5/31/2008

An Ode: Habitat ReStore, How We Love Thee


So really. What is a 'Re-store". We had no idea. There were local commercials advertising two locations with large inventories. We even went to one and really we not totally sure what we had found. It looked like a poor excuse for a True Value full of old, used products. We didn't get it. Fortunately, one day we did.

For those of you unfamiliar with Habitat Re-Stores, here is what one is. It's usually located in a 'low-rent' out of the way storefront, in an unassuming building/warehouse, and is totally awesome. It is a home improvement store stocked solely by donations. Donations from contractors with left-over building supplies. Donations from big-box home improvement stores with discontinued items, items with damaged packaging, or whatever they cannot sell and don't want on the books anymore. Donations from home owners doing some remodeling (or remuddling), and not wanting to just toss everything to the trash. For these reasons, you'll find anything and everything on the shelves. Looking for vintage items - doors, light fixtures, sinks, toilets? They've got 'em. Random selections of paints and stains. Old counter tops (makes great work benches). Appliances. Furniture.

Now why do we adore the Habitat Re-Store? The prices. They'll usually advertise something like "50-75% off retail". Which is great. Sometimes it's even much better than that. They usually are not negotiable, but why would they need to be? With the stock donated, they have a zero cost of goods sold. Low overhead, then gives them high profitability. Those profits, go to the local Habitat for Humanity group and help them build houses. What's not to love here?

Now for the goods. Here are just a few of the awesome deals we have scored at Re-Stores:
  • Closet Organizers - Brand name, new - in the box, and perfect for our unorganized closets. Unsold stock from the local Lowes, who started carrying a different brand. 2 at $35 each.
  • Ceiling Fan - The kid's room needed some relief and our daughter was in love with a pink one at Lowes for $99. No way. We sored a perfectly good one at the Re-Store, bought some new globes for it and painted it - together - with paint we already had. $10 for the fan + 9 for the globes.
  • Counter Tops - Needing a new work bench, we turned to the Re-Store. My trip yielded a nice looking and very structural section of laminate counter top. They had some rather ugly Corian, but it was an odd shape. Re-Store price = 8 feet at $3 per linear foot.
  • Even the Kitchen Sink - We were wanting to replace the ancient white cast iron sink we had, but found it difficult to justify spending even $100 for a nice new one. On my way back to the counter tops, I spied this stainless steel beauty on the top shelf. Some quick measurements showed that it would be perfect. It was a KitchenAid that retailed for ~$600. Re-Store priced at $30 + I had a 25% off coupon.
Got an undying love for the ReStore too? Share your finds in the comments.

2 comments:

Shea said...

Thanks so much for the Habitat Restore Link. This will be a great resource for our rental house business!

Mr. (not) the Jet Set said...

No prob - happy to share the love. This is one of those things that over time, you just kinda assume that everyone knows about. But once upon a time...

happy deal hunting!

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