Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

This Blog Could Put You To Sleep

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 08, 2014 @ 11: 25 AM

 In our three stores, we have always found space to experiment with products. Our customers count on us for not only for quality furniture - they also know they can also complete their design projects with stylish new accessories including decorative pillows and nautical prints. 


This month, we're taking that concept one step further. We're opening a new mattress center in our store in Plymouth, featuring mattresses made by Gold Bond.


FCG sells a lot of bedroom sets. Our customers love how we display our furniture with beautiful bedding, lamps and other accessories. While we've always carried a small selection of mattresses, we recently realized that our customers want more choices. That's what they'll get in our new mattress center.


We decided to feature exclusively mattresses made by Gold Bond, a fourth-generation company in Hartford, CT. Like FCG, Gold Bond is family-owned. We share the same values of quality and service. And its mattresses are made right here in New England. Gold Bond buys its cotton in Mississippi and Louisiana and manufactures the mattresses in a factory in Hartford.


Order a mattress from us on a Friday and Gold Bond will ship it within a week. Their attention to detail and comfort is second to none. All their mattresses are two-sided - including the pillow tops. That's a feature no one else in the industry offers.


Why are we dedicating the space to a mattress center? Until now, we had a limited variety on the floor and customers didn't have the opportunity to comfortably test mattresses. Plymouth's new center will allow you to stretch out and relax. And we will be offering a wide variety of mattresses including organics, hybrids, pillow-tops, firms, latex, gel and memory foam.


This means greater convenience for you. Now, when you purchase a bed or a bedroom set in any of our locations, you can select a mattress, too. We'll deliver and set it up for you all at the same time.

Best of all, you won't find any brassy sales people dogging you at every step. You won't get bullied with a big sales pitch. And no confusing ads. What you will get is the same respectful and helpful customer service you've always enjoyed at FCG. We promise.

Topics: mattress, mattresses, mattress center, manomet, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room

A Fresh Approach

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 01, 2014 @ 02: 12 PM

1009I did some retail recon last week, visiting three small furniture stores around Boston. My goal was to assess the market: pricing, inventory, presentation and customer service. The experience was depressing.

All three stores seem to have barely survived the downturn of 2008. A telltale sign: one dispirited salesperson per store. I wandered around without an offer of assistance - or even a flicker of interest. Some showrooms were dark and uninviting. If I worked up the courage to enter one of those caves, a motion sensor would turn on the lights - grudgingly, it seemed to me.


Walls were bare. Here and there, I saw some pastel prints with thin gold frames, relics of the 1980s. The lamps were old and dusty. Clearly, it had been decades since these merchants had stocked up on accessories.


I hurried back to Hanover. Suddenly, I felt newly grateful for the good luck and hard work that enabled us to survive a downturn that had weakened or wiped out so many in our business.


Inside FCG, shoppers strolled the brightly lit showrooms. Our sales associates were briskly helping people find the special items they were seeking. Our showroom is alive, I thought, and filled with up-to-date furniture and stylish accent pieces.


Today is the first of November, a good time to remember to be grateful for blessings big and small. Furniture Consignment Gallery not only survived the downturn of 2008, but we continue to spread our wings. Next week, we will open our mattress department in our Plymouth showroom where we will have several new Gold Bond mattresses on display. We have something special going on in our three showrooms, Hanover, Plymouth and Chestnut Hill, and it is the staffers who make the retail magic happen here every day.


We do our best to keep it fresh with quality furniture and up-to-date accessories in our showrooms. And all that merchandise also happens to be the best bargains you'll find in or around Boston.

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

How-to: Consignor Log-in

Posted by Christa Newman on Thu, October 30, 2014 @ 12: 41 PM

Our newest feature "Consignor Log-in" is exciting to us because it will allow us to give our customers and consignors the opportunity to view their consigned items and previous in-store purchases in real-time on the internet and the App. Here are instructions on how to get started!

How to Get Started

Step 1.
The first step is making sure you're in our system with the correct email, if at all. To update this information you can either call one of our 3 stores, do it in person in one of our three stores or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to be updated. Filling out the form will put your information in our digital que to be placed in by one of our staff. Please allow 24-48 hrs if you choose to do it this way.
consignorlogin 0

Step 2.
Once you are entered into our system here you will receive an email like this:

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Once you have received this email above it means one of our staff members have manually entered you into our system by updating your account with us. This email can take a couple hours to arrive after we have entered you depending on your device, email service or wifi speed. Please note that depending on your email provider this email may go to your SPAM folder. If you can't find it, go to your SPAM and look for "Consignor Login Information"

Step 3.
Go to our Front Page and click the "Consignor Log-in" button

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Step 4.
After reading this entire page you can click on this button:

consignorlogin 3

Step 5.

This will take you to our log-in page. The design may be updated in the future, but for the moment this is what it looks like. Enter your entire email in BOTH fields, Username and password. Do NOT use captial letters of any kind. Email address are not captial letter sensitive but username and passwords boxes ARE so if it doesn't match our system it won't work.
consignorlogin 4

Step 6.
After you enter this the first time it will trigger another email for you to go find in your inbox that will look like this:

consignorlogin 5

Click through that link to change your password. This password IS case sensitive. Make sure you make it something you will remember. We suggest at least one capital letter and one number.

Step 6.

Using your FULL email address as your Username and the new password you have just created, you will log-in to the system and be brought to this page:

consignorlogin 6


That's how you log-in to Consignor Log-in for the first time! There will be another blog post about all the features and what they mean soon. I will link that here when I'm finished!

Topics: consignors, consigno log-in, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery

The Ride of a Life

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, October 25, 2014 @ 12: 23 PM

My first thought: good thing he was wearing his helmet. Robbie, my six-year-old, and I were taking a bike ride last weekend in one of the state's beautiful parks. Suddenly, his bike slipped off the edge of the paved road. Then, he was down. He hit the rocky ground hard and my heart skipped a beat. bike fall


He'd been a trouper all afternoon, pushing the pedals with all his might climbing the steep hills and braking ever so gently to stay in control on the descent. Now, seeing the panic in his face as he stared at his scraped palms, I jumped off my bike and lifted his chin to look at me.


"Robbie," I said gently, "there's gonna be blood, but you're okay."


For a six-year-old, blood is scary. Blood requires Mom, Sponge Bob bandages, and chocolate milk. At least, that's the remedy in our house. But we were miles from home deep in the woods. No Mom, no Sponge Bob and a long bike ride back to the car.


Don't look at the scrapes, I advised him. Pull down your sleeves. Hop back on the bike. Robbie listened and nodded, his face serious. He grimaced, tugged his sleeves over the newly raw skin, then jumped back on his bicycle.


As we rode back to the car, I could tell his mind was already shifting from his tumble to the sheer joy of his first long bike ride with Dad. Robbie accomplished a lot that day. He learned how to climb hills. He learned how to control his speed. Most importantly, he learned how to overcome a setback.


Learning a new skill means making mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can be pretty bruising. That day, Robbie learned to get up, brush himself off and get back in the game.


The best part of that day was the opportunity to appreciate something that had gotten buried in the back of my mind. My son reminded me that it takes grit and determination to learn a new skill. That's a good reminder for kids, adults - and especially for business owners. Looking back, I'd say that was the best bike ride ever.

Topics: manomet, family, robbie, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, bike, bicycle

Deliveries with Extra Sugar Deserve a Tip

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, October 18, 2014 @ 12: 37 PM

I'm a regular at a coffee shop on the South Shore. I like the coffee and the convenience - but I don't like the attitude at the drive-through window. When I extend my arm for my change, the lady shoots me a hostile look then fumbles around in the cash register at length before flicking a nickel into my palm.


258 1Cheap? No. I tip - and I tip well - but I consider it a reward for a job well done. Filling a Styrofoam cup with coffee is a basic service. A surly attitude doesn't win any points from me. I don't tolerate extortion. I expect that nickel back every time - on principle. 


Which brings me to the issue of tipping our deliverymen. At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we take good care of our workers. That's why they have all been with us for a long while. They don't have to rely on tips to pay their bills.


Still, our delivery guys often get some extraordinary requests from customers. "Can you move my old sofa out to the garage?" "While you're here, would you mind moving a few other pieces of furniture for me? They're heavy!" "Yes, I told the salesperson that I lived on the second floor, but I actually live on the fifth - and there's no elevator." "Can we see how the dresser looks in that corner instead of that one? Hmmmm, let's move it back to this corner. No, that doesn't work, either. Let's try it over here."


Our standard fee is based on simple factors like the size of the item and location. But we've learned that hauling furniture in or out of some homes can be an extraordinary challenge. Sometimes, doors have to be removed in order to squeeze a big piece through the jamb. Stairwells can be so narrow that extreme measures must be taken to protect walls, floors and the furniture! 


And then there are the folks who find it hard to resist the temptation to re-arrange all the furniture in the house when two moving pros show up at the door.


We want happy customers. Our guys are generally willing to assist with a simple task or two. But when you ask them to tackle something above and beyond the basic delivery, well, I think that's when you ought to think about a tip. They don't expect it, but they really do appreciate it. After all, a little more goes into it than snapping a lid on a cup.

Topics: manomet, delivery, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, tips, tip, tipping

Are You Going Contemporary Too?

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, October 10, 2014 @ 10: 31 PM

"I'm going contemporary!" She was seventy, if she was a day, a prim white-haired Yankee by birth and breeding. She thrust a photo at me and added, "I just ordered this camelback sofa and I need some funky end tables to go with it."


"Contemporary" is the hot new word in decorating. Queen Anne is out. So is chintz. Ruffles are a crime. Pyramids of pillows are passé. Most of our customers, young and old, are seeking a look that is sleek, sharply-defined and serene.


What they are calling contemporary is really classic design. Barbara Barry started the trend a decade ago when she created an amazing sofa with a sharply contoured arm, borrowing from a style that had been very traditional in England. Mitchell Gold took the same look and outlined the sofa in nailhead trim. That's been a huge hit for his stores. 


From Baker to Crate and Barrel, you can now buy a variation on that theme in almost every furniture store in the U.S. They're calling it transitional. Maybe people are tired of the word - even the concept - of traditional. You, our customers, are calling it contemporary. It looks and feels new and fresh.


41 4abTyHILTrue contemporary is Lucite. Contemporary is metal, plastic and modular sofas. Visit Roche Bobois, where the showroom is filled with strangely curved pieces of furniture sitting low on the floor like giant slugs. Works in Europe. A tough sell in New England. That's contemporary.


At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we might dabble with the ultra-modern every now and then. We have no law against Lucite. What we do best, though, is high-end, traditional re-interpretations of the finest furniture ever made. Call it what you may - traditional, transitional, contemporary, modern - we know what you mean.


So when Yankee matron with the twin-set cardigan and the sensible shoes tells me she is looking for a more modern look for her retirement penthouse in downtown Boston, we have exactly what she wants on our floor.

Topics: contemporary, classic design, manomet, decor, interior designers, color, plimoth, consignment, boston, Interior Design, Home Decor, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, decorating, lucite

Quirks of the Nouveau Riche

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, September 27, 2014 @ 10: 43 AM

We pulled up in front of a massive mansion earlier this week to pick up some furniture. The owner, a wealthy businessman, was gutting the house down to the studs, then renovating and redecorating. He wanted us to sell his furniture - but he wasn't going to make it easy for us.   parkinglotside


Rule #1: Do NOT park in the driveway. He didn't want tire marks or oil leaks from our truck staining his beautiful, black ribbon of asphalt. He was very fussy about his driveway. In fact, he boasted, he forced workers to use plastic shovels to clean the snow from the driveway by hand in the winter so the surface wouldn't be scratched by a plow.


Tiptoeing across his lawn was tough - but well worth it. We loaded up several truckloads of high quality furniture, which you'll find in our showrooms this weekend along with furniture from several other high-end homes in Boston.


And, yes, it is true. The very rich are different from you and me. Plastic shovels? Well, if you insist. Which is why they choose to partner with us more than any other consignment business in New England.


Why Furniture Consignment Gallery?

I can think of three reasons. One, they trust us to come into their homes and to handle their possessions with care and integrity. Two, we have the skilled people and the right equipment to carefully extract items from their homes without damaging the hand-painted wallpaper or the marble floors. And, three, they know that their furniture will be beautifully displayed in our three showrooms - and that it will sell.


Mr. Big Shot insisted that he didn't need the money, but he knows his furniture - gently used - still has value. "I want to see some money from this stuff," he said gruffly. "I know I'm going to get the best price by consigning with you. Then I'll donate the money to charity."


So it isn't about the money ... but it is about the money.

Working with the super-successful can be challenging, but we do it well. Our business is built to handle it. When you visit the showroom this weekend, feel free to chuckle a bit, knowing we had to skip lightly across some guy's lawn to bring you the best furniture in New England.

Topics: manomet, family, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, travel, summer, mirror, shatter

A Survey of Surveys

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, September 06, 2014 @ 03: 19 PM

"Are you saying, sir, the name of your company is Furniture Consignment Gallery?" the customer service rep asked for the third time. "How do you spell 'furniture'?"

"How do you spell 'furniture'?" I snapped in irritation. "Well, it begins with an "f" - as in frustrated!" 4589118642

Few things try my patience more than calling a customer service hotline. Yesterday, I spent twenty minutes on the phone trying to cancel a newspaper subscription. The hapless rep couldn't spell "Furniture." "Consignment"? Too much of a challenge.

She put me on hold to find "someone who could better assist me. " In her call center, that might take an eternity. Even more aggravating was the email from her company that popped into my mailbox a few hours later: "How was your customer experience? Please take our brief survey!"

These days, it seems like everyone in business is conducting a survey about the "customer experience." I got the oil changed in my car, and two hours later got an email asking me to take a survey. I got my teeth cleaned. My dentist asked me to fill out a survey.

My answer to all of them is "no."

My needs are pretty simple. I want to cancel my subscription quickly and efficiently. I want my oil changed by a trustworthy mechanic. I want the dentist to clean my teeth with no additional fuss. And then I want to be left alone.

So, companies, big and small, here's my advice. Forget the surveys. Provide your customers with good service from the moment they walk in the door or call on the phone. You don't need a survey to tell you when you're doing a good job. Your customers leave happy. They come back again. They also send friends and family your way.

That is what we strive to do every day at Furniture Consignment Gallery. You get a real staffer on the phone when you call FCG. We'll answer your questions honestly. We deliver your furniture on time. And you'll never get an email from us asking you to rate you to rate the displays in our showrooms. The "F" in FCG stands for quality furniture - not frustration.

Topics: Stickley Furniture, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery

Life's Bag of Cookies

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sun, August 31, 2014 @ 03: 29 PM

Wafting out the window was an irresistible smell: cookies. Italian cookies, loaded with butter and spice, to be more specific. Inside, a white-haired older woman was busy trying out the oven in her new condo. She smiled and beckoned us into the kitchen. Trays of cookies were cooling on the countertop.

"Oh, boy!" I thought. "Smells just like my grandmother's house ..."

We were there to deliver some furniture she'd bought for her condo in a new retirement community. Up and down the stairs we jogged for almost an hour carrying dressers, bedside tables, chairs - and drooling over the still-warm cookies. When we were finished, she thanked us cheerily and shooed us out the door - without dishing out so much as a single cookie.

"cookies clip art cookies clipart 1Humph," I found myself stewing darkly in the truck all the way back to the store. "No cookies? No cookies! My grandmother wouldn't let you leave her house without eating two big meals and carrying home a week's worth of food. That woman might have had the recipes, but I bet she wasn't even Italian."

Yes, life is much easier if you can manage to roll along without expectations. On the other hand, life also serves up some unanticipated pleasures when they are least expected.

Monday was a quiet day in the showroom. Most moms were shopping the back-to-school specials, not looking for furniture. I was busy doing paperwork. A long-time customer popped in on her way to visit a friend down the street. She had just baked several dozen cookies, forgetting that her friend was gone on vacation for the week.

"Please take them," she pleaded pushing a fragrant tray of just-baked cookies across the counter at me." I just made them - and I can't eat them all."

They were frosted - and Italian - the best I've had since I lost my grandmother a decade ago. Thanks to that oven-mitt-wearing angel, I was reminded once again that life is unpredictable - and that you've got to embrace the disappointments along with the joys.


That's sort of what it is like to visit our furniture showrooms. You may not always find everything that's on your list. But sometimes, when you least expect it, you'll find a treasure you couldn't have imagined.

Topics: delivery, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, cookies

FCG Cruises into Mrs. Insecurity's Neighborhood

Posted by Jay Frucci on Wed, August 27, 2014 @ 04: 39 PM

GossipLike any red-blooded retailer, I loved the state tax-free holiday last weekend. Our cash register was smoking after hours of ringing up one sale after another. The showrooms were jammed with shoppers eager to take advantage of the savings. Some were familiar faces. Others were new to Furniture Consignment Gallery.


One newcomer was absolutely giddy at some of the exquisite pieces she found in our showroom. She'd discovered two objects of lust - a Sheraton style sideboard and an inlaid china cabinet - and the longer she lingered in the showroom the more she found that would be perfect for her home.

 "Do you deliver?" she asked. "Of course," I told her.

Suddenly, a look of consternation crossed her face. "Does your truck say Furniture Consignment Gallery?" she asked anxiously.

Turns out she lives in an upscale waterfront neighborhood on the South Shore. She didn't want her neighbors to know that she was shopping for bargains at a consignment store. She was afraid that our truck might signal she was suffering financial distress in a town that prized financial success. What if the neighbors snickered at her behind her back?

Little did she know that our delivery trucks cruise her neighborhood regularly picking up and dropping off furniture. In fact, we know every lawn ornament on the town's impeccably manicured lawns. Here's a secret: her neighbors may be moneyed, but they're also blue-blood Yankees. They appreciate quality, but they also insist on a good deal. And they know they can't satisfy both of those demands in traditional furniture stores anymore.

Mrs. Insecurity is in for a treat when we deliver her furniture this week. She has no idea how impressed her neighbors will be at the treasures she found at FCG - and her financial savvy in snagging a bargain price on that china cabinet with the inlaid satin wood. So, yes, our trucks will be rolling proudly into the finest of neighborhoods this week - and every week.

Topics: manomet, society, gossip, neighbors, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, summer, deliver, hingham, duxbury, pine hills, high end