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New Uses: A New Kind of Resale Store

After six months in Minnetonka, the business has become popular with both sellers and buyers by focusing on furniture, consumer electronics, home decor and higher end appliances.

No musty books. No out-of-style clothes. Not a disused treadmill in sight.

With its focus on high-quality used merchandise, does not feel like a typical second-hand store.

“We’re cleaner, nicer, and not your typical reuse store,” said general manager Jerry Groven.  

New Uses in Minnetonka is located in Ridge Square, a strip mall across from the . A large purple sign on the storefront makes New Uses stand out from its neighbors.

New Uses also stands out to resale shoppers. Since opening in January the store has attracted a large and loyal customer base.

“We have some regular customers who are here more than the staff,” Groven said. “There are few who stop by in the morning and again in the afternoon. It’s just a part of their routine.”

New Uses buys and sells all day long. With no back room to store items, they put products out for resale immediately.

“As soon as we open the doors, people are coming in,” said Groven.  

The store draws its customers from neighboring cities, but visitors from out of state are not uncommon.

“We ask for zip codes when customers check out and we see Wisconsin and North Dakota all the time,” he said. “People will stop in here when they’re on vacation.”

It’s not a surprise that the store's draw is that it sells items that are not easy to find in used condition.

New Uses focuses its sales on furniture, home decor items, higher end appliances and consumer electronics. Groven said the decision was made to focus on these items based on the first new months of sales.

Deb Casper, the storer’s merchandiser, said somethings go almost as soon as they are put out on the shelves. Home decor from the 1950s always sells quickly. So do VCRs.

A sample of other items on the shelves includes Longaberger baskets, Red Wing Pottery and several kinds of locally produced art.

Want to sell something to New Uses? Casper and Groven have tips:

  • Clean the item
  • Make sure it works
  • Make sure it has all its parts
  • Don’t try to sell anything with stains, rips or spills
  • Don’t bring in anything that smells

Whether they’re looking to buy or sell, “everyone’s looking for a good deal," said Groven.

New Uses plans to open eight Twin Cities locations.

But for now, customers must travel to Minnetonka.

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