TRP Is Marketing Warehouse Know-how

Have you ever encountered a particular business and wondered what it would be like to own something similar? For example, in an intriguing store have you ever concluded, “I’d be great at this,” or in response to a bad experience complained, “I could do better”? Personally, every time I watch the movie, “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, I imagine what it would be like to open a “Ted’s Café,” complete with backroom gambling and, of course, a piano bar.

By Ted Reiff

How about a used building-materials retail outlet? The industry could use more, that’s for sure. Maybe you already have a store, but sales are slow and systems could use an overhaul.

Help is here in the form a new TRP training program!

“Running a Retail Warehouse for Used Building Materials” was piloted in San Bernardino in June and July. Sponsored by the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, the pilot graduated a full class of trainees from the basic course. Several graduates went on to complete two days of managerial training.

Starting a retail business for used building materials is not much different from starting any other business. You need to know the basics of the target industry, understand what the consumer is looking for, and be reasonably familiar with the competition.

In the used building-material business, the merchandise is neither uniform nor neatly packaged. Products arrive in different shapes and configurations and present many safety, storage and display problems.

Knowing what has been received, what has been sold and the quantities on hand is an especially thorny issue. Quality and conditions vary dramatically. One door is almost perfect, the next is slightly scratched. Should they be priced the same? Other big challenges are procuring materials and managing the receiving process.

Layout and display are critical in any retail business, but particularly in this business. In order to keep customers coming back and recommending the store to their friends requires the ongoing, creative manipulation of available space. That’s not easy with so many large, cumbersome items.

These topics and more are fully addressed in the new warehouse training program, through lectures, discussions, written exercises and visits to existing retail establishments. Participants receive an illustrated workbook and participate in activities designed to build sales, merchandising and management skills.

I’m excited that TRP is finally offering warehouse training -- a piece that has been missing from our training repertoire. For more information, give me a call: 510-557-1538.

Deadline Extended for 2013 National Reuse Contest

The deadline for entries to the TRP-sponsored 2013 National Reuse Contest has been extended to September 30. You still have time to enter!

Not only could you win a prize at the local level, in addition TRP is awarding prizes worth $1,000, $500 and $250 to the top three national winners.

Remember, September 30 is the last day to submit your entry to one of our participating reuse stores. You’ll find a list on our website. Go to for complete information on this year’s contest.

Special Events Reminders

November 23: Congratulations to TRP on the 20th anniversary of its founding!

Specials of the Month

At the Oakland warehouse we are featuring cabinets. Receive 25% off the price of any single cabinet (excluding sets) in the warehouse through August 31.
The ReUse People Specials
The Los Angeles warehouse is featuring its entire inventory of lumber. Receive 15% off the price of any lumber purchase through August 31.
The ReUse People Specials

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse has received a shipment of brand new floor tile. This is your chance to purchase new tile at used prices.

The Los Angeles warehouse has received a 1930s-1940s mahogany over-the-mantle mirror. Intricately carved and reaching clear to the ceiling in its original home, this will make a wonderful accent piece for some lucky buyer.

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

Deconstruction & New Materials Update

Visit the TRP website for a complete list of current deconstruction projects and inventories. Just click on “Retail Sales” and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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

Please visit our partnering warehouses:
Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Orange County (two convenient locations)
12827 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840
(714) 590-8729
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00- 8:00; Saturday 9:00-6:00; Sunday 11:00-5:00
2200 S. Ritchey Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 434-6266
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-5:00; closed Sunday

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 ReBuilding Exchange, Chicago
1740 West Webster, Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 847-3761
Hours: Tues-Wed 10:00-6:00; Thurs 12:00-8:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-6:00

The ReUse Warehouse
800 Taylor Street
Durham, NC 27701
(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

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