Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Consignment Pricing Is a High-Wire Act

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 01, 2017 @ 08: 32 AM


Like a gorgeous poppy, the sofa lit up the room. It was a massive tangerine sectional, custom-made by an interior designer. Only a few years ago it had been featured in a photo spread in New England Home. The original cost of the sectional: $17,000.

Now, the homeowner was redecorating. Tangerine was not on the new color palette. She wanted to consign the sectional at FCG, but first we had to agree on the price. “$3,499,” I suggested, hoping she wouldn’t faint at the steep decline in value.

“I understand,” she said. “That’s fair.” After all, orange is not the new black, grey or beige. This weekend, her sectional will be featured in a show-stopping display in our store in Natick, and hopefully it’ll score a quick sale.

Negotiating the price of consignment furniture is a challenge. Pre-owned furniture typically sells for a fraction of its original price. Even hand-crafted pieces with exquisite detail won’t fetch anywhere near their original prices at consignment.

Furniture used to be an investment. Now, it’s more like fashion. Styles and colors come in and out of vogue quickly. The hard truth is that furniture depreciates rapidly and dramatically. For some first-time consignors, that’s stunning news.

Consider the tale of two rugs. One was an 8’x10’ Ethan Allen in popular muted tones. We’ve sold similar rugs for around $800. “Absolutely not!” this consignor said, offended at the suggested price. “I paid four times as much for that rug years ago.” She left, dragging her rug with her. 

Later in the day came another consigner with a gorgeous hard-tied rug that originally cost $25,000. At FCG, that rug will likely sell for about $4,000. That’s a fraction of its original price, but the consignor was a realist.

“I’m happy to recoup even a portion of my investment,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed the rug for years. Now, someone else will have a chance to do the same.”  That rug will be on our showroom floor this weekend.

Consignment pricing is an art. Many homeowners are eager to consign their furniture. And we’re eager to have those pieces on our showroom floor. But, first, we need to agree on a price. Our years of experience selling the finest in pre-owned furniture have sharpened our pricing instincts. Trust us on that.

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we’re always trying to strike a balance. We want you, the consigner, to get the highest price for your furniture. We also want to provide our customers with the great bargains they’ve come to expect from FCG. That’s a high-wire act we try to do every day with grace and skill.