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BARGAINS / GERI COOK

Off to a Good Start : California Consignment offers a treasure trove of furnishings ranging from rugs to sofas to wooden pieces.

April 23, 1993|GERI COOK

Consignment furniture stores generally are a splendid source for bargains in home furnish ings. Since good ones are few and far between, as soon as one opens, I check it out immediately.

California Consignment Co. opened just after the holidays and seems to be off to a good start. Perhaps, in light of the economy, the timing is right: The inventory here has exploded since my first visit a little less than three months ago.

Today, many prospective sellers prefer placing their home furnishings on consignment rather than run the risk of allowing strangers into their homes.

When CCC first opened, I met with owner Amy Goldfine, who has a background in home furnishings--rugs and carpeting in particular.

This may account for some of the excellent buys on rugs. A custom-made, hand-tied rug from Thailand that measures 12 by 18 feet wholesaled for about $12,000 (retail about $20,000), but is tagged at $4,500.

Prices like this have been encouraging buyers to stop into this well-situated showroom on the Westside; many of the shoppers are decorators--a good indicator of hidden treasures.

As in most good consignment stores, CCC offers a wide variety.

Some of the merchandise is top quality and some is not, but almost every piece on the floor represents a good buy.

Two matching eight-foot sofas covered in a heavy cotton print were marked $367 each, probably about one-fourth of their original cost. This was definitely a good buy, if the print of the fabric will work for you.

A handsome pine cabinet by Bernhardt commands about $2,200 new. Considering that it's in mint condition, Goldfine's price of $1,200 is a bargain.

Case goods, or wooden furniture such as desks, tables, etc., are usually the best deals (there may be a scratch or two) as proven by a handsome John Widdicomb mahogany buffet for $1,250, instead of the original $3,500.

At lesser prices, an end table for $65 was not in such great shape, but it could easily be slicked up.

Another of the low-end offerings was a foam-filled love seat for $65, begging for a slipcover. In other words, there is something here for every budget.

Antique buffs will recognize the value of a pair of Wells Fargo chests, one for $500, and a smaller one, $450. Melrose Avenue shops would probably ask double these prices and would go more than double for a new pine entertainment center that won't last long at $450.

For those wishing to sell furniture, big pluses at California Consignment Co. are the consignment breaks. A price is mutually agreed upon between the consignor (the seller) and Goldfine; when it is purchased, CCC keeps 35% and the seller gets 65%. On accessories, the split is 40% to the house and 60% to the seller. This ratio is very generous to the consignor, since most consignment houses keep 40%, and some do an even split.

Goldfine admits that this is a very liberal arrangement and says that in about two months, she will conform to a 60-40 split.

So if you want to sell some of your furniture or accessories, take advantage of these percentages now.

If an item hasn't sold, the price is reduced 10% for each 30-day period it sits on the floor. If your item hasn't sold after 120 days, you can either pick it up or it will be donated to a charity.

Where and When What: California Consignment Co. Location: 2234 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Cards: Visa, MasterCard. Call: (310) 914-9532.

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