SPRING HILL — Midway into the thrift store's first week of business, many of the goods at 2nd Chance Appliance & Home Furnishings lacked price tickets.
"They're replacements for all we sold at the grand opening," owner Timothy D. Prentice said. He hadn't had time to label them all.
The new destination for resale home goods opened Aug. 1 after Prentice saw a need in west-central Florida, based on several years of marketing home goods at yard sales and via Craigslist and eBay.
He calls his store a one-stop shop for inexpensively furnishing an apartment, home or dorm room with higher-end hard and soft goods. He pointed out a leather-upholstered bedroom suite with queen and king beds, an Ethan Allen china hutch, a five-piece girl's bedroom set in stylish white, and an Amana washer-dryer combo.
The hutch and washer-dryer combo were each priced at less than $300.
"I think the prices on furniture and appliances will be our main attraction," Prentice said.
As for competition from other thrift stores, he added, "We beat them for quality. We try to stay away from low-end stuff. We're trying to offer good product for better value."
Taking note of an outlet that sells scratch-and-dent appliances, the new entrepreneur said, "I'll beat them by 10 percent."
Among the goods at 2nd Chance is an array of kitchenware, including heavy cast aluminum pots with glass lids and specialty bake ware. Among the soft goods: a faux fur throw and modern-design decorator pillows. Hand and power tools include Craftsman brand. A limited line of men's, women's and children's clothing bears name-brand labels, Prentice pointed out.
His neighbors in Village Square will notice goods coming in by the truckload, Prentice said. He buys in bulk from auction houses around Tampa Bay and beyond, plus estate sales' leftovers.
Occasionally, Prentice, 32, will offer an item that puzzles even him — for instance, a flexible net-hanging tower with a half-dozen compartments — maybe, he suggested, for compartmentalizing lingerie, or for a cat's climb and play, or for netting crabs.
"At $1.99, you can use it any way you want," he chuckled.
Prentice said that after spending 15 years in the restaurant business, "customer service is my thing."
As confirmation, he asked a couple browsing for a TV stand what height they wanted and their preference for wood or metal. He penciled their desires and contact information in a book, telling them he takes the wish book with him when he shops his sources.
Currently, the endeavor is staffed by family members and friends, including the owner's sister, Lauren Prentice, and his son, Deakon, 11, who likes to work with a bottle of Windex.
Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]