Admit it - you read that heading and thought "well duh. That's what consignment is - paying you for stuff you sell." Yes, but that isn't where this post is going. No, this post is about the sweet deal I scored this weekend by shopping at a consignment store. Have you ever had a piece of furniture that you lusted over? The kind that makes you go to a website more often than you should hoping to catch it on sale? For me it was the Printer's Writing Desk from Pottery Barn.
I don't know what it is about this desk, but I love it - and I've loved it for years. What I haven't loved is the cost. You see, like most PB furniture this bad boy is expensive! This weekend, though, Pottery Barn was having a sale that waived the delivery surcharge (usually $50) so I decided to see what the cost would be.
Ugh.... $700 for a desk. I love it but I just couldn't do it. And then, as if they knew I was looking, Pottery Barn sent me an email for 15% off my entire online order. Excited, I plugged in the coupon to get my new price.
Ok, so I saved $100. Not bad. But man... still $600. I decided to think on it for a bit and see if it's really something I wanted to do. In the meantime I decided to check out a few stores I've seen great stuff at in the past. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite purchases came from a consignment store in Austin - It's New To Me. I scored this beauty there last year:
I had been looking for an entertainment center for a while but wanted something with personality. I almost dropped dead from an excitement-induced heart attack when I walked in and saw this piece. Nervously I walked over to the price tag and held my breath as I turned it over. Imagine my surprisejoy elation when I saw $325 written on the tag. I calmly walked over to the gentleman behind the counter and told him I'd like to buy the piece. After paying him I told him I would have paid twice the price for the piece because it was perfect. It was then that he had informed me the seller wanted to ask $750 but they talked her down. The seller had a high-end boutique and was selling the piece because the back had a scratch in it. Her clientele wouldn't buy a discounted piece of furniture so she sent it to the consignment store. So what did she sell the "non-damamged" models for? $1395!!!!! Yep, I saved over $1000 on the piece because it had a scratch and her "upper crust" clientele didn't buy damaged goods.
Ok, but back to the Pottery Barn desk. Since I've had good luck in the past, I decided to head to the consignment shops and see what I could find. I didn't see much that wowed me at It's New To Me (at least not desks. There are lots of other things that wowed me, but I had to stay focused). My next stop was Home Consignment Center. Honestly, I was stopping by Joann's to get fabric and decided to drop in since it was next door. When I walked in I was greeted by Tracy. I told her what I was looking for and she showed me a few pieces. Then she took me to the back of the store to see a piece that had just come in. When I saw it my mouth hit the floor. And then I asked the fateful "what's the price?" She turned the tag over and said $249. OMG. I told her I wanted it and within 10 minutes it was in the back of the SUV.
I'm sure you noticed it says "Pottery Barn" on the receipt. That's because this is the desk...
Can you believe it? It is the older model (from last year) of the exact same desk that I've been drooling over for years!!! It's not the color I want (I want a black desk) but that can be easily fixed in a weekend. My savings, even using the discounted price, was over $300!!!
I know lots of bloggers out there swear by Goodwill, garage sales and Craigslist (and yes, I've been trolling Craigslist the last year looking for a desk), but I've had my best luck at consignment stores. Even better, when you hit up "higher end" consignment stores like Home Consignment Store not only can you score amazing deals, but you score those amazing deals on quality furniture. So the next time you are looking for a piece to add to your collection try a local consignment store - you just might be shocked by what you find.