Used appliance store opens on Washington
A different type of resale store has opened in downtown Woodstock — Ehrke’s Used Appliances & More.
The store, located at 144 Washington St., offers customers used appliances at prices less than 50 percent of what they would cost new.
“Nobody has the money these days to buy new,” said Nancy Ehrke, who opened the store with her husband, Bob, earlier this month. Bob had worked for more than a decade at Woodstock TV and Appliance, where he learned how to repair TVs and appliances.
The Ehrkes said the idea for the store came after seeing many appliances being trashed even though they still had use in them. At the same time, families without the money to purchase a new washer or dryer, for example, were living without one.
“[I look for an appliance] without rust and make sure all the parts are there,” Bob said. “Usually I can fix it [if it’s not working].”
Over the past several months, the Ehrkes have scoured auctions, garage sales and online listings in search of appliances.
“It’s a blast [seeking out hidden gems],” Bob said. “That’s what got me going.”
After transporting the appliances to the shop, Bob gives them a thorough cleaning and repairs them if needed. The machines are placed on the sales floor, and each are given a 30-day warranty.
Already, the Ehrkes have seen plenty of foot traffic. They said customers have ranged from people moving into their first homes to landlords looking to replace broken appliances. Nancy said one elderly customer with health issues started to cry when her dryer was delivered because she hadn’t been able to afford a new one.
In addition to appliances, Ehrke’s Used Appliances & More sells some used furniture and Partylite candles. In the more distant future, they may sell affordable new appliances, but they won’t venture into the high-end products.
“It’s never going to be a store for rich people,” Nancy said. “It’s going to be for your Common Joe.”
Ehrke’s Used Appliances & More is open from 8:30 a.m. To 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. The store can be reached at 815-308-5068 or on Facebook.