Clearing Out Your Cambridge House = Part V - Consignment Shops Near Cambridge

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA

It's time to clear out your house - or perhaps grandma's. One way to earn some cash for your unwanted furniture and accessories it to call a consignment shop. There are a couple of really good furniture consignment shops near Cambridge.

mahogany dining table chairConsignment shops take your items and pay you a portion of the sales price. Each shop has its own flavor - some look very much like antique shops, others have more of a mix of items - the old and the not so old.

Most consignment shops follow a schedule of price reductions. The longer your item is in the shop the lower the price will be marked. Though many items are older - even antique - these aren't antique stores and people are looking for bargains. Set your expectations regarding price accordingly.

Every shop has its own methods. Check with the shop to find out what they accept, how prices are determined, how and when you will be paid, what happens if your item isn't sold, etc.

Typically you'll be expected to deliver your items to the shop yourself so you'll need to think about transportation.

Here are my favorite furniture consignment shops near Cambridge:

Consignment Galleries near Davis Square in Somerville used to be on Mass Ave near Porter Square. For years it was a favorite of mine - no matter the time of day.  If it was after hours you could still window shop since they had large corner windows on Mass Ave filled with china and furniture.

In 2003 Consignment Galleries moved to 363 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA.  The window shopping isn't as good but there's a lot more space inside the shop. 

Consignment Galleries tends to carry a mix of vintage furnishings and antiques.  There's a lot of mahogany - dining tables, china cabinets, side tables, etc.  There are plenty of accessories too - framed items, china, silver, lamps, decorative pieces, etc.

Tables to Teapots in Acton Mass is a large furniture consignment store. The inventory tends to turn over quickly so it's a fun place to hunt for bargains. The shop carries more upholstered furniture and items of more recent vintage mixed in with the older pieces. 

Second hand home accessories for sale in a shopTables to Teapots has moved since I last visited.  Previously on Route 2A in Acton, their new location is in West Acton on Route 111 at 240 Arlington Street.

Though their rules state that items must have a minimum sales price of $10, Tables to Teapots sometimes feels a bit like a rummage sale while Consignment Galleries feels more like an antique shop. If you're emptying grandmother's home perhaps you should start with Consignment Galleries. If you're emptying out your own home and have a mix that includes contemporary pieces, give Tables to Teapots a call. 

For more ideas on clearing out your Cambridge home see:

Sell Your Stuff To Sell Your House

Appraisers, Auctions and Antique Dealers

Estate Sales and Garage Sales

Selling Your Stuff Online

And check back on Monday to find out Where to Donate Furniture and Household Goods.

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Rainmaker
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Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Elizabeth:  I really need to study everything you have written in this series.  I need to re-read them.  I am "closing out" my own home... and have so much "stuff" that I need to figure out what to do with.  It is so much work... it is just overwhelming.  Thanks for your great posts !

Aug 22, 2009 05:49 PM #1
Rainmaker
342,486
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Karen ~ It *is* overwhelming. In the end it depends on the type of stuff you have - new, used, vintage, or antique - and how much work and time you want to invest.  I just helped someone and it was a go-through with the used furniture / antique people, then the clearout people, and then the bring it to the curb people / person (that was me!). 

For my own stuff I've had the most luck selling online, garage sales, and the free section on craigslist.  With auctions, consignment shops, and dealers you really do have to be prepared to get far less for your things than you would like.  To get more you've got to do a lot yourself but even then only the most collectible will go for retail. The rest of it tends to sell for a fraction.

It was funny - I sold antiques and collectibles in group shops for years.  It seemed that it was just a big shuffling of stuff - many if not most sales were to other dealers who thought they could get more in their market.  And every so often I would spot something I had sold being advertised in an antique newspaper for far more by the 3rd or 4th dealer in the chain.

Then ebay debuted.  Suddenly you could find the most obsessed collector in the world who was willing to pay top dollar to you directly.  Sweet! Those were the days.  Ebay is much changed - for the worst - and now only effective for very collectible and unusual or rare items.  I am very selective with what I list there.  Many things that in most respects fit the criteria I just mentioned now fetch a much lower price on the site than would have been the case ten years ago.  It used to be a fun and wonderful site - now it's just a venue I use every so often.  They killed the golden goose unfortunately.

Liz

Aug 23, 2009 02:05 AM #2
Rainmaker
542,044
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Hi Liz ~ I've often used Craigslist myself to sell larger items. Works like a charm around here. Like you, in the good ol' days I did a lot of selling on eBay, but I agree, eBay's not what it used to be!

Denise

Aug 23, 2009 05:07 AM #3
Rainmaker
342,486
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Denise ~ So good to hear you'e a former ebayer too! I had so much fun on it while I did it. It actually made it possible for me to quit my job - I did it as my sole source of income for about a year. But by the end the thought of having to pack and ship one more item practically made me hyperventilate. I met somebody who sold license plates on it - that would be easy to ship - flat, thin, unbreakable and uniformly sized. Then after I got into real estate I sold a house for somebody who sold stamps on ebay for a living - now that is the perfect thing to ship!

Liz

Aug 23, 2009 12:56 PM #4
Rainer
332,782
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

Liz,

Fabulous series! For many, a consignment shop will be a great alternative to a garage sale.

Aug 23, 2009 11:15 PM #5
Rainmaker
342,486
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Thanks Irene! In the end I guess it's all about the stuff - what you have determines in large part the best avenue for selling it.  That and the amount of work and time you're willing to invest.  I love to cruise the aisles of the consignment shops on a regular basis - you never know what treasures you'll discover!

Liz

Aug 24, 2009 01:47 AM #6
Anonymous
Margie

Liz,

I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Any idea in Cambridge or environs where one can sell some Spode place settings?

Thanks,

Sep 01, 2010 01:13 PM #7
Rainmaker
342,486
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Margie ~ If you want to sell locally you might try Consignment Gallery in Davis Square on Highland Ave.  It's actually one of the links above. That would be the best bet I think.  Tables to Teapots, also above, would be another good choice and it's a quick drive from Cambridge.

Liz

Sep 01, 2010 01:19 PM #8
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Elizabeth Bolton

Cambridge MA Realtor
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