A Shopper’s Guide to Pricing at the Habitat ReStores

From sofas to saltshakers, from garden tools to gadgets, everything and anything can be found in the Habitat ReStores in Newport News and Williamsburg.

Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, accessories, building materials and more at a fraction of the retail price, typically a savings of 30-90%.

Managers Erin Madden and Jonathan Martinez estimate as many as tens of thousands of items can be on the floor of either store on any given day. It’s up to them and their teams to decide how to price items.

Most customers understand that pricing isn’t an exact science and embrace the ReStore for supporting Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg.

“Our main goal at the ReStore is to raise money to build homes,” said Martinez, who manages the Williamsburg location. “Our loyalty is to the homeowner first. The fact that you get something really nice at a low cost is a secondary benefit.”

“We have to pay rent on the building and have operational costs as any other business would,” said Erin Madden, manager of the Newport News location.

Donated items vary in price based on their condition. Wingback chairs, for example, generally start at $49 and can go higher or lower depending on their quality as well as the number of wingbacks currently in stock. The ReStore only has limited floor space.

Madden and Martinez turn to the internet at times when they need more information before pricing an item, but what online research can’t account for is sentimentality.

“If you bring in your grandmother’s chair that you’ve had for 30 years and celebrated Christmases and birthdays and you remember sitting on it when you were 4 years old, that’s of immeasurable value to you,” Martinez said. “You can’t put a price on your memories.”

Madden says it is a fine line in balancing how to fairly price something based on its value to the donor versus what a customer with no connection to it is willing to pay.

“We have to make the donors’ donation worth their time and worth their beliefs in our mission,” she said. “It’s important to price an item so a customer wants to buy it and the donor sees the value of donating, too.”

Price guides for doors, windows and building materials are followed, and many donated items are brand new. Contractor materials are often substantially reduced as most are out-of-box.

Items with red, orange and yellow price tags are purchased brand new by the ReStore. Items with white price tags are donated items that are new.

“We never charge full price for anything,” Martinez said.

No matter the cost, shoppers can always find a bargain at the ReStore. Both stores offer Customer Appreciation Days — Tuesdays in Williamsburg and Wednesdays in Newport News. On those days, everything is 20% off (with some exclusions).

Also, both ReStores regularly mark down big-ticket items, such as furniture and larger appliances during the month in an effort to ensure inventory moves quickly.

Martinez and Madden are happy to explain the price of any item should a question arise. The ReStore managers are grateful for the ongoing support that allows Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg to continue to build homes and hope in the community.

The Newport News ReStore is at 371 Chatham Drive. The Williamsburg ReStore is at 1303 Jamestown Road. Both ReStores are open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sundays.


Want to invest in the community?


We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.