How to Consign Furniture

We took a look at Consign Furniture (nice website!) to see if we could get a feel for how an upscale furniture consignor operates. This store is located in the ritzy neighborhood of Rancho Cordova, California and its policies look like a good representation of what you might and should expect from your local consign furniture shop.

Consign Furniture - Price

Stores make money by moving merchandise. You may have heard or read Internet posts made by consignors who got next to nothing for the wares. Happens all the time. There has to be a compromise between supply and demand, quality, store traffic, salesmanship, presentation - lots of things. Under ideal conditions the store is located in a great place, has lots of traffic, is adept at merchandise display, has personable effective sales reps and you get a fair price for your merchandise.

Stores try to move merchandise within 2 weeks. If you're consigning nice things and have exercised some control over your minimum acceptable price, you should do ok.

Consign Furniture - Payment Rules

Payment can be made to consignors in a variety of forms. Stores might prefer to pay by check to keep the guy who does the taxes happy - written proof of payment. Those using QuickBooks must pay by check because QuickBooks doesn't recognize cash payments. Cash payments can also get a little messy when proof of payment is needed.

Stores can pay in store credit to be spent at the store. They like to do that and it's good business for all, provided you need something the store has.

Some stores may offer you a final settlement up front by paying some percentage of the agreed-upon price, in cash or in store credit.

Consign Furniture - Unsold Pieces

There are 5 basic options for unsold inventory: renew the agreement, donate, return, destroy or transfer to the House Account (basically donate to the shop). The time granted for the selling of items varies from shop to shop but 60-90 is a rough time frame.

There are a variety of options amongst stores after the expiration of the consignment period. Some opt for the right to reconsign for another period of the same length at a reduced price. Some may buy the item from you outright if the price is right. Others might give you a store credit for a (small) percentage of the agreed-upon initial sale price. It all depends on the type of store, the store owner's ability and willingness to get into owned inventory, the item itself and how badly you wish to rid yourself of it.

Sometimes you're just better off to donate your unwanteds to charity and get a tax deduction (if you have sufficient other such deductions so as to qualify). You guess it: see your accountant.

From Consign-It Home Furnishings: "Our inventory consists of all types of upscale furniture, fine accessories for the home, patio furniture, home-office furniture, artwork, and lamps. Acceptable merchandise must be in excellent condition. We do not consign items that need to be refinished or repaired, and they must be complete with necessary parts for assembly. Upholstered furniture should look like NEW. (It must be clean, no fading, no stains, not worn or torn.)"

"Consignments that are not acceptable:"

"all lamps, area rugs/carpets, artwork without frames, bathroom accessories and bar lighting, bedding, ceiling fans, designer pillows only, ceiling mounted fixtures, damaged or dirty dishes - glassware - appliances, dolls, dried floral arrangements, frames without artwork, hanging lamps, hydraulic chairs, kitchen or barbecue utensils, lamp shades, lamps without shades, luggage, Murphy beds, no prints or watercolors, organs, religious artifacts, stereo speakers, stuffed animals, toys, window coverings and yarn goods"

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