Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Let It Snow! At FCG, You’ll Find Everything You Need for a Winter Lockdown

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, November 06, 2020 @ 05: 05 PM



I’m dreaming of a … Covid Christmas?

That’s going to be the challenge as we near the end of a tumultuous 2020. But our holidays don’t have to be Scrooge-y. At FCG, we’re seeing lots of customers eager to create a cozy den for their family’s long winter of hibernation.

That’s understandable. Our holiday socializing may be more restricted this year because of the pandemic, but we still want our family and friends to feel warm, comfortable and welcome in our homes. The question is, how can you make that happen?

If you’re hoping to buy new furniture for Christmas, well, good luck with that pipedream. Because of the pandemic, new furniture is in short supply. Many manufacturers have struggled with lengthy shutdowns and shipping disruptions this year. You might wait 16 weeks or longer to get a chair or sofa you’ve ordered.

Even Jordan’s Furniture, one of the largest retailers in New England, is having problems. Jordan’s just released a TV ad that concedes buying new furniture is as challenging as finding toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic.

Covid is testing the backbone of the new-furniture and home furnishings industry. UBS, a global financial services company, estimates that over 11,000 furniture stores will shut down by 2025. Already, retailers are flooding the bankruptcy courts. This is making buyers hesitant to put down a deposit on out of stock items that are hopeful to arrive sometime next year. The inverse side effect is that this is all fueling the circular economy. The secondary market is buzzing and that is good for our environment.

No one could have foreseen how life would be impacted by Covid in 2020. What’s important now is to recognize the seismic waves rippling through every corner of our lives and make adjustments.

If you are eager to hibernate in comfort this winter, one thing is certain: Furniture Consignment Gallery’s three stores are loaded with high-quality pre-owned furniture that you can take home today. New items arrive every day of the week. There’s no uncertainty, no wait, no aggravation – and no risk of losing your deposit. Come and check us out!

Unfair to Small Business! Retailing Giants Profited from the Pandemic While We Were Shut Down

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, October 30, 2020 @ 04: 39 PM



In these last troubled days of October, as we hurdle towards a painful reckoning of social, political and economic disasters, it seems apt to summon up a bit of Shakespeare and Steinbeck.

Now is the winter of our discontent …

But that sentiment doesn’t seem to apply to Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart. In fact, those behemoths are enjoying extraordinary growth amid a national recession. Yesterday, Amazon reported a blowout quarter of sales and profits. Home Depot’s profits and sales surged 25%. Walmart is also on a roll.

For a small business owner, this is the hurtful reality of the pandemic. Big retail businesses remained open during the pandemic lockdowns, thanks to effective lobbying, while small mom-and-pop firms obediently closed their doors. Many of us had to lay off workers and dip into savings to remain afloat.

I’ll be blunt: America’s small business is suffering. Some will not recover, especially if there’s another round of stringent lockdowns. Sure, Home Depot’s shareholders are jubilant; its stock is up about 30% in 2020.

Many of the big retailers are crowing their sales were boosted by consumers spending their government stimulus checks. That hurts doubly. Not only were we small businesses sidelined, we had to watch our customers spend their government checks at our competitors’ stores.

Many small businesses received the Paycheck Protection Plan, which was supposed to be a lifeline. So some might argue we got free money. But that plan was hardly free. The restrictions were onerous; it didn’t compensate owners and it didn’t compensate for lost sales and profits.

Many small businesses used the government funds to pay employees while our doors were closed. Effectively, employees were paid to stay home from work – and then given stimulus checks to spend at our competitors’ stores! Now, some small businesses are learning that they may suffer a tax hit for having taken the PPP.

We at FCG have been fortunate. We’ve spent years building an online shopping experience and that has been a godsend for our business. We’re fortunate to be in the home furnishings industry. That sector has prospered during the pandemic as consumers have focused on feathering their nest.

Another bonus for FCG: pre-owned goods like furniture are in high demand as traditional retailers struggle to manage their supply chains.

Still, just because we’re one of the lucky ones doesn’t mean that we should turn our back on the travesty we’ve watched unfold. Giant retailers are being favored by government policies that have cost many of our friends and neighbors dearly.

None of this will be fixed at the ballot box on Tuesday. I’m not sure that any of the officials responsible for the lopsided regulations even get it. But I do think it is important to shine a light on the disparity.

FCG is Natick is Brimming with the Very Best in Modern Euro-Design

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, October 23, 2020 @ 06: 07 PM



What makes Murano glass so valuable? Treasured for its exceptional color and elegance, it is made by glassmakers who have been perfecting their craft since the early Middle Ages. At one time, their secret glass recipes were so valuable that the penalty for divulging them was death.

FCG is proud to offer for sale an extraordinary piece of this glass in our store in Natick: a Murano cocktail table by the designer Tulczinsky. Its thick blue-glass top rests on three curved glass legs, two flecked with gold and one threaded with filaments flaming with color.

Consigning such a valuable piece represents a highlight of a journey FCG began in 2011. Convinced that high-quality pre-owned furniture would be a hit in the wealthy western suburbs of Boston, we opened a tiny store in Chestnut Hill. Only 40 miles from our flagship store in Hanover, we quickly discovered it was nonetheless a very different retail experience.

Our Hanover store attracted customers looking for traditional furniture. After all, the South Shore is known for its classic colonials. But Chestnut Hill’s customers wanted edgy and modern furniture, especially pieces made in Europe.

At first, we scrambled to learn all the new designer names and brands. Then, we fell in love. So enamored were Diana, my wife, and I with the style, precision, and quality of the furniture that we took a field trip earlier this year to the epicenter of modern design, Milan.

There, we visited showrooms, spoke to representatives and saw up close what makes this furniture so special. These pieces represent true luxury – with a hefty price tag. Some new sectionals cost over $20,000.

Over the last ten years, FCG has become an expert in pre-owned contemporary furniture. In 2016, we closed our Chestnut Hill store in order to open a much larger store in Natick. There, we have a huge revolving inventory of modern pieces like: sectionals by Roche Bobois and other prized pieces by Italian designers Cassina, Max Alto, Poltrona Frau and BB Italia.

European furniture is increasingly difficult to order and import these days because of pandemic restrictions. That’s one reason why FCG’s expertise and inventory is so valuable. We have bargains in our stores right now. Visit FCG in Natick to learn more about creating a new modern look for your home.

Pre-owned Furniture Is Hot! FCG Was On that Trend First

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, October 16, 2020 @ 05: 41 PM



Psssst! Here’s a secret … buying pre-owned furniture is one of the hottest national trends of the fall. And FCG is riding the wave in a big way.

Homeowners are adapting to the new normal, and they want to be prepared for a cozy season of homeschooling and zoom meetings from the dining room. Sprucing up the nest is a high priority. Still, given the economic uncertainty of the next few months, they’re also looking for bargains.

Meanwhile, city dwellers are moving out in droves, snapping up homes in the suburbs or in spots that used to be weekend getaways. No one wants to spend a winter in a cramped apartment or condo. They’re eager to consign their stylish and often little-used furniture because it won’t fit the new cottage in the mountains or on the Cape.

All this means big opportunities for FCG and for our customers. Thanks to all that moving, our stores are brimming with an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary high-quality pre-owned furniture in every style and brand.

FCG, of course, has been one of the first champions of this pre-owned trend in the market. And that is very significant for you, our customers.

Over the last fifteen years, we’ve learned exactly how to choose the best consignment furniture for our three showrooms in Hanover, Plymouth and Natick – and we’ve learned how to price it competitively. Smart buyers know we’ve got furniture in pristine condition from meticulous homes all over New England.

Sure, there’s plenty of cheap furniture flooding Facebook Marketplace and the popular app NextDoor. But there’s also a lot of saggy plaid sofas with soiled arms and cigarette burns on those sites. Also, do you really want to waste your weekend in a fruitless hunt for a random piece of furniture that wasn’t quite what was promised on Marketplace? Of course not!

Besides, it’s awkward flipping sofa cushions or wiggling your fanny on a chair in someone else’s home. At FCG, you can linger on our sofas until you’re convinced that that’s exactly where you’ll want to spend Super Bowl Sunday. Take your time. Make sure the furniture is right for you and your family.

Our talented salespeople are full of ideas that will help you furnish your home so it reflects your personal style. So take a drive this weekend and visit one – or all three – of our stores. We’re chock full of furniture bargains and exciting home accessories that will make your home a special place.

FCG Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary With 15% Off Through Monday!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, October 09, 2020 @ 03: 32 PM



I’m in a reflective mood this morning, thinking back on how much we’ve been through as a family and a business since Diana and I acquired FCG on a brisk fall day Oct., 2005. It’s been fifteen years this week, a major achievement in the world of retail, I’m proud to say.

Like a lot of small businesses, we’ve endured more than a few crises: the recession of 2007-2008, the crippling snows of February 2015, and, now, Covid.
Through it all, FCG has proven it has staying power.

When we first started, I picked up and delivered furniture solo using a battered white trailer attached to the back of my SUV. Now, we’ve got company trucks with our logo and a team of experienced movers. We had one store in 2005. Now, we’ve got three in Natick, Plymouth and the original in Hanover.

My kids have grown up in the business. So have we. We’ve been fortunate to have talented employees who’ve played starring roles at FCG. We asked them to help us create a unique brand and business selling the finest pre-owned furniture in New England. They rose to the challenge and continue to do so every day.

Our customers deserve a shout-out, too. They are demanding but loyal. They hold us to a high standard. We’ve earned their trust, one sale at a time for fifteen years, which is why we’ve not only survived but we’re thriving.

Today, Furniture Consignment Gallery has 40,000 square feet of of stylish, high-quality pre-owned furniture that lures shoppers to our stores every day, eager to buy. Thanks to our website, our brand and business is becoming a national force: we ship furniture to buyers all over the U.S.

Fifteen years is worth a few moments of sentimental reflection for me – and I’d like to extend some appreciation to you. To celebrate our success, we’re offering 15% off through Monday, Columbus Day. Shop online or in our stores. After all, we certainly need something to lift our spirits these days!

A Sea Captain’s Logbook: The Wind, Weather and a 2010 Meeting at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, October 02, 2020 @ 02: 52 PM



The old sea captain’s leather logbook was a thing of beauty. In it, he’d faithfully recorded all the details of his life, including the tides every day for the last decade. Sketched at the top of each page was a tiny weathervane with a notation for the wind direction.

“How often do you check your logbook?” I asked him, as he fumbled through its pages looking for notes on the furniture he and his wife had bought many years ago. “ A thousand times,” he replied.

A disciplined scrivener, his logbook was an archive of purchases, social events, trips, birthdays, pretty girls, random encounters, and much more. His logbook, he said, kept him honest and reliable and others accountable.

“Ten years ago, I have it here in my notes…” he said, tapping one of the pages with his index finger, “you told me you could sell my furniture for $5,000.”

2010, we agreed, seems like a lifetime ago. Obama was president. The Kardashians were a thing. The iPad was new. At the time, he and his wife had been thinking of starting a new adventure in Florida. His wife had gotten sick, though, and they never made the move. Now, he was alone, downsizing. His furniture, he figured, would still fetch $5,000.

That, I gently told him, was unlikely. Like fashion, furniture styles change more rapidly now, and consignment buyers had embraced a new look. “I think the statute of limitations on my estimate has expired,” I said.

“You’re probably right,” he conceded. “Kids these days,” he said, adding a few colorful seafaring curses, “they don’t know quality when they see it.”

“By the way,” he said, tapping the decade-old scribbling in his logbook thoughtfully. “I made a note that you had a pretty blond lady working here back then.”

She still does, I assured him, adding that we wouldn’t want to lose such a talented individual at FCG. I didn’t mention she’s my wife, Diana. I wonder if I should tell her she’d earned a place in the captain’s logbook when I get home.

Got the Dirty-House Blues? FCG and Tilton Are at Your Service

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, September 25, 2020 @ 05: 44 PM



Scouring the kitchen for a cereal bowl this morning, I was frustrated. I’m not a demanding man. My needs are simple. I need one clean bowl on the shelf every morning for my oatmeal.

I hunted around, getting hungrier by the moment. Kitchen cabinet, empty. Dishwasher, empty. Sink? No. This was becoming a scavenger hunt.

Wandering around the house, it didn’t take me long to hit the motherlode. The culprits are my sons, Collin and Robbie. Scattered throughout the house are all of the kitchen bowls with remnants of their adolescent feasts: Ramen noodles, popcorn kernels, and puddles of ice cream.

Zoom school is taking a toll on our household in a dozen different ways, including its cleanliness and organization. There’s a trail of dirty dishes from kitchen to boy bedroom. Hungry boys eat up a storm and generate countless messes; they’re also wearing out the carpets as they pace back and forth during classes.

Which means we’re in constant clean-up mode at home these days. Because of the pandemic, we’re all spending a lot more time at home which makes me especially grateful for our recent acquisition of Tilton Cleaning and Restoration. I wish we could devote one of the vans to service our home every day.

Staying at home is a smart idea for minimizing the spread of infection, but it is pretty darn tough on our furniture and carpets. No, you’re not imagining it: our homes are getting dirtier faster and our furnishings are wearing out quicker.

Fall should mean a fresh start for your home, especially after a spring and summer of confinement – especially for those of us with kids. FCG and Tilton are at your service in the clean-up battle. Right now, we’re offering a bundled cleaning package; we’ll tackle a 12x12 room with wall-to-wall carpet, a sofa and an upholstered chair for $259.

Email and we’ll get you tidied up. And if that lumpy sofa or stained chair is too far gone, visit one of our three stores in Hanover, Plymouth or Natick. FCG has exactly what you need.

Yet Another Covid Nightmare: A Visit to the RMV

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, September 19, 2020 @ 08: 04 AM



Dante gave us a terrifying description of the nine circles of hell in his enduring classic, Inferno. Each circle features a human failing: greed, anger, gluttony and so on. Clearly, Dante never imagined the RMV. He would have added a tenth.

The RMV is where I spent eternity – I mean, a morning – this week. I showed up thirty minutes early for my appointment to register a new van. In a valiant effort to obey the pandemic rules, I’d scheduled my appointment two weeks ago.

The RMV has always been a black hole of lost time, but these days visiting the agency could break even the strongest. I waited patiently for twenty minutes in one line before being scolded by a clerk for standing in the wrong one. The short line was for those who dropped in, unannounced. Incredibly, the longer line was for those with appointments – punishment, I guess, for planning ahead.

After almost an hour of waiting, a clerk handed me a flyer that directed me to go back to my car and text the agency that I was at the RMV. Apparently, no one had noticed. Instantly, I got a text: “There are 35 guests ahead of you. We will text you when it’s time to come in”

Guests? No, we were the damned.

Time ticked by. A half-hour. An hour. Another half-hour. I’d set off from home that morning determined to maintain good hydration. Maybe I’d overdone it. I was squirming in the car, desperate for a restroom, when I finally got a text from the RMV. “We are ready for you.”

Back I went to another line. By now, I was in a cold sweat from discomfort. I waited for my number to be called, and, well, you know the rest of the story. The clerk found a minor error in my documentation and rejected my application. I asked for a supervisor, hoping for a compassionate release from this bureaucratic hell, but was instead lashed and tortured.

Maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but with the thought of repeating this exercise I might prefer it.

In my dreams, when midnight strikes on December 31, the pandemic nightmare will cease and life will return to normal. Maybe we can even fix the tenth circle of hell, the RMV, which would be nothing less than a miracle.

Do the FCG Loop! Hit All Three Stores in a Day and Find Great Bargains

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, September 11, 2020 @ 03: 45 PM



Before Covid, Boston famously had the worst traffic in the nation. We spent 14% of our time in the car waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, according to studies. We’ve all been there, squirming impatiently in a snarl of cars with brake lights radiating red as far as we could see.

Covid has been a tragedy, but there has been a silver lining to the pandemic, that is, open roads. There’s no disputing the fact that driving around is a lot freer and more fun than it has been in years.

What does that mean for you, furniture lover? That’s simple: bargain-hunting at all three of our stores is a Daytripper’s delight now.

Let’s say you’re tackling that long yearned-for home improvement project and you’re looking for furniture and accessories to make it perfect for your family. Sure, you’ve checked out our inventory online but there’s nothing quite like seeing a piece of furniture in real life.

Don’t you want to see in person the gleaming finish of an expertly crafted dining table? Or run your hand over the fabric of an upholstered chair for that cozy nook you’re creating in your family room? Who doesn’t want to sink into a leather sectional and dream of Netflix nights with the family?

At traditional furniture retailers, inventories are low and wait times are long. Why not take an afternoon and plan a trip to visit all three of our stores: Hanover, Plymouth and Natick? Our stores are spotlessly clean and we take every precaution to insure your safety while shopping.

A road trip is the perfect antidote to our cabin fever. So plug our stores’ addresses into your GPS, and hit the open highway. You can even take the kids for a geography and history lesson. Yes, Plymouth really does have a rock and a replica of the Mayflower. Homeschooling and bargain hunting is a perfect combination.

FCG Acquires Tilton in a Deal that Promises Big Benefits for Our Customers

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, September 04, 2020 @ 06: 08 PM



Big news, folks!

FCG has acquired Tilton Cleaning and Restoration, one of the premier carpet and upholstery cleaning services in Massachusetts. Now, with the help of a company with decades of experience, FCG will be able to offer a service that’s even more critical in the midst of a pandemic: high-quality cleaning and restoration of upholstered furniture and carpets.

Mike Tilton started his business back in 1977 in Natick, and over the past four decades, he has won the trust of more than 50,000 customers in and around Boston. His qualifications are impressive. He earned the certifications of Master Cleaner and Master Restorer and was past president of the New England Institute of Cleaning and Restoration.

FCG and Tilton are joining forces to insure that you, our customers, have access to state-of-the-art cleaning services. Customers who buy a sofa or a rug from FCG will have the option of having it cleaned and fabric-protected before picking it up or having it delivered. In these challenging times, that’s a layer of protection that many of our customers will find reassuring.

Consignors will also benefit. Our consignors will have the option of having their items professionally cleaned before their furniture and carpets get to our showrooms. After all, a spotlessly clean and fresh item typically sells quickly and for more money.

Mike Tilton will be joining us here at FCG in Natick, so we’ll have access to his years of experience and expertise in cleaning. His company offers grout and tile cleaning as well as restoration services in the event of fire, water or mold damage. Mike’s white vans will continue to be a familiar sight in the towns and cities of eastern Massachusetts.

Mention you read the big news in our blog and you’ll get 20% off cleaning and restoration services through the end of September. (There is a minimum charge of $130.)

We’re excited about this new step in our business journey, and we’re happy knowing our customers will get the same great service and reliability from Tilton that they’ve come to expect from FCG.