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Retailer's Guide To Furniture Repair

Furniture World Magazine


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A dose of prevention is the best medicine.

In today's economy, 'you get what you pay for', has taken on a whole new meaning. Consumers want high quality merchandise regardless of how much or how little they pay.

Therefore, damaged furniture is a retailer's worst nightmare. Some retailers receive damaged goods on a regular basis. The time required for the inventory to be returned from the repair shop to the time it takes to be placed on the showroom floor can greatly affect your bottomline profit. The faster a case good is sold, the faster the next shipment can be delivered and displayed, thus, increasing or stabilizing the profits. Returning merchandise to the manufacturer can take valuable time away from a showroom display.

Administrative costs of picking up a damaged piece from a customer can run in the hundreds of dollars before addressing the problem of the cost of possible replacement for you or the customer.

So... What do you do when a shipment of damaged goods is delivered to your warehouse or in handling when breakage occurs to your new inventory? You can return it and possibly reduce your profits for that month or have a professional come into your place of business and pay to have it repaired within hours. To help solve these problems, here are a few suggestions:

As the old saying goes, prevention is the best medicine. But, in the case that some damage has been done, there are a few things that can be done to handle the problems. Minor surgery can be performed in some cases; but, in other cases, a professional should be contacted.

HANDLE WITH CARE: The proper handling of the merchandise (before it is placed on the showroom floor) can prevent much damage. Use care when opening boxes with a utility knife. Damage can also occur by improperly moving furniture and sliding it across the carpeted floor. Loose joints or broken parts can result.

DISPLAY: When displaying chairs around a table, avoid knocking them against each other. This can prevent damage to your floor samples. When using accessories such as lamps, or figurines to decorate, place felt disks on the bottom of the displays.

REPAIR TIPS
Here are a few simple repairs which can be completed in minutes.

Re-glue a joint: Remove all the old glue. The fresh glue does not adhere to the old glue. Some joints may require regluing. Do not use a hot glue gun or even superglue which can prevent flexibility within the joint. Joints should be cleaned, reglued with wood glue and then clamped. In some cases, a professional should be contacted.

Loose Veneer: If the veneer on the edge of a table top comes loose, a hypodermic needle can be used to place the glue under the veneer. Then, place a heavy object or clamp on the paper to smooth out the surface. Allow the glue to dry, then remove all remnants of the mixture. If a bubble occurs in the middle of the surface, call a professional.

Scratches: Light scratches can be buffed out using a very fine steel wool and a lubricant such as light mineral oil. Deep wounds are best left to an expert.

Camouflage Surface Damage: Markers for furniture touch-up are available in a wide range of colors. In some cases, bare wood can be touched up to replace the natural color, however, they may not completely camouflage the damage. The color of the wood grain may not match the marker exactly and so may not completely hide the surface scratch.

Moisture Damage: Avoid moisture if possible. This can cause white stains on wood surfaces. If moisture appears, remove immediately. If damage has already been done, do nothing for 24 hours and allow it to dry thoroughly. If a white ring appears and does not evaporate, call someone to help. If the incorrect method of repair has been attempted, that could possibly mean more cost to you for the repair expert to fix the damage.

Adhesive Sticker Marks: To remove the remnants from an adhesive sticker, mineral spirits can be used with a cotton cloth.

Sticky Drawers: In the case of a stubborn dresser drawer which refuses to glide gracefully in place, beeswax or a lubricant spray will allow it to move easily.


Furniture Medic is a network of franchises that provide on-site furniture repairs including restoration of scratches, large gouges, water and chemical stains, surface refinishing and structural repairs. Questions about this article or furniture repair can be directed to the message board on www.furninfo.com.

 

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.