ReStore is a retail outlet operated by Habitat for Humanity that sells new and gently used home improvement items, furniture, appliances, home accessories and building materials at a fraction of the retail price. As a nonprofit home improvement store, ReStore offers quality used and surplus products to the public at bargain prices. Given the charitable mission of ReStore and its already discounted prices, many shoppers wonder if they can negotiate for even lower prices on items at ReStore.
How Prices Are Set at ReStore
ReStore sets its prices based on a number of factors, including the condition of the item, its current retail price if new, demand and value. Prices aim to offer at least a 50% discount off retail for new items or fair market value for used items. Markdowns and sales are regularly run to keep older inventory moving through the store.
Donations come into ReStore from a variety of sources including retailers, manufacturers, contractors, demolition crews, and individuals. Items range from new surplus or discontinued goods to lightly used or like-new customer returns. Because inventory is always changing, prices reflect the current market and trends.
How to Find the Best Deals
While there is no guarantee you can negotiate a lower price at ReStore, there are ways to find the best savings:
- Check yellow and red tag items first – these indicate clearance or markdowns off already reduced prices.
- Ask associates if they are running any current promotions or sales.
- Look for items that may have cosmetic flaws or need minor repairs that don’t affect functionality.
- Shop end caps and central aisles, prime areas where stores place their best deals.
- Visit frequently – inventory changes daily so you never know what bargains you may find.
Is Negotiating Prices at ReStore Possible?
Unlike some retailers, ReStore does not typically negotiate on prices. There are a few reasons for this policy:
- As a nonprofit, ReStore aims to maximize revenues to support Habitat for Humanity’s homebuilding efforts.
- With discounts of 50% or more off retail already, ReStore prices are set competitively.
- Published prices allow for fair treatment of all customers.
- Haggling could negatively impact the visitor experience and operational efficiency.
That said, discretion may be used in special circumstances. For example, store managers have the authority to negotiate on large bulk purchases or make exceptions for loyal supporters of Habitat for Humanity. Any price adjustments are generally small.
Tips for Kindly Requesting a Price Check
While negotiating is not encouraged, there is no harm in kindly asking a store manager if a lower price might be possible in limited situations. Some tips:
- Accept the standard answer is no.
- Point out any damage or flaws that impact functionality or saleability.
- Note if the item has been in the store for prolonged periods, indicating overpricing.
- Ask politely if today’s sales might apply to the item.
- Offer to purchase multiple items if a small bulk discount could be extended.
- Thank the manager for considering your request either way.
Consider Alternatives to Get the Best Deal
Rather than try to negotiate with ReStore, your best opportunities for additional savings include:
- Timing – Shop on weekends, holidays and end of months when stores are more likely to run sales.
- Used goods – Gently used items typically have lower price points than new merchandise.
- Bulk purchases – Buying multiple items at once may qualify you for unofficial discounts.
- Payment method – Opt to pay by cash rather than credit card to avoid processing fees.
- DIY repairs – Fix minor defects yourself then ask for the “as-is” price.
Policies Can Vary By Location
It’s important to note that each locally operated ReStore sets its own pricing and discounts policies. What may work in one store may not in another. Get familiar with the managers and policies of your neighborhood location.
Check Their Price Adjustment Policy
Before trying to negotiate at the register, politely ask the store manager if they have any flexibility or discretion on prices. Their answer will let you know if it’s even worth pursuing.
You can also check online or call your local store to learn their guidelines on:
- Price matching or beating retailers
- Adjustments for damaged, defective or missing parts
- Discounts for bulk or frequent shoppers
Knowing their standard procedures ahead of time allows you to tailor any requests appropriately.
When Negotiating Is More Accepted
Though rare, ReStore staff may be more open to negotiating prices in a handful of situations:
Some larger metro Habitat for Humanity locations operate outlet ReStores with surplus inventory they are eager to move. These stores tend to have more flexibility on pricing.
Floor Models/Damaged Goods
If an appliance, furniture or building material is scratched, chipped or a floor model, pointing out wear and tear defects may yield a discount.
Prolonged Unsold Merchandise
Highlighting that an item has sat unsold for many months despite price drops can indicate it is overpriced based on demand.
Buying multiple big ticket items like appliances or furniture may qualify you for an unofficial discount of 10-15% at manager discretion.
|Item Type||Original Price||Discounted Price|
This table shows an example of buying 3 large items and saving 10% off the total original price.
At the end of the day, the decision to negotiate prices at ReStore is at the discretion of each store’s management based on their policies. While negotiating is not openly encouraged or advertised, courteously asking about potential discounts on large purchases, bulk buys, damaged goods or overstocked items can’t hurt.
Because inventory and pricing can vary greatly, your best bet is getting to know the managers and guidelines of your local store. Consistently shopping sales events, clearance racks and buying used goods will also help yield the best savings. With some creative thinking and polite requests, negotiating at ReStore may yield some extra savings in limited circumstances.