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 décor 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

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

Topics: How To Sell Estate Furniture, Price My Furniture, Sell Television Cabinets, Sell TV Armoire, Sell TV Cabinet, Furniture Consignment Boston, Selling Furniture, Custom Sofa, Sell My Furniutre, Custom Furniture, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, American Made, chestnut hill, Exclusive Furniture, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Pre-owned furniture, massachusetts, Sell My Furniture, Custom Fabric, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Value, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Boston Consignment Furniture, Furniture History, 2011, classic, Pre-owned Hitchcock, Where To Sell Furniture, How To Buy New Furniture, Sell Entertainment Center

Your Home Buyer Wants to Buy Your Furniture

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, October 26, 2010 @ 03: 34 PM

If you are Selling your home and you have furniture that you no longer need, the buyer of your home should be the first option to purchase these items and here is why:

  • If you can secure the sale of your furniture with your buyers, you remove what can be a stressful task from your list of things to do.  You have enough to worry about when moving so take this off of your plate right away if you can.
  • You may be able to avoid costly moving and storage fees.
  • You get your money with less hassles and get it right away.
  • You eliminate the risk of damage by leaving the furniture right where it is.

How do you agree on price?

  • Don't be greedy.  
  • If your furniture is 5 years or older be prepared to sell it for a quarter of what you paid for it.
  • If your furniture is newer than that and in "Showroom" condition, then push your asking price to half of your original purchase price.  
  • For the sake of simplicity, you are willing to sell the items at a discount from what you could achieve on the open market and you need to explain this to your buyer.  

Too many people make the mistake of shooting for the stars and turning off the most logical suitor -- the buyer of your home.

If you are unable to work out a deal with your buyer, it is not the end of the world.  If you have upscale items in excellent condition, then the next stop should be a high end furniture consignment store.

Topics: How To Sell Estate Furniture, Price My Furniture, Pre-owned furniture, Downsizing, Quality Furniture, Where To Sell Furniture

Price Your Upscale Furniture To Sell

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, February 23, 2010 @ 02: 32 PM

It should come as no surprise that in furniture consignment, sellers almost always think their items are priced too low and buyers tend to think items are too highly priced.  So how do we arrive at a price?  Though it’s far from an exact science, there is a methodology.  Unlike selling a house, boat or car, there is no MLS system for furniture or Kelly Blue Book to tell us how to value pre-owned furniture, so we must be market savvy.  If you are selling a dining set that you paid $15,000 for 5 years ago, you should look at how many dining sets are selling for $15,000 today. You will quickly find that there are a great deal of dining sets available in today’s market.  Since most buyers can purchase a new dining set of their dreams for $15,000, how do we create an appropriate economic incentive for a buyer to purchase your pre-owned furniture?  Here are some things to consider when pricing your furniture:
  • Start by dividing what you paid in half, then see what is available in the marketplace at that price. Let's go back to our dining set example. What if we surveyed the marketplace for dining sets priced at or around $7,500?  How does your set fare against those other sets that are for sale in that price range?
  • “Retail” is a fictional number so throw it out the window.   "I paid $15,000 for my dining set 5 years ago, but a similar set retails for $25,000!"  Retail pricing is a bizarre phenomenon in the furniture industry.  Nothing sells for retail.  In fact, most furniture stores discount 30% to 40% off of retail.  So the dollar figure we want to work from is the price that somebody can actually buy the set for "new".
  • On top of retail discounts, we are currently in the midst of a recession and so there are two factors to consider: First, furniture retailers are doing anything to get customers to open their wallets, so there are heavily discounted sale prices to consider. Secondly, many furniture stores offer financing, which you cannot offer as a seller.  Again, this may factor into how you decide to price your piece.
  • Customization does not translate into resale value.  In fact, it may make your sale more difficult.  "I paid $200/yard for this fabric on my sofa".  Upgraded fabric means that it matches the rest of your home, not a potential buyer’s.
    • The question you have to ask yourself is:  “Am I searching for a special buyer who is going to appreciate this unique fabric?” If your answer is “Yes”, you will have to price your item more aggressively than you may have anticipated.
  • If you have extraordinary furniture, such as pieces from D.R. Dimes, Eldred Wheeler, Kindel, etc., one of the advantages that you have is that people can have it now! Often pieces from high-end furniture manufacturers are built after the sale, meaning that lead times can run from a few weeks to a few months.
    • For this grade of furniture, you should be able to achieve an asking price that is closer to the original purchase price.  These manufacturers pitch their product as an appreciating asset. While they may not actually increase in value, these pieces do have strong marketability on the resale market.
  • Condition is paramount!  Tiny scratches can affect the purchase price that you are able to achieve.  Try having a friend evaluate the condition of your furniture and ask them to be picky.  You want to be sure that you have accounted for imperfections in your pricing. 

If you're furniture sells right away, then you likely did your homework and priced it just right. The buyer feels like they got good value for their dollar and the seller walks away with fair market value, some space in their home, and money in their pocket.

Topics: Price My Furniture, DR Dimes, Sell My Furniutre, Used Furniture, Pre-owned furniture, Eldred Wheeler, Kindel Furniture