Appliance resale market on the rise despite inventory reduction | nnbw.com
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Appliance resale market on the rise despite inventory reduction

Rob Sabo

Used-appliance dealers in the Truckee Meadows continue to see a rise in business from cost-conscious consumers seeking to avoid the hefty price tags on new appliances.

They’re benefiting, too, as homeowners who face imminent foreclosure sell their appliances generating cash for the seller, creating inventory for the dealers and building demand from buyers of foreclosed properties who need appliances for their homes.

On the flip side, some dealers have had difficulty procuring inventory since most of the major home retailers began destroying older, energy-hungry appliances rather than making them available to the resale market.

Rick Fernandes, co-owner of Teddy B’s on Glendale Avenue in Sparks, says business is up between 25 to 40 percent year-over-year because budget-minded shoppers seek deals on refrigerators, washer and dryers and stoves. Fernandes says the business has become more profitable each of the past few years, and he expects sales of used appliances to remain strong.

“It is amazing how many people have lost their homes, and they just don’t have the money,” Fernandes says. “People just can’t afford to buy new.”

Teddy B’s recently opened a location on Wells Avenue that specializes in sales of used furniture, and it also operates a store in Fallon. The Glendale location specializes in sales of washers, dryers, stoves and refrigerators. Gently used dishwashers are hard to come by, Fernandes says.

In addition to a rise in sales, Fernandes says that he’s seeing a lot more people trying to sell their used appliances.

“A lot of people when they come into the store, maybe they have lost their homes, and they had just bought a brand new stove and they don’t want to lose all their money.”

Teddy B’s also gets much of its inventory from apartment complex owners who are upgrading their kitchens and replacing older appliances.

Inventory is the key element to the used appliance market, says Mike Zamak, who has run The Appliance Store on Rock Boulevard for 31 years. Zamak says that though sales have held steady through the recession, supply has diminished greatly.

Zamak used to get the majority of his inventory from home furnishing retailers who picked up second-hand items when they delivered new appliances. However, he says, over the past few years retailers have begun junking older appliances that aren’t Energy Star compliant, making inventory much harder to procure. Other people choose to donate their old appliances to non-profit organizations for tax writeoffs as well.

“I used to get about 100 appliances a week, and I have lost that inventory,” Zamak says. “(Resellers) are having a difficult time getting the old stuff, and everybody used to have it.”

Business may be on the rise for some shop owners, but Anwar “Sidd” Siddiqui, owner of Sidd Home Appliance and Small Engine, hopes his business continues with its current modest sales volume.

Siddiqui says he ran himself ragged running a variety of business, but he shed himself of those interests six months ago and opened a small appliance resale shop on Claremont Street in Reno to provide a small bit of income.

Business has been slow, but Siddiqui hopes to see a small increase in sales once the new Yellow Pages hits consumers’ doorsteps.

“I get call or two a day. I will try to build the business I can improve just a little bit but I am at the point that I need to retire and take time off. For me, if someone buys a piece each day, that should be enough for me.”

The Nevada Department of Taxation reports that current fiscal year taxable sales through October for appliances and electronics stores has decreased 6.8 percent in Washoe County and 13.8 percent in Churchill County. Sales of appliances and electronics are on the rise elsewhere, though: Carson City is up 3.3 percent; Douglas County 2.5 percent; Lyon County 3.1 percent, and Elko spiked 24.6 percent. Statewide, appliance and electronics dealers are up 2.7 percent for the current fiscal year through October.