The ReUse People SpecialsMany salvage organizations, especially nonprofit ones, justify providing cost-free deconstruction services in the belief that selling the recovered materials will more than cover expenses.

In last month’s Velvet Crowbar, I attempted to demonstrate that professional organizations operating legally (employees on the payroll, licensed and insured) will accrue frequently overlooked costs that must be met at some point in time.

The ReUse People Specials

I am amazed at the number of contractors and salvage organizations that think they can perform deconstruction at no cost to the client, by covering expenses through the sale of the salvaged materials.

Attention all artists, furniture makers, DIY remodelers and builders of greenhouses, tool sheds, chickens coops, container houses and other habitats, whole or partial! We have reached the homestretch of the 2015 National Reuse Contest. To compete in this year's contest, entries must be received at local participating stores by midnight Saturday, October 31.

It all started one day last January when my wife phoned me at TRP’s Los Angeles store. Wendy had been on a popular Los Angeles blog and learned that readers were up in arms about the demolition of the beloved author Ray Bradbury’s home. She wanted to know if it was one of our jobs. It was.

Thus began a creative journey that in August came full circle.

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Most readers are probably familiar with the power of eminent domain. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives government the right to take private property for public or civic use, provided the owner is justly compensated. Without eminent domain we wouldn't have highways, railways and many public buildings.

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"Build it and they will come." For the past 20 years, that has been my reply when asked if a retail warehouse for used building materials has any chance of succeeding in the inquirer's geographical area.

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Something Special This Way Comes…

Now available for purchase and immediate shipping: 451 Ray Bradbury Bookend Sets made from Douglas fir salvaged during the recent deconstruction of Ray Bradbury's 1930s-era Los Angeles home.

The ReUse People SpecialsBy Ted Reiff

When an item is worth reusing, it's often worth reusing again. And again. Furniture is handed down from one generation to the next. Clothing is passed through the sibling ranks. Books make the rounds among reading friends. And valuable antiques typically outlive multiple collectors, appreciating in value as they age.

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 ReUse People SpecialsBy Ted Reiff

You've heard of promotional teasers-those advance tidbits about upcoming movies, TV shows and hot new products. They're intended to start a drumroll, whet appetites, build anticipation, bring people to the edge of their seats.

Well, that's what this month's post is — a teaser. I'll even tell you what it's for — bookends.

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