What do you think? From emerging trends to the latest business principles, Furniture News is setting out to gauge the trade’s feelings on a variety of industry-specific topics. Today, we’re asking our panel: What’s the best sale you ever made?

John Northwood (agent): Every sale is special, but one of the most memorable is selling an Axminster carpet to a USAF camp commander for his office in the command centre for submarine detection. An interesting site visit as well …

Martin Seeley (MattressNextDay): Thirty years ago, I sold my first mattress for over 1000 ( and got a £50 bonus), it felt like I’d scored a penalty for England!

Neil Barker (Barkers Furniture): The first sale I ever made

Shane Harding (Highgrove Beds): The next one

Deirdre Mc Gettrick (ufurnish.com): The first person who purchased on a retail partner after using ufurnish.com when we launched the website

Mike Whitman (Iconography): The one where a customer had gone to a competitor who let them down. Not only were we able to give them exactly what they wanted, but in line with the original lead time we had quoted!

George Sinclair (Nimbus Beds): My first-ever sale, of a 2-over-3 Georgian chest of drawers when I was five years old. Bought for £50 and sold for £100 the same day. This sparked my love for buying and selling

Wendy Martin Green (Peter Green Furnishers): I don’t know about the best, but the oddest was a huge, life-sized Santa’s sleigh complete with decorative trim and flashing lights. We actually bought one for our own use for our annual Christmas tree parties that we hold for our customers. As soon as we put it on the shop floor we took an order on it. It was very awkward to move and deliver, but our Peter Green ‘elves’ managed it!

Keiran Hewkin (Swyft Home): Probably selling the senior roles in Swyft early on to people that have so much talent. We were very lucky to have got such a great team early on, and it is something I am grateful for

Mark Gannon (Sofa Source): Every sale of a new product, as it shows how the team have done a good job

Huw Williams (Toons Furnishers): In 1992 I made a sale of a swimming pool and two conservatories to the same customer. The value was £30,000, which was a lot in the 1990s!

This article featured in the April 2023 edition of Furniture News magazine.