-  Local resale shop strives to serve customers and support community

Photo Credit: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Jerusalem and Josh Farmer opened the Good Deal Resale on Main Avenue and Division Street in April. The couple decided to expand into a retail space after their 2-year-old online business proved highly successful.

A few months ago, you might have seen a giant pig standing the corner of North Main Avenue and Division Street, waving to passing motorists.

Shortly after Richie the Pig took up residence on the street corner, he was joined by an employee with a sign from another business in the small strip mall. The non-costumed worker looked the pig over and said, “Boy, you must get hot inside that costume. I bet you get paid a lot to stand out here.”

“I told him, ‘No, I own the place,’” said Josh Farmer, aka Richie the Pig and co-owner of The Good Deal Resale. “Richie is our mascot because pigs are piggy banks and you save money if you have a piggy bank. That’s where the idea for Richie came from.”

The Good Deal Resale promises — and delivers — gently used items at even kinder prices. Clothing and toys for a buck? Lamps for $15? Opened last spring by Josh and his wife Jerusalem, the store is actually an offshoot of the couple’s successful online business, which has earned them distinction as an eBay Power Seller.

Most shoppers looking for a good bargain these days aren’t afraid to scour the Internet for a good deal. But the savings are all the sweeter when your purchases are good quality and found close to home. Photo Credit: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - The stores mascot, Richie the Pig (aka Josh), is meant to symbolize a piggy bank and the savings shoppers can acquire if they use a piggy bank.

The Farmers are Portland-area natives, who were living in San Diego when their idea for a resale business was born. A 2008 graduate of Reynolds High School, Josh, 25, was serving a three-year commitment with the U.S. Navy, deployed to the South Pacific aboard the USS Gary. After his return, he and Jerusalem, 30, began exploring business ownership to take them into their future outside the military. They moved back to Gresham in 2011 and launched in March 2012 as a way to run their own enterprise and work from home.

“It’s still our core business,” Jerusalem said. “That’s where we learned that customer service is the heart of your business. If someone isn’t happy, they tell other people and if you don’t have what they’re looking for, they don’t come back.”

With their online presence well established, Josh and Jerusalem decided it was time to open a storefront. In April, Richie the Pig welcomed customers to Good Deal Resale’s grand opening, offering an assortment of gently used clothing, shoes and toys, collectibles and some household items.

The Farmers acquire their inventory through a buy, sell and trade process. They frequent estate sales, buying in large lots, often dividing the spoils between the online and retail outlets. They deal very little in consignment items and don’t purchase gemstone jewelry or electronics.

But they are sticklers for detail.

“Everything we take in has to work,” Jerusalem said. “We test it to make sure. Toys have to have all their parts and clothing can’t be torn or missing buttons. The fact that we’re selling clothes for $1 means we don’t want to put a lot of time into repairing things. We want to sell quality products at affordable prices.”

What makes the Good Deal Resale unique, however, is the trade aspect of their business.

“People can trade movies, toys, clothes,” Josh said. “If you have something in good condition, but you just want something newer, bring it in. We’ll give you a value for it and you can get something like it.”

Photo Credit: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Yes, all clothing is $1. The Farmers purchase clothing from estate sales and others in bulk quantity, often donating the excess to local hospitals and homeless shelters. Three-year newlyweds, with a 2-year-old son, Josh and Jerusalem also strive to support the community. Signage for their storefront and T-shirts with their signature Richie the Pig logo came from local businesses, while excess items are donated to area hospitals and homeless shelters.

“One of our customers sells things to us so he can buy backpacks and things for the homeless in downtown Portland,” Josh said. “We give him clothing we can’t use. But we won’t give him anything that we wouldn’t sell ourselves.”

While their online shop continues to thrive, the Farmers have discovered an unexpected perk to doing business offline — face-to-face contact.

“We listen to people while they’re here, so we know what they’re looking for,” Josh said. “I love to have a customer come in here, who’s happy and thankful for what they found. That’s what I love most about the store.”

The Good Deal Resale

Where: 44 N.E. Division St.,

What: Resale clothing; men’s, women’s and children’s accessories; toys; shoes; collectibles; tools; DVDs, CDs, video games.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday.

Call: 503-895-3325.

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