There's a new store in town for bargain hunters.
From toilet paper to rocking chairs, Buy 4 Less has a little of everything. Brand new clothes are priced cheaper than Goodwill, a memory foam mattress topper is 50% off and curtains are only $2 each. All items in the store are 40% to 80% off retail price.
The discount store opened in late March at 110 East Morgan Street. Chris and Jamie Benefiel, co-owners from Bunker Hill, wanted a change of pace after Chris quit his job at a cabinet factory where he had worked for 14 years.
They noticed a lot of people going into the resale business of buying overstock, liquidated items from box store warehouses and reselling them at a highly discounted rate. They saved up money for three years and decided to give it a try.
“We like it because we’re our own bosses and it’s less of a stress working like that,” Jamie said.
The store has gotten off to a good start and serves many of the low-income families in the community, Jamie and Chris said.
“It gives them a chance to buy nice things at half of what they would pay retail,” Jamie said.
Jamie said stores like theirs usually just sell their products how they come but she and Chris check that items work before they leave the stores.
“We try to be fair about it and make it right for our customers,” Jamie said.
The couple has learned quite a bit in the three months they’ve been open, including items that sell the best.
“We’ve started to learn the more you put (items) together, people will buy it quicker,” Chris said.
Jamie said they had a toy car set on the shelf for a month and put it together one day and put a photo on Facebook. It sold within 30 minutes.
Chris also offers to put anything together for free for customers.
“If they want to wait around or come back, I’ll put stuff together. I love doing that,” Chris said.
While the store focuses on cheap items, it does sell marked down expensive items as well. But the store's bestsellers continue to be the bargain bin items, partiucalry from a $2 bin located at the front of store that carries everything from audiobooks to phone cases to bike pumps.
“There’s been stuff pulled out of there that’s $70, $80 and we sell it for $2,” Chris said.
Besides low-income families, other small business owners often shop at Buy 4 Less and avid garage salers are also frequent customers.
Because much of the items they buy from box store warehouses are pulled off-shelves because they’re out of season, they have a good amount of Christmas items. They’re planning to have a Christmas in July Sale where they’ll sell a Christmas tree originally priced around $1000 for $200.
Buy 4 Less is open Wednesday's through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays. The store is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.