Bursting at the Seams With Inventory

The ReUse People SpecialsBy Ted Reiff

The biggest challenge in running a retail establishment for salvaged building materials is not attracting customers, or pricing merchandise, or staying competitive. And it doesn't have much to do with storage, display or making used materials look attractive. Although all of these things are important, the biggest challenge is simply obtaining sufficient inventory.

While this may not be true of reuse stores selling furniture or high-end architectural pieces, it is almost always true for stores and warehouses, such as TRP, whose mission is to keep reusable materials out of overburdened landfills by reclaiming and returning to the market as much of it as possible.

The current inventory status at TRP constitutes a rare exception to the "almost always" rule. Since October 2014, TRP stores in Oakland and Los Angeles have been overloaded – so overloaded that we are scrambling for additional storage space.

TRP has been driving its Oakland landlord crazy with requests for more space, just to store overstock. In the 3,000 square feet recently added, used materials are stacked wall to wall and floor to 12-foot ceiling. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles store has 11,000 square feet of indoor space and 23,000 square feet of open yard, three quarters of it rented to other tenants. We have asked those tenants to move in order to obtain access to their space.

All of this is good news, despite the inconvenience caused by overcrowding. One major benefit is that TRP has stockpiled enough great materials to keep retail sales flowing, if and when the current activity slows. Even more exciting, it suggests to me that deconstruction and building-materials salvage is becoming more mainstream. (Approximately 85 percent of TRP materials come from deconstruction projects.)

I have opened and operated retail stores in nine different locations, and am continuously learning what it takes to operate a profitable one. Here is my current list:

  1. An outstanding manager and staff
  2. An off-main street location on a high-traffic street in a commercial or industrial area
  3. A bare-bones minimum of 10,000 square feet under roof, plus at least a 5,000 square-foot yard for lumber and other bulk materials, such as pavers and bricks
  4. Minimum ceiling height of 12 feet, preferably clear-span
  5. Space in the lumber yard for both unitized lumber and racks so that customers can select individual pieces of lumber
  6. Two overhead doors on different sides of the building, one for customers and one for receiving
  7. Visibly distinguishable, well marked departments for doors, windows, cabinets, plumbing, appliances, HVAC, flooring and electrical/lighting
  8. An adequate receiving area


And, in light of the current dilemma, one more…


  1. Space for expansion, in which to store (not merchandize) overstocked materials


Please drop by and help TRP solve its space problem. You are likely to find even better bargains than usual.

2015 National Reuse Contest

The 2015 National Reuse Contest is underway. If you are thinking about entering a project, please contact your local reuse store or warehouse and encourage them to participate.

Store managers, or anyone desiring more information on the 2015 contest, should contact:
Kelly Simione
Program Manager
National Reuse Contest



Employment Opportunity

TRP is seeking a versatile individual for the position of Crew Chief. Primary responsibilities include managing 5 and 10 person crews on deconstruction projects, maintaining jobsite safety and assisting the TRP deconstruction manager with estimating and bidding. The candidate must be bilingual (English/Spanish), adept in the use of Microsoft Office, knowledgeable concerning residential construction, and skilled in oral/written communication. Compensation is a combination of base salary plus incentive. TRP offers health care, the usual holidays and vacations, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) program, and an outstanding work environment.

Specials of the Month

At the Oakland warehouse we are featuring doors and windows. Receive 25% off the price of any door (interior or exterior) or window in the warehouse through May 31.
The ReUse People Specials
The Los Angeles warehouse is featuring interior doors. Receive 50% off the price of any interior door in the L.A. warehouse through May 31.
The ReUse People Specials
The San Bernardino warehouse is featuring windows. Receive a 50% discount on any window in the San Bernardino warehouse through May 31.
The ReUse People Specials

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse has new shipments of popular slate roofing tiles.

New inventory at the Los Angeles warehouse includes a beautiful hand-crafted side board, numerous planters and pots (great for gardens) and a gorgeous exterior door adorned with a graceful tree carving and handle resembling a branch of the tree.

The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials

New inventory at the San Bernardino warehouse includes a beautiful slate pool table, complete with cues, all in excellent condition for $600.

The ReUse People Specials

Location and Contact Information

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Oakland
9235 San Leandro Street
Oakland, CA  94603
(510) 383-1983; toll-free 888-588-9490
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Sunday

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Los Angeles
3015 Dolores Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00

TRP-HACSB ReUse Warehouse - San Bernardino
660 East Orange Street
San Bernardino, CA  92410
(909) 388-6475
Hours: Tue-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Monday and Sunday

Please visit our partnering warehouses:
Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Orange County (two convenient locations)
The Home Improvement Store That Builds Homes
1656 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802
(Euclid and Katella Avenue)
(714) 434-6266
Mon-Fri 9:00 am- 8:00 pm;
Sat 9:00 am- 6:00pm;
Sun 11:00 am- 5:00 pm

The Home Improvement Store That Builds Homes
1400 Village Way, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(McFadden Place Shopping Center, exit 55 Freeway at McFadden)
(714) 434-6266
Mon- Sat 9:00 am- 6:00 pm;
Sun 10:00 am- 5:00 pm

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Kansas City
4701 Deramus, Kansas City MO 64120
(816) 231-6889
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-6:00; Sat 9:00-4:00; closed Sunday

The ReUse Warehouse
1400 East Geer Street
Durham, NC 27704
(919) 219-4913
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2:00-6:00; Sat, 9:30-5:00

Second Chance Building Materials Center
1423 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-2707
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00-6:00; Sun, 12:00-5:00

Roaring Fork Valley Habitat for Humanity
7025 Hwy 82
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-7733
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00-5:30; Sat, 10:00-5:00; Sun, 11:00-4:00

Stardust Building Supply
3901 E. Thunderbird Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 459-9803
Hours: Mon-Sat, 8:00-6:00; Sun, 10:00-4:00

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salt Lake Valley,
1276 South 500 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 263-0136
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00am-6:00pm; closed Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Summit & Wasatch Counties
6280 N. Silver Creek Drive, Silver Summit, UT
(435) 487-9015
Hours: Wed-Sat 10:00-6:00; closed Sunday

Recycle Utah
1951 Woodbine Way Park City, UT 84060
(435) 649-9698
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00-5:30; Sun 10:00-4:00

Reuse Depot
50 West Madison
Maywood, IL 60153
(708) 223-0502
Hours: Wed-Mon 10:00-6:00p; Closed Tuesdays

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