INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — If you're looking for something for your house, there's a good chance you will find it at one of Central Indiana’s Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Did you even know they had stores? It's all donated stuff, and some of it is brand new and still in the box.
"We get new stuff donated from either the manufacturer or people. You or I end up buying something that we may not end up using, and our customers benefit," said Liz Qua, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Boone County.
Habitat ReStores are independently owned reuse stores operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations that accept donations and sell home improvement items to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Proceeds are used to help build strength, stability, self-reliance and shelter in local communities and around the world. Organizers say it's a good deal for you, your community, and the environment. The Boone County ReStore is the newest store. It opened last December.
"I think it's conveniently located and easy to find. It's west off Michigan and 106th. I shop here for myself sometimes, but my home is getting full, so I'm now looking for items for my niece," said Susan Hyten, ReStore shopper.
There are four stores around greater Indianapolis, and more for the surrounding counties. They have everything from lights, furniture, building materials, doors, cabinets, windows, vanities, pretty much anything that goes in a house.
"People do come in and look for all kinds of things that are specific sizes, such as cabinets. It's the same things for doors, vanities and appliances. We get unique pieces as well. Our motto is, there's something for everybody here," said Natalie Baker, Boone County ReStore Manager.
You can find most sofas in the ReStore for about $100. They also have piano's, thousands of odds and ends, and even an old style bike that's basically new. It costs $100, but it would retail for $300. Every week there are new items, so the inventory is constantly changing. Appliances are their biggest seller, then furniture.
"I like it because of the incredible variety and because It re-purposes items that are not going to be used. So these places help keep items from going into the landfill," said Hyten.
When you shop here, the color wheel is key. The prices drop when something doesn't sell, so instead of putting new price tags on everything, the tags also have colors.
"And then every two weeks that color wheel rotates so it will be a fractional discount, so 10%, 30% then 50 percent off the marked price. And then after 50%, we will probably donate it," said Qua.
Not everything donated is sold as is. The store FOX59 went to in Boone County also has a workshop area where they can do some repairs on items before they sell them. For example, they often fix furniture legs and table tops before selling the items. For donating, they're open every day but Sunday. If you can't come in, they can even pick up your larger items.
"We always accept donations for the pickup, but it is a free service that we will come out. You just have to get on our schedule to get the pickup," said Baker.
For shopping, they're open Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Boone County. Check the website for your particular restore to find the specific times. For those who donate, there's the added bonus of giving new life into something that they don't have any need for anymore.