by Chris Chesky and Mike Hanks
Sun Current Newspapers
Some seek a bargain, others simply seek the thrill of the hunt.
Either way, Bloomington has many secondhand merchandise outlets catering to thrifty shoppers looking for nostalgic merchandise of yesteryear or a discounted price for contemporary products that have been liberated from their original packaging.
There are many Bloomington businesses that sell secondhand merchandise. The following list features many of the Bloomington businesses that offer an array of products for sale. Businesses that specialize in one area of secondhand merchandise, such as sporting goods or musical instruments, or businesses that sell secondhand collectibles, such as comic books, were not included in the roundup.
• Arc’s Value Village, 10546 France Ave. S., arcsvaluevillage.org
Arc’s Value Village has been a thrift shopping staple in Richfield for more than 30 years, but it first opened its Bloomington doors in 2014.
Arc’s Value Village offers clothing, accessories, household décor, books, movies, music and small appliances, while being open seven days a week.
Many items, particularly clothing, are marked with tags in one of four colors, and each week items tagged with one of the four colors is reduced by half of its marked price. On Sundays, the remaining clothing items of that color tag are reduced to $1.29.
Arc’s Value Village operates as a nonprofit, and proceeds from the five stores in the Twin Cities support the work of the St. Paul-based nonprofit, which provides advocacy and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families.
Items that don’t sell are cleared out and recycled, making way for new merchandise and a new week of discounts.
Arc’s Value Village is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
• Attic to Basement, 8909 Penn Ave., attictobasementmn.com
Attic to Basement features secondhand goods collected through area estate sales.
Owner Mary McKendrick has parlayed her career as a probate paralegal into a second career as a retail reseller. Her inventory exceeds the store’s showroom, which means new merchandise is added as space permits.
Attic to Basement sells antiques, collectibles and gently-used household goods including furniture, art, lamps, dishes and glassware, jewelry, books, vinyl records, fishing lures and tools.
And what happens to useable items that don’t sell? They often end up in the free box that sits outside the front door during store hours.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
• FOUND IT! Estate Store, 8098 Morgan Circle S., bridging.org
Bloomington-based Bridging provides home furnishings to individuals and families transitioning out of poverty.
Some of the high-end items the organization receives are sold, and the proceeds are used to fill inventory shortages at either of the organization’s two warehouses. Two years ago, Bridging opened its retail store in order to do so on a year-round basis.
Home décor, furniture and unique vintage items are available at FOUND IT, including dining room sets and china sets. The home décor inventory includes antique and contemporary pieces, and framed artwork is frequently available.
All store inventory is processed through Bridging’s warehouses in Bloomington and Roseville. It is estimated that 3 percent of the organization’s donations are sold through the store.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Goodwill, 7845 Lyndale Ave. S., goodwilleasterseals.org
Bloomington is the home of one of 40 Goodwill locations in the Twin Cities.
The Bloomington Goodwill location sells clothing, shoes, household goods and furniture too. Much like the other Goodwill locations, it raises funds to provide employment and other services for people with disabilities and other barriers. Goodwill uses 85 percent of every dollar it raises to fund services and programs to support its mission of preparing people for work throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Goodwill gets most of its inventory through donations, but it occasionally purchases goods through different vendors or through Target. The items that do not sell are offered at a further discounted price at one of its two outlet shops in the Twin Cities.
The Bloomington Goodwill is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, 5121 W. 98th St., hopechest.com
Barbara Hensley first began Hope Chest for Breast Cancer in 2001 after losing her two sisters to breast cancer. Hensley met a woman named Nancy while accompanying her sister, Patsy, to the hospital for treatment, and she was made aware of the financial challenges faced by women and men experiencing breast cancer.
Hope Chest for Breast Cancer first began working in Bloomington when its shop opened in 2014. The Hope Chest for Breast Cancer sells donated, high-end women’s clothing and accessories, as well as upscale furniture and home decor.
Proceeds from the sales – and other fundraising by the organization – provide emergency financial assistance to breast cancer patients through area hospitals, treatment centers, clinics and other human service organizations.
Hope Chest for Breast Cancer fills its showroom through donations, some of which come from retail stores and manufacturers.
Hope Chest for Breast Cancer is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Junker’s Attic, 9801 Nicollet Ave. S., antiquefurnitureminneapolis.com
Junker’s Attic is relatively new to the secondhand shopping scene in Bloomington, as the store opened six months ago.
Owner Cassandra Bunkholt scours local estate clean-outs, estate sales, garage sales, junk days and garbage pickup to fill the Junker’s Attic showroom. More items are kept off-site, which means new merchandise continues to be added to Junker’s Attic.
Junker’s Attic provides an extensive array of antiques in order to cater to a diversity of tastes. It offers salvaged furniture, vintage goods and other types of merchandise.
Junker’s Attic is open anytime if an appointment is made, or 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Laurie’s Trunk Antiques, 9066 Lyndale Ave., facebook.com/lauriestrunkantiques
Laurie’s Trunk Antiques is counter-intuitive to traditional retail businesses – it is open four days per month.
Owner Laurie Strunk has been in business for more than a decade, and at her Lyndale Avenue location for eight years. During one four-day stretch each month the store opens, featuring unusual used and antique items, primarily furniture and lighting. Strunk doesn’t divulge how she assembles the store’s inventory, but noted it does not come from estate or garage sales.
An advantage of her monthly sale is that it eliminates many of the labor costs associated with a traditional retail store.
An email blast is available featuring the latest additions to the store’s inventory, sent two days before the monthly sale.
The store is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the third Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the month and noon to 4 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month.
• Majestic Treasures Thrift Store, 9131 Old Cedar Ave., 952-854-9079
Majestic Treasures features a wide array of mostly secondhand goods, with the proceeds from the store benefitting orphans in Kenya and Sri Lanka.
The store opened two years ago and accepts community donations, but also collects donations through area churches for its inventory. And the store sells new merchandise that is donated by local businesses.
Manager Annamarie Boe leads the all-volunteer staff that organizes and sells the merchandise, including clothing, toys, sporting goods, books, movies, music, dinnerware, small appliances, furniture, artwork, purses and jewelry. A daily discount is offered for merchandise from one or two select departments.
The store is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
• maX it Pawn, 9432 Lyndale Ave., maxit-pawn.com
maX it Pawn features jewelry, electronics, appliances, sporting goods, musical instruments, power tools, lawn equipment and firearms.
The store offers a layaway program and product protection plans.
Store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Pawn America, 8650 Lyndale Ave., pawnamerica.com
There is something for everyone at the Bloomington Pawn America store, and the store offers a return policy and extended warranty for its merchandise.
Home electronics – including televisions, computers, tablets and phones – power and hand tools, musical instruments, jewelry, clothing, sporting goods, household accessories, antiques, DVDs and video games are among the wide array of merchandise found in the company’s 26 stores. The Bloomington store opened in 1998.
Although the company provides pawn service, much of its merchandise is purchased outright, and the store’s business transactions are subject to the state’s secondhand property database to deter the trafficking of stolen property.
Most of the merchandise is estimated to be at least 50 percent below retail prices.
In addition to secondhand jewelry, the store features “The Signature Collection,” stackable rings made of silver and recycled gems, exclusive to Pawn America stores.
The store promotes a family-friendly environment and does not sell guns or pornographic material.
The Bloomington store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• Salvation Army, 710 W. 98th St., salvationarmynorth.org
The Bloomington Salvation Army thrift store has been open for roughly seven years, and it continues to give back to the local community.
Through the sale of clothing, furniture, small appliances and linens, among other items, Salvation Army uses its proceeds to fund its adult men’s rehabilitation center in Minneapolis. The rehabilitation center works to provide free or low-cost drug rehab for any who are in need.
The Salvation Army thrift store is filled using donations, as the main warehouse in downtown Minneapolis sends the occasional truck to each of its thrift stores to give shoppers the chance to see a different inventory every time they shop. About 30 percent of the store’s inventory comes from donations to the Bloomington store, while 70 percent of the inventory comes from Salvation Army’s downtown location.
The Bloomington Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The store is closed on Sunday.
• Savers Thrift Store, 8049 Morgan Circle S., stores.savers.com/mn/bloomington
Savers Thrift Store is one of the for-profit secondhand shops in Bloomington, but it uses its money for a good cause.
Every Savers store chooses a charity or a cause for which to donate a portion of the store’s profits. The Bloomington Savers location has chosen to partner with Epilepsy Foundation Minnesota. Savers pays its partner for any donated goods that it receives so Savers can put the donations up for sale at one of its thrift stores.
Savers sells accessories, clothing and shoes, small appliances and other electronic devices, exercise and outdoor equipment, toys, games, kitchen utensils and supplies, jewelry, arts and crafts, books, small furniture and many other items.
Pieces from the Savers inventory that do not sell are either recycled or sent to developing countries.
Savers Thrift Store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.