BEST USED APPLIANCES (1999)
Morgan Wolfe, general manager for this publicly held company's Twin Cities stores (there are outlets in Bloomington, Fridley, and St. Paul as well), says a semi rolls into the parking lot on Excelsior almost daily: "We don't know what's going to be on it, so every time we open the trailer it's like Christmas." Since Appliance$mart deals in product that's been scratched, dented, returned, exchanged, or left in the wake of factory overruns, half of its cavernous warehouse space in St. Louis Park is full of brand-new refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, and air conditioners that, besides being dirt cheap, carry a one-year warranty on parts and labor. The store's remaining stock is made up of reconditioned used appliances, obtained from local homeowners and landlords. "We recycle in excess of 100,000 appliances a year just in the Twin Cities," Wolfe says. "We select the best of the best, go through them very, very thoroughly, then offer a 90-day, money-back guarantee." Indeed, if you're a new homeowner, happy with those low interest rates but looking to keep the costs down on remodeling, this outlet will make you believe in Santa Claus all over again.