there's so much more left on the bucket list? I convinced them to let our young bucks bring the hutch home for them - and they almost had me signed up for flight lessons.  

 

Those two old birds are doing it right: life at full throttle, even in your 80s.

 

 

Love the Adventure book featured? Buy it here.

 


Topics: airline, air travel, Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture History, Adventure, airplane, hutch

The "Reasonable" Offer

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, April 13, 2012 @ 10: 25 AM

TempleMarket22Oct20115"I would accept a reasonable offer on the altar table." The gentleman - and potential consignor - indicated with a sweep of his hand on the long, rectangular table in his living room. The piece was clearly old, but it was rough-hewn and lacking any ornamentation.


     Curious, I asked him what he would consider reasonable. "A good offer would be twelve thousand," the man said firmly, "and a reasonable offer would be six thousand." 

     I gulped. Would that be in dollars or peanuts? I thought. I quickly squelched the comment, because I knew he wasn't joking.

     Asian furniture occupies a special niche in the consignment business. China is an ancient country, and treasured possessions such as porcelain and furniture typically have been passed down from generation to generation. In this case, the eight-foot altar table was more than two hundred years old. Its construction and workmanship suggested it had been built during the mid-Qing Dynasty, China's last dynasty, which ruled from 1644 to 1912.

     How did the table get to Boston? The gentleman's mother had been a pioneer of Asian-influenced interior design who had visited China frequently to scour that country for antiques after it opened to the West in the early 1970s. Some of her most important pieces had been consigned to the Boston Design Center, where showrooms had built vignettes around items she had collected in Japan, Korea and China.

      Her son had inherited some of her favorite pieces, including the altar table. While it wasn't as rare or exquisite as something you might see in the Shanghai Museum, it was beautiful for its history and provenance. Yet the price he was seeking was still astounding - at least for our customers.

     Sentimentality sometimes creates a fog ofgr 001 528x421 confusion for consignors when it comes to the value of their furniture. In this consignor's mind, the altar table may have represented his mother's adventurous spirit in venturing into a place as economically chaotic and primitive as China in the 1970s. Or the table may have been a reminder of her celebrated career as the doyenne of Chinese-inspired d├ęcor in Boston.

     But our buyers wouldn't see those things in this rough table and we couldn't command the price he was asking. We agreed that Furniture Consignment Gallery wasn't the right place to sell the table, and we parted as friends. In leaving, I offered him some advice. Antique stores that specialize in Asian furniture attract knowledgeable connoisseurs. After visiting with some specialty stores his pricing expectations could be validated or he may find that he would need to reset them. They would at least appreciate his altar table - and the story of the woman who launched it on its long journey to the U.S. Secretly I was hoping he would decide otherwise and give us a chance.

Topics: Price My Furniture, Chinese Antiques, Ancient, alter, Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Antique furniture, Furniture quality, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Solid Wood, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Style, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture Care, Furniture History, China

Banish Your Decorating Demons

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, April 03, 2012 @ 01: 42 PM

confessional by arik levy 1After the last few days in the store, we've decided to build a confessional into our showroom. Here you can recite your Act of Contrition, and you'll be absolved of all of your furniture purchasing sins, mortal or venial.

     All week long, a long line of penitents funneled through our door and poured out their hearts to us. "What was I thinking?" cried one consignor, admitting she had blown her budget for a decade on a furniture shopping spree. "Never again," another winced, recalling how she bought an enormous mansion at the peak of the market and furnished it lavishly.

      We heard every variation of the seven deadly sins. One greedily wanted a house bigger than her sister's. Another lusted after a friend's inlaid mahogany desk until she found one even more exquisite - and pricier - in an antique shop.

Their stories were all slightly different, but they had one thing in common: they wanted absolution - and some money back, too.

      

     Haven't we all been there?

 

     I can recall attending a live auction several years ago. Consumed in the bidding process, I vaguely remember g-forces driving my paddle up in the air faster than I could think. The heat of the moment, the competition, the will to win! All three took command of my soul. And, suddenly, "Sold for $275! The hutch goes to the gentleman on the left." 

     When I was bidding, I was riding a motorcycle on a winding country road. When the auctioneer banged the gavel, I hit a brick wall.

     The large mahogany hutch looked like a bargain when it was $50. After other buyers got involved in the fray, its value seemed to soar. Once they announced the new proud owner was moi I started to sweat at my poor decision-making. I did some fast math: $275 plus the auctioneer's commission of 12%, plus sales tax 6.25%.bidding I had to move it within the next forty-eight hours and worse yet, where am I going to store it until I figure out what I can do with it?

    I raised my hand. "Excuse me, sir... I'd like to apologize to the folks that I outbid. You see, I really don't need this hutch. It's not the money. What I was thinking? Can I give it back? This guy over here bid $250. Maybe you could sell it to him. I'll cover the extra $25."

     I was looking for absolution and my money back. The room went silent. The man I outbid shrunk down in his seat. Clearly, he had gotten caught up in bidding, too. Now, he just wanted me to go far, far away.

     Yes, I have been there. Haven't we all at one time or another? Life goes on. We make mistakes. Forgive yourself and move onto the next great thing in your life. And when it comes to fixing those mistakes, come see our new confessional at Furniture Consignment Gallery. We promise to listen - with sympathy - and help you get some money back, too.

Topics: How To Sell Estate Furniture, auction, Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Refinishing, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture quality, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Style, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture Spotlight, Furniture Care, Furniture History, re-purpose furniture, How To Buy New Furniture, Estate Sale, 7 deadly sins, confessional, bidding

Dear Furniture, Let me tell you my story.

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 16, 2012 @ 02: 56 PM

61t2IbsP0tL. SL500 AA300 In 1944, as war raged across Europe and the Pacific, Joline Anderson married Robert Wright in a borrowed gown with a bouquet of flowers nipped from her mother's backyard. For something old, the couple had an heirloom ring. Something new was a wedding gift from a friend and furniture maker: a Salem chest.

   

  For sixty years, that mahogany chest held the treasures of a long and happy marriage: baby booties, poodle skirts, cashmere cardigans, prayer books, postcards from the kids, photos of the grand-kids. It was one of the most special pieces in our showroom for the few days that we had it.

  

   Consigned by a $(KGrHqQOKpME6eOZ(vnjBOpze pH2!~~60 3family member who, sadly, didn't have room for it in his home, the chest seemed to whisper the secrets of lives well lived in homes well loved. There's magic in knowing the history of that chest.

     Indeed, stories are important. When I was in high school, I used to keep a journal. It was full of adolescence angst, alternately heartbreaking and hilarious when you read it twenty years later. I got a little lazy about writing when I went to college. Entries were terse and infrequent -I was majoring in English and channeling Hemingway - but there is one telling item written when I was a sophomore:

 

"I met a girl named Dianna today. She was pretty and nice." 

 

I may have spelled her name wrong, but I got the relevant facts right. She was pretty - and nice enough to marry me four years later.

    To some, it would seem silly to write down fleeting thoughts about our cars, our clothing, our furniture, our homes. But these are the details that illuminate our lives. Who doesn't 59mirrorworld 60badwolfroseremember their first car with all its loveable dents? Or that sofa that you managed to squeeze into your first apartment? Or the dining room table where you hosted your first Christmas dinner? All the nicks and scratches tell their own stories, often about the best days of our lives but, sometimes, about the worst days, too.

 


     We witness many a reflective moment with our consignors when they are turning over to us the furniture they've enjoyed for years. They'll tap a desk or a dresser gently with a far-away look in their eyes and relive a memory before entrusting it to our care.    

    

 

    So on the next rainy day, take a moment and jot down the history of some of your most prized possessions.  Even if it seems silly now, your story may have meaning for someone who may someday own that piece. Your words will enrich somebody's life - if only the consignment guy who opens a drawer and finds your note on a yellowed piece of paper.

Topics: Will My Furniture Sell, Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Refinishing, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture quality, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Value, Furniture Style, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture Spotlight, Furniture Care, Furniture History, American Made Furniture, 1940s Furniture

Sailing for Answers

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 09, 2012 @ 12: 46 PM

He was straight from the big screen, I swear. CAPTAIN 2

He looked just like Doc Brown from the movie Back to the Future. Remember him? The zany professor obsessed with time travel? The guy in our showroom had the same frenetic energy, the enthusiasm, and, of course, the finger-in-the-light-socket hair.

     A retired teacher, the customer told me that he is living the dream with his wife. The two are sailing from Cape Cod to the Bahamas with lazy stops at any port that looks intriguing. What brought him to our store? He had furniture stored in seven states, he said, most of it inherited. Now, he wanted to consign it. He was having too much fun on the water to think about roosting on land again.

     This mad-scientist look-alike proceeded to pepper me with thoughtful questions about our business. The result was an impromptu Q&A.

 

estate saleQ. How does consignment differ from an estate sale?

A. An estate sale typically is a one, two or three-day event in which the contents of a house are sold. Sellers often hire a professional to appraise the contents and conduct the sale. A professional typically takes a percentage of the net proceeds as a fee, generally 35%.

  When you consign with Furniture Consignment Gallery, we remove the furniture from your home and sell it in our showroom. Your furniture is displayed artfully in our showroom with other quality items.

 

Q. Why would we choose consignment over an estate sale?

A. Some sellers like the idea of unloading their describe the imageunwanted items quickly in a weekend estate sale. Others don't like the thought of letting the public or their nosy neighbors poke around inside their homes. Consignment means you don't have to sacrifice your privacy to sell your furniture.

 

Q. Have you ever discovered a 'lost treasure' that turned out to be worth millions?

A.  So you think you have a Rembrandt in the attic? Television shows such as "Storage Wars" and "Pawn Stars" are sparking fantasies like that among sellers, but that's just what they are - fantasies.

  Rarely does a seller pluck something from the cellar that turns out to be worth millions. Most people know the value of their possessions. They know the age and historical provenance of items that are valuable. Such items typically are sent to auction houses that specialize in valuable antiques.

 

Q. Do you travel to the countryside and scour old barns for heirlooms?

A. Honestly, we don't have the time to do a lot of archaeological work to stock our showrooms. We handle high-quality, name brand furniture that is generally less than twenty years old.  Sifting through an old barn for a jar that might bring a few bucks isn't really our business.

 

     After we wrapped up our chat, the sailor took a sweeping glance of our showroom as if he was scanning open water for whales or mermaids. For just a moment, he looked wistful. "This furniture is really beautiful," he said. "Sometimes, I miss having a home..."

     I suppose it is human nature to always yearn for what you don't have. I was ready to stowaway on his boat when he described the scarlet sun sinking into the horizon, its reflection radiating across the blue ocean.

      I may be living my dream here at Furniture Consignment Gallery, but I'd sure like to take to the sea someday like this old salt. Might even trade a dresser or two to make it happen.

Topics: Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture History

Furniture on the Move

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 24, 2012 @ 02: 08 PM

     moving truck6:35 AM Today:  "As of last night at 7:00PM papers are signed, and more importantly money is finally down!! I would like to proceed with consigning the furniture -- if that is alright with you. Are you available on March 2nd?"  

     All week long we have been fielding calls from customers eager to schedule furniture pick-ups. The signs are there that the Spring real estate market is coming in like a Lion!  "As soon as we have the sales agreement in hand, you can come get the furniture" says one, happy to be setting off on a long-anticipated retirement adventure consignor. Another is joyfully moving into a new home. "We move on March 6th. Can you sell our old dining room set? It is too big for the new dining room. And I found a new set in your showroom that will fit the new house perfectly!"  

     After years of waiting out the recession, people seem to be on the move again. That is always an emotion-filled journey, one that we're happy to share with our customers. When we are helping customers who are moving, we witness the full range of emotions in those who are selling and buying homes. Sellers are sifting through memories of lives well lived and coming to terms with the decision to make a change. Buyers are eagerly looking forward to fulfilling their dreams of creating a new home.

    A big move creates anxieties, but it is typically mingled with excitement and anticipation. Decisions must be made. Some hesitate and fret over the details. Others leap from one 8083 wpm lowresdecision to another with the speed and agility of a star hurdler.

     One of our customers is making her fifth move - in five years. Having seen her through all these transitions, we are beginning to feel a bit like family. We were at her home this week swapping out beds, cleaning out some high quality pieces from her basement and trying to get her squared away before her 2PM showing. She was calm -- I was stressed! "We've got to get these beds made!" I exclaimed. "Don't worry. They'll either like the home or they won't", the wily moving veteran said with cool composure.  

     In the next town over, we recently sold a dining room set for a customer who was moving out of a lovely colonial in the suburbs. We were back at the same house the following week - delivering a different dining room set to the new homeowner.

     Strange things happen during a move. Emotions run high. Some folks make good decorating decisions under stress. Others don't. Furniture that fit perfectly in that big family colonial may not work in the chic new retirement condo. The formal dining room set that looked so elegant in Newton may not work in your casual house on the Cape. Some people are able to anticipate that certain pieces won't work in the new home before the big move. Others incur the expense of moving the items, try to cram furniture built for a large home  into a small home and then make the decision to consign the items. 

     We wouldn't think of offering advice about moving - every family handles that challenge differently - but we do have one suggestion: Keep Furniture Consignment Gallery on speed dial.

     You never know when you might need us. And we promise we'll do our best to help you.  

     7:03 AM Today: "Let's do Thursday, March 1. I'll make it work." says yet another client on the move. 

Topics: How To Sell Estate Furniture, Price My Furniture, Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture quality, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture Care, Furniture History, Where To Sell Furniture, How To Buy New Furniture

Tutorial: New "Inventory Email" Features

Posted by Jay Frucci on Thu, December 15, 2011 @ 07: 45 PM

Hey this is Christa, your friendly, FCG computer nerd and photographer!

We've had some great new features added to our website recently by our pricetagteam.We've been on the quest of making the site even more user friendly for all of our valued customers! You may have noticed the red price tags. not only are they snazzy to look at but right underneath that tag we now have the next drop down price and the date it will drop down. That brings me to our first tutorial!

 

calendarTUTORIAL: Email Reminders for Price Drops

This way you can have the computer automatically send you a friendly reminder that that wonderful piece you wanted has dropped to the next price (usually 10% off)! It's really easy to do this:

 

STEP 1: click the button circled in red below that says "Schedule a price drop reminder"

Reminder part1STEP 2. Type in Your name (this helps keep your important reminder out of that automated spam folder)

STEP 3. Type in the email address you would like to recieve the price update to (make sure it's something you check often so you don't miss out on a great item!)

STEP 4. Click the "Set Reminder" button

Reminder part2

STEP:5 Click "OK" to confirm the email subscription to the item

Reminder part3

STEP: 6 You should see this screen saying you'll recieve an update the day before the price drop and then you can just click the "Close Window" to continue shopping your heart out.

Reminder part4

 

TUTORIAL: Email an Item to Yourself or a Friend

The other new feature that you may have noticed in your browsing on our describe the imagesite is the "Email a Friend" button. This little gem will help you email a piece you think would be perfect for that friend or relative without having to copy, paste and send the link from your own email.

 

STEP 1: Click the Purple button that says "CLICK to email This Piece To a Friend"

 

Email Part1

STEP 2: Type your name (so the recipent knows who sent this awesome piece of furniture gold to them and can thank you later for your brillance)

STEP 3: Type the recepient's email

STEP 4: Write a short message it you'd like about why this is right up their alley or leave it blank, whatever you'd like

Email part2

STEP 6:Click "OK" to send the message on it's way

Email Part3

STEP: 7 Revel in your greatness of finding that perfect thing for him/her and click "Close Window" to return to your shopping bliss.

Email Part4

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