think about this!
Had an interesting phone call from a nice lady last week. She told me she thought she may be getting ripped off, so she asked for my opinion.
She took a set of chairs that they purchased for very little money at an auction, to a furniture “refinisher/restorer”. She wanted the chairs refinished, left a deposit, and then a few days later got a call from the refinisher. He told them the chairs would have to be taken apart, redoweled and repaired. (one chair was broken). He told her they would restore them to “museum quality”….for $1000 PER chair!
She refused to go ahead with the work, and wanted to send me a picture of the chairs for my opinion. I told her the chairs would likely sell for $50 per piece on a good day, and I have seen them sell for as little as $10 per piece on a bad day.
These are extremely common Duncan Phyfe style lyre back chairs…you can find them at almost every antique auction. I could not imagine anyone would have the nerve, or lack of scruples, to try and sell this woman a $4000 refinishing/restoration job on a set of chairs worth $200 or less!
Now I realize if you are a refinisher, the value of the piece may not be relevant. If someone insists on having the work done, and are willing to pay, then of course you would go ahead with the work.
However, how can anyone expect to operate a business when they quote $1000 a piece to refinish chairs? To me that is unheard of….and I sincerely hope the woman gets her deposit back, or reaches some sort of reasonable agreement with the refinishing company.
So the point is….know the current average market value of the piece you are considering having restored or refinished. Don’t let anyone sell you an expensive refinishing or reupholstering job on something you can pick up at a fraction of the price at an auction or antique shop.
When someone quotes $1000’s of dollars for a refinishing job…I think it is time to shop around!
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