Sorting through the "stuff" at a Waverly consignment store - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sorting through the "stuff" at a Waverly consignment store

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

In June, a Waverly consignment store known as Half Off Stuff closed its doors. The landlord says, he had no warning from the store owner. That owner also failed to contact the dozens, if not hundreds, of people who were selling items at the store.

"I took my kids', all their stuff they had outgrown. I took it all over there. I had a lot of money in clothes over there," said consigner Sheri Wilkinson.

As a mother of two, Wilkinson is a big fan of buying and selling second-hand.

"We have city-wide garage sales here in town. But they're kind of a pain to get everything going. And a friend of mine said, well I take all of her son's stuff to this half off store in Waverly," said Wilkinson.

About a year ago, the original owner of Half Off Stuff sold the business. Wilkinson was driving by a few months later and saw an alarming sign in front of the building.

"I had noticed, that it was empty. There was a huge For Lease sign on the thing. And I thought, what in the world?" she said.

Wilkinson thought, at that point, she had lost all of her items. After several phone calls and some research, she found a new number for the company.

"I called them and they said, we've just relocated. But we've had a robbery. None of your stuff can be tracked. They stole all our computers," said Wilkinson.

Waverly police confirm the report of a burglary at the store on April 28th. However, Investigator Troy Schneider could not offer any details, saying it's an ongoing investigation.

Landlord Greg Miller said he was aware of the break in. He said the owner claimed a burglar had broken in through the back door, although Miller said the lock had not been tampered with. Miller said Half Off Stuff continued operating until the end of June. That's when the owner abandoned the site, and abandoned the stuff.

"It was going to be a big undertaking of how to get everyone's stuff back," he said.

The original owner of Half Off Stuff, Matthew Schneider, found out about the mess and decided to try to pick up the pieces. He has written records for the consigned items with the store, however he has no idea how complete or accurate they are.

"It would have been easier to walk away and do nothing. But I think it's a great service for the community. So I think it's an opportunity for us to keep it going," said Schneider.

Unfortunately, there is no record of who had credit with the store. But Schneider is working to return the items to the consigners. He will open the building from 8:00-4:00 starting Friday, August 10th through Friday, August 17th, except for Sunday. After a week, he'll try to sell the remaining items. The money from that sale, and the items he can't sell, will go to the Cedar Valley Friends of the Family.

Schneider is planning to give the store an extreme makeover, and reopen as an upscale consignment shop called "Neighborhood Closet." He's hoping the old customers will, eventually, work with him.

"I think, once people come in and talk to us over time -- and they've done business with us before -- we'll have an opportunity to earn that trust," Schneider.

Wilkinson, for one, isn't sure if she can trust a consignment shop again.

"I just don't want to lose all that money and stuff. I take a bigger cut when I do a garage sale. But to me, at least, I get some of what I pay for them. Here I'm getting nothing," said Wilkinson.

We made several attempts to contact the owner of Half Off Stuff. He has not returned our calls.

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