Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Crunch Time

Posted by Jay Frucci on Wed, April 03, 2013 @ 04: 38 PM

"Memorial Day," the woman sighed. "That's the goal."

An experienced real estate agent, she is eager to list the house, a gracious colonial in a describe the imagewealthy equestrian town. She knows some young family will love it. But the road to a sale has been rocky. The sellers? Her aging parents.


Dad recently suffered a stroke. His voice, once booming with authority, is weak. He was polite, but also seemed perplexed by the project they were undertaking. Mom understood the challenge, and she was overwhelmed. In a few short weeks, she has to shrink their lives to fit into a tiny condo.


All her life, Mom had been a collector of books, silver and figurines from their travels all over the world. She also inherited some valuable furniture from her parents and grandparents. Preserving these things was her way of keeping them a part of her life.


Their daughter understood the heartbreaking dilemma: how do you part with a lifetime of treasures when every one of them holds a precious memory? How - in eight weeks - do you sift through a household that sustained a marriage and a family for fifty years?


I toured the house. There were some well-maintained classic pieces that our customers will love. But the couple needed more help than that if they were to meet their deadline of Memorial Day. I made some recommendations to them which might prove useful to you.


First, hire a professional organizer. A skilled one will help you winnow through your possessions quickly, urging you to part with unneeded items while preserving pieces that have the most meaning.


aaci auction1Invite three reputable personal property auctioneers to estimate the value of your unique items or collectibles. They will help you determine what will sell at auction - and for how much. Choose one to handle that for you.


Then, check with me to consign your high-end furniture. At Furniture Consignment Gallery, your pieces will be priced appropriately and stylishly displayed in one of our three showrooms. Avoid the temptation of selling it yourself on Craigslist; it can be risky and time-consuming for downsizers.


Next, hold an estate sale to sell the dishes, the small appliances, the lawn mowers, and the trinkets. When the last buyer has meandered down the driveway with your old mop, call in Goodwill. Whatever doesn't go on its truck goes in the dumpster.


Sure, it's a lot to do, but things move swiftly once you've got a plan. Remember: Memorial Day is still eight weeks away. You can do it - and you've got help.

Topics: family, auction, sale, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, Antique, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, children, sentimental, value, auctioneer, estate

Banish Your Decorating Demons

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, April 03, 2012 @ 01: 42 PM

confessional by arik levy 1After the last few days in the store, we've decided to build a confessional into our showroom. Here you can recite your Act of Contrition, and you'll be absolved of all of your furniture purchasing sins, mortal or venial.

     All week long, a long line of penitents funneled through our door and poured out their hearts to us. "What was I thinking?" cried one consignor, admitting she had blown her budget for a decade on a furniture shopping spree. "Never again," another winced, recalling how she bought an enormous mansion at the peak of the market and furnished it lavishly.

      We heard every variation of the seven deadly sins. One greedily wanted a house bigger than her sister's. Another lusted after a friend's inlaid mahogany desk until she found one even more exquisite - and pricier - in an antique shop.

Their stories were all slightly different, but they had one thing in common: they wanted absolution - and some money back, too.


     Haven't we all been there?


     I can recall attending a live auction several years ago. Consumed in the bidding process, I vaguely remember g-forces driving my paddle up in the air faster than I could think. The heat of the moment, the competition, the will to win! All three took command of my soul. And, suddenly, "Sold for $275! The hutch goes to the gentleman on the left." 

     When I was bidding, I was riding a motorcycle on a winding country road. When the auctioneer banged the gavel, I hit a brick wall.

     The large mahogany hutch looked like a bargain when it was $50. After other buyers got involved in the fray, its value seemed to soar. Once they announced the new proud owner was moi I started to sweat at my poor decision-making. I did some fast math: $275 plus the auctioneer's commission of 12%, plus sales tax 6.25%.bidding I had to move it within the next forty-eight hours and worse yet, where am I going to store it until I figure out what I can do with it?

    I raised my hand. "Excuse me, sir... I'd like to apologize to the folks that I outbid. You see, I really don't need this hutch. It's not the money. What I was thinking? Can I give it back? This guy over here bid $250. Maybe you could sell it to him. I'll cover the extra $25."

     I was looking for absolution and my money back. The room went silent. The man I outbid shrunk down in his seat. Clearly, he had gotten caught up in bidding, too. Now, he just wanted me to go far, far away.

     Yes, I have been there. Haven't we all at one time or another? Life goes on. We make mistakes. Forgive yourself and move onto the next great thing in your life. And when it comes to fixing those mistakes, come see our new confessional at Furniture Consignment Gallery. We promise to listen - with sympathy - and help you get some money back, too.

Topics: How To Sell Estate Furniture, auction, Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Refinishing, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Furniture quality, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Style, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture Spotlight, Furniture Care, Furniture History, re-purpose furniture, How To Buy New Furniture, Estate Sale, 7 deadly sins, confessional, bidding