Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Pandemic Homebuying Frenzy Creates Stress for Buyers and Sellers: 5 Tips to Help

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 03, 2021 @ 08: 08 AM


Moments after we unlocked the door, he burst into the store like a gunslinger looking for a brawl in an old Western. “It’s go time,” he barked at us. “We’re moving!

Apparently, this man was used to issuing orders and commanding action. He’d emailed FCG a day ago offering furniture for consignment, along with a vague threat to find other options if we didn’t comply quickly. I’d answered his email that morning while having my coffee at home.

Apparently, my response wasn’t fast enough for him. By the time I got to the store in Hanover, there were five emails from him, each one increasingly annoyed.

7:15 AM: “When can you pick up the furniture? 

7:28 AM: “We’re ready. When will I hear from someone?”

8:17 AM “Any chance of today?” 

8:42 AM “Can someone get back to me?”

9:08 AM “Hello….???!!!”

And, now, here he was like some Deadeye McGraw staring down the barrel of a gun at 9:53 AM.

We get it. There’s a real estate frenzy underway and homes are selling faster than a speeding bullet. This man had a hard deadline to move out of his home, and he was getting more anxious by the minute. At FCG, we’re ready and eager to help. Here are some tips that might take some of the stress out of a highly charged situation:

  • Be prepared for fast action. Expect a rapid series of showings, multiple offers and aggressive buyers. Start the process of paring down prior to listing your home. .
  • Be organized. Check first with family to see if they have interest in pieces that are sentimental to you. Storage is expensive and in short supply. Parting with the items may be necessary.
  • Create a list with photos of the items you’d like to consign. Remember: the better organized, the less panic. If you're good with spreadsheets this is the perfect time to put that expertise to good use.
  • Should your homebuyer show interest in your furnishings, give them a firm deadline to decide. If they drag their feet or appear unsure, got to the next option.
  • Leave yourself your essentials until you're walking out the door. Selling off your bed when you need a place to sleep creates stress too. Be efficient, but keep enough to stay comfortable.

Grandparents Gone Wild! Newly Vaccinated, They’re Planning to Celebrate the Holidays With Abandon

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 27, 2021 @ 07: 42 AM


“Mangia, mangia!”

My Italian grandmother heaped a massive slice of lasagna onto my little brother’s plate chiding him all the while to eat. “I made this just for you!” she said sternly, shaking a wooden spatula at him. Thirty years later, I can still see her barely contained fury.

MiMa had discovered a dark secret about my brother and she was alarmed. He’d developed a taste for SpaghettiO’s which was an affront to all that she held dear, especially her reverence for traditional homemade pasta. Short of sending him away to a camp for wayward grandchildren, she was furiously cooking up a storm in an effort to halt this dangerous new development.

I couldn’t revel too much in my brother’s plight because I, too, was being scrutinized and found lacking at the dinner table. “Water, Jason, not milk,” my grandfather admonished me. “Milk will fill you up and then you won’t eat your macaroni.”

That makes sense to me now. Easter dinner was ten or more courses at my grandparents’ house. Chugging milk might dent my adolescent appetite. Now that I have three boys, I realize that wasn’t likely but my grandmother’s table was groaning under the weight of the food every Easter. (And Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and every Sunday …)

First came the appetizers: stuffed mushrooms, fried artichoke hearts, homemade pepper biscuits and more. The first main course included lasagna with meats and gravy. Then came the ham with followed by salad and a spread of fruits and nuts. To top it off some years, she’d serve an angel food cake.

Holidays were big events for my family. The Burgundy Vino Rossi wine was uncorked and a vinyl table cloth covered the dining table. Now, as the pace of vaccinations increases and the pandemic nears an end, many families are making plans to celebrate the holidays with a multi-generational feast.  

It’s time to celebrate! At FCG, we are here to help you prepare for a spring and summer of reunions with family and friends. Our three showrooms are chock-full of dining sets in every size, style and brand name imaginable: Dessin Fournier, Baker, and Eldred Wheeler, to name a few. We’ve also got loads of cool, funky, rustic, industrial and contemporary choices, too.

Mangia! After a long and lonely year of Covid, enjoy the delicious joy of spending time with loved ones.

Beware the Health Dangers of New Furniture. Stock Up Instead at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 19, 2021 @ 10: 17 PM


When I was a kid, I had a simple diet. My Star Wars lunchbox was packed daily with a PB&J, a carton of chocolate milk and an apple. At noon, the PB&J emerged somewhat squished, but it was a delicacy, nonetheless, and I ate it with gusto.


Today, such traditional fare would have me banished to a special “nut zone,” a table in the school cafeteria for those with nut-based lunches. Dangerous nut allergies – in fact, all allergies – have been on the rise for years, mystifying medical experts.

Public-health officials have identified another unexpected hazard: new furniture. Dermatologists are seeing an epidemic of skin rashes associated with new sofas and chairs from China. The culprit? Possibly the anti-mold spray with which furniture is doused before being stuffed into shipping containers bound for the U.S.  

Many of us in the furniture business are concerned about another potential hazard: performance fabrics, which are hugely popular now in homes. Performance fabrics are fire retardant, stain and fade resistant, highly durable and easy to clean. And yet …

Some researchers say these fabrics contain chemicals that release gases. You should be concerned. Many fabrics are manufactured with polyurethane particles or PVC. There’s evidence they slowly release gases that enter the lungs or skin.

So your new sofa might be making you sick. The most dangerous moment is when it arrives at your home. The tight plastic wrap that protects it from damage is like a greenhouse, holding in all the gases pouring out of the foam cushions and engineered fabrics. Once opened, the gases escape into your home.

Interestingly, buying furniture on the resale market may be better for your health. Hazardous gas emissions drops significantly after a few months. An FCG sofa or table won’t have that new furniture smell, but it also won’t have the dangers that accompany it.

If you simply can’t resist buying new furniture for your home, here’s my advice. Let it rest and air out in your garage for at least few days before bringing it into your home. Or, better yet, find a gently used piece of furniture at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Your body will thank you.

On This COVID Anniversary, FCG Celebrates Its Staff and Its Customers

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 13, 2021 @ 07: 23 AM


One year ago, the evening news bristled with terrifying reports from Northern Italy. People were falling ill and, gasping for breath, dying. Ambulance sirens echoed day and night. The dead were buried hurriedly and without ceremony.

We watched prayerfully from our kitchens, hoping to be spared the worst of a disease that was rampaging first through China then Europe. Yet we suspected it was already raging through our country like a wildfire. Seemingly overnight, our hospitals were full, we’d donned masks and our economy was locked down.

At Midnight on March 24, 2020, we were sadly ordered to close the doors of Furniture Consignment Gallery, uncertain when we’d open them again.

Like many Americans, I spent the first week cleaning my yard. Week  two, I took a chainsaw to clear out the debris in the woods behind one of our stores. Sweaty manual labor was a kind of a salve to my anxiety. By summer, I thought, this virus will wither away like a dandelion hit with a shot of weed killer. I was wrong.

Covid was declared a national emergency a year ago. This week marks a full twelve months of grief, confusion, loss, fear and strife. We’ll be living with the far-reaching impact of this pandemic on our lives, our culture, and our economy for years to come.

And, yet, there were some bright spots in the midst of this tragedy.

FCG survived the lockdown, thanks to our amazing staff and supportive customers. Staffers met every challenge of reopening with determination. They endured the annoyance of eight-hour days behind a mask. They sanitized endlessly. They respectfully maintained the appropriate social distance to insure our customers’ and their fellow staffers’ safety.  

Our customers proved their loyalty. Though our doors were closed, they continued to find fabulous bargains in our stores, online and in droves. They trusted FCG, knowing our brand stands for quality furniture. That is an extraordinary accomplishment, one that makes me proud of our team and its work over the last sixteen years.

No one can predict what the next few months will hold for us as vaccine distribution accelerates and the threat of widespread disease abates. For now, I can say with great relief, FCG made it through and I’m grateful.

Homebuying Frenzy Hits and High-Quality Furniture is Hard to Find - Except at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 06, 2021 @ 07: 54 AM


Here’s an alarming sign of the times: a home in a Boston suburb was listed for sale, and within 24 hours, it had garnered 3,400 views online. That’s 283 views of the house every hour around the clock for a full day! Or almost five views every minute.

Covid has rattled our world in ways unimaginable. City living was trendy until lockdowns caused cabin-fever. Now, everyone wants a yard, a garden, a patio and a pool. Suburban homes are suddenly hotter than firecrackers in July.   

So is furniture. After all, new homeowners want to feather their new nests especially if there’s a possibility of more quarantines. Problem is, the pandemic snarled the supply chain causing long waits for furniture. What’s a new home without a couch for movie night? What’s a new dining room without a table or chairs?

Fortunately, Furniture Consignment Gallery offers the rare exception to this frantic and frustrating situation. We’ve spent the week bringing truckloads of high-quality furniture into our three showrooms in Natick, Hanover and Plymouth. We are proud to carry nothing less than the finest pre-owned furniture in New England. 

Check out the two Arhaus Remington two-cushion sofas at our store in Natick. Their owner paid $4,500 for each sofa, but they didn’t quite fit her design aesthetic. We’ve priced each sofa at $2,499 and, even better, they’re available for immediate delivery.

If that doesn’t entice you into the store, we just marked down over 100 items in Natick to make way for next week’s expected arrivals. In Hanover and Plymouth, we’ve got even more furniture bargains from the basics to the extraordinary. Visit us this weekend!

Celebrating the First Sign of a Post-Covid World: A Yellow School Bus

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 27, 2021 @ 07: 32 AM


Driver, rev your engines!

I’m talking to you, school-bus driver. I’ve missed you more than you could imagine. I’ll never take you for granted again, I promise. How would you like your coffee when you grind that big yellow bus to a stop in front of my house?

Tall, half-caff, soy latte, you say? No problem! As long as my son is onboard when you slam that door and trundle down the street at 7 a.m. on Monday. That’s the first official day of almost full-time school in our town, now that the pandemic is easing.

Excitement is at a fever pitch at our house this weekend, at least for me and my wife Diana. We’re so weary of zoom classes and the perpetual mess of having our three boys at home pretty much all the time.

So hallelujah! This is one small step for schoolkids, one giant leap for their parents. This weekend will be a whirlwind of preparation, but we’re all in. New sneakers? Ring ‘em up! New backpack? Take your pick, kiddo.

Now’s the time to reclaim some of the joys of life, post-Covid. So here’s an idea, moms: celebrate your new freedom! Make a beeline for FCG. We’ve missed you, too.

We’re all yours, spotlessly clean and fully stocked with stylish bargains. Stop by one of our three stores and enjoy some retail therapy. After a year of keeping the kids home from school, you know that old couch or upholstered chair has to go to the dump. Start your home-improvement project this weekend at FCG!

One Table, Three Owners: The Circular Economy At Its Very Best

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 20, 2021 @ 08: 00 AM


How often can a simple piece of furniture be used to illustrate a critically important principle of economics? Consider this:


In 2012, a delicate birdseye maple table first made its first appearance on the showroom floor of FCG. Its owner was downsizing from a formal colonial in Andover to a beach cottage on the North Shore, and she wanted to know if we could resell her table, in pristine condition.


The table, a real beauty, didn’t linger long at FCG. A savvy buyer scooped it up and brought it home to Wellesley. The table spent almost a decade in a stylishly decorated home in that leafy suburb.


Now, the Wellesley folks are heading south to Texas as soon as the cold weather can be coaxed back to Canada. FCG got a call to come and collect the table, which is now awaiting another buyer – and another home – in our store in Natick.


FCG is essentially a Ferris Wheel of furniture – and a shining example of what’s being called the “circular economy.” That refers to a closed-loop economic system in which items are reused, repaired or refurbished if needed, and recycled to reduce the amount of waste, pollution and inefficiency in the world. For many governments around the world, creating a robust circular economy is a high priority now.

The year-long pandemic has shone a bright light on the kinks in our current linear economy. Let’s take new furniture as an example. Since the 1950s, when mass production emerged, a simple table would be sold at a furniture store to one owner who would use it then toss it in the trash. That’s been the dominant system for decades for many items from clothing to electronics.


The pandemic exposed the problems inherent in the linear system. For one, Covid snarled the worldwide supply chain to such an extent that consumers are waiting six to nine months for their new furniture to be delivered. Once they do get it, they toss old their furniture in the trash. That, in turn, is causing bloated landfills.


Taking an even broader view, the linear economy, that is the furniture sector, has been fouling our planet to an extraordinary degree for the past few decades. Most furniture is made in Asia, then packaged and placed on massive cargo ships. Those ships burn a vast amount of highly polluting fuel in the course of their long journey to a port in the U.S.


Then, trucks continue the journey, hauling those boxes to stores all over the nation. At every step of the way, vast resources – wood, oil, and human ingenuity and effort – are being used. Anything that is damaged on the long journey is discarded. Destination: landfill.


A new planet-conscious generation is sounding the alarm, louder and louder. Earth, our home, might not survive decades more of the linear economy. The cost is punishing. That’s why FCG is so proud to be a leader in the movement towards a “circular economy.”


So stop by one of our three stores in Hanover, Plymouth and Natick. They’re chock-full of well-crafted, stylish pre-owned furniture at bargain prices. You may leave with the perfect piece for your home and the warm glow of knowing you’ve done your part in some small way to save the planet.

Boomerang Kids Come Home Again – To Stylish New Digs Thanks to FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 13, 2021 @ 07: 52 AM


Diana, my wife, got a call this week from a friend who asked for advice on how to reclaim what she called the “kid tribute room.” That’s the empty bedroom left behind when your child grows up and moves out, the little shrine to their childhood with the unicorn bedspread or the spaceship wallpaper.

Re-designing our kids’ bedrooms is a rite of passage for parents who have successfully shuffled their kids out the door for good. Seriously, aren’t you tiring of dusting those swimming trophies and Little Ponies? Wouldn’t you love a yoga room, a home office, a guest room, a crafting center or a gift-wrap station?

Diana, an interior designer, has guided many of our customers through the process of repurposing their children’s old rooms.  And, thanks to our vast inventory of consignment furniture, many of our customers have been able to create their dream spaces on a shoestring budget.

These days, our customers are thinking more broadly about how to use those children’s bedrooms. A single-purpose room for yoga? That seems a little indulgent in the midst of a pandemic. Because of Covid, lots of families have welcomed adult children and grandchildren back into the nest.

Work-from-home is allowing families a lot more freedom in where they pursue their careers. So it isn’t unusual for adult children, with babies in tow, to move in to the big family home for a month or two because day care is deemed too dangerous in a pandemic.

Millions of college students also have left dorms for home because of the pandemic. They may be boarding with mom and dad for quite a while. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Class of 2021 will face the worst job market in decades.

Do you really want to dig into the attic for those old worn sheets featuring Battle Star Galactica or Unicorn Rainbow? No, of course not! You don’t want to encourage your boomerang children to start acting like ten-year-olds again. You probably need to buy some stuff.

Your children, grandchildren, heck, even your parents may be living with you for some time to come. Furniture Consignment Gallery has an extraordinary variety of high-quality furniture at bargain prices. So stop by one of our three stores. Talk to Diana, whose skills at creating cozy, stylish spaces is second to none. When your family shows up at your door with their giant duffle bags, you’ll be able to welcome them in knowing they won’t be sentenced to sleep under a torn Megadeath poster.

Parenting in a Pandemic Requires Creative Solutions to Prevent a Mom Meltdown

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 06, 2021 @ 07: 39 AM


Diana, my wife, is at wit’s end and it’s no wonder. Our three boys are at home. All. The. Time. Our oldest son is home from college. Our middle son is muddling through his last year of high school without any of the traditional senior activities to keep him busy. Then, there’s Robbie, 12, who is doing zoom classes at home three days a week.


What that means is a lot of meals, a lot of shopping, a lot of laundry and a lot of frustration. Never has the house been such a mess. When Diana and I get home from work at FCG, there’s a trail of debris from the stove to the countertop to the family room and up the stairs to the bedrooms.


Like millions of other working moms, Diana is desperate for guidance on how to navigate pandemic parenting. In a podcast for moms, she heard about a game that aimed to make tidying up fun and financially rewarding.


So earlier this week, she declared the start of the Frucci Clean-up Challenge. Our boys could earn points for making their beds, shoveling the walkway, taking out the trash. Ka-ching! Replacing the old trash bag with a new one? More ka-ching! The boy with the most points per week earned hard, cold cash.


Her chart was ignored for days. Then, Robbie, eyeing his brothers’ careless disdain of the challenge, figured he could lock in an easy victory for minimal effort. He grabbed a shovel and cleared a path through the snow, earning a point. Then, he moved on to the trash. The money, he chuckled to himself, was his for the taking!


Eventually, his two older brothers realized they were being outsmarted by the young whippersnapper. A flurry of cleaning erupted. Beds were made. Floors were swept, dishes washed and put away. For our boys, even cash doesn’t have the same lure as some old-fashioned competition.


At FCG, we understand the appeal of winning. After all, furnishing a home is a challenge. Our consignors score victories by selling their high-quality furniture. Our smart shoppers find bargains in our ever-changing inventory. Covid has made our lives a lot more difficult, but some things never change: everyone loves to be #1.

Tidying Up the Attic? Here’s a Useful Tip: Don’t Call FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 30, 2021 @ 07: 42 AM


Thanks to the pandemic, there’s a new national pastime: cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering.

Last week, my mom texted me and my brothers a photo of a heap of trash bags full of things she intended to throw away. She’d been spelunking in closets and had finally finished the job. All that remained were the trash bags, destined for the dump, and three boxes of family treasures, one for each of her boys. (Of course, my younger brother, now forty-something, immediately complained that my box is bigger than his. He's always started all the trouble. Right Mom?)

Meanwhile, on the other home front, namely mine, Collin, 18, has undertaken an excavation of his own, selling off my childhood collection of sports cards on eBay. Our dining table is the hub of this new enterprise. He’s earned enough to put gas in his car for a few weeks, but much to his disappointment, there weren’t any blockbusters stashed in the box.

We’ve all learned an important lesson this week: our stuff is valuable but only to us. There is truth in the old proverb that holds one man’s treasure is another man’s trash.

At FCG, we bump up against this notion a lot, especially this winter. Confined to home, many are cleaning out attics and basements and testing the market for the loot that’s been moldering there for decades. FCG is getting lots of inquiries from folks eager to consign old rocking chairs and cobwebbed steamer trunks.

 I’m usually the one who has to dispense the bad news. While these items may be loaded with sentimental value, they aren’t going to put cash in your wallet anytime soon. Of course, some folks won’t give up. “What if I paint it?” they ask. Ummmm, still a hard no. 

As experts in the market, we’ve learned some lessons and thus we are qualified to offer some wise advice on the subject of reselling your family’s flotsam and jetsam.         

Whatever you’re digging out will be more valuable to you than anyone else. Brace yourself for the likelihood that it might be worth little or nothing though it was a pricey item back in the day. FCG generally won’t take anything older than ten years.

Once you pull something out of the attic, don’t put it back. You’re doing the right thing saving your heirs from cleaning up after you. Don’t let a heap of old items pile up in the corners of your house. Finish the job with a trip to Goodwill or the dump.

Enjoy the process. Digging into family detritus can yield powerful memories and emotions. Savor them, then continue the clean-out. In the box filled with my sports cards, I found a yellowed page from the Boston Globe dated 1984. The Celtics had just won the NBA World Championship. Larry Bird was MVP. Oh, joy! Oh, history! Oh, yeah, into the trash it goes.