This weekend was supposed to be for cleaning the basement and purging our stuff. Instead, we decided to make a trip to Connecticut to a marine consignment shop we have been hearing rumors off for the last couple of years. The rumor was that this was a huge shop in a former grocery store and had isles and isles of marine stuff. So the Bride, Tom (of Tom and Nancy sans Nancy who was on our couch sick 😦 ) and myself climbed into the car for the almost 100 mile trip.
When we arrived in Mystic, we were disappointed by the size. This was not a former grocery store. But when we got inside there was a lot of good marine gear for cheap. They packed a lot of gear into that store, ranging from brand new still in the package to barely usable. But there were some great deals if you spent some time looking.
While we were in there, another customer heard us talking about the “former grocery store” rumor. He told us that the Rhode Island store was the one in the former grocery store and about ten times the size of the Connecticut store. He also told us that they had recently added a Fall River store that was in a former warehouse.
Hearing that, we purchased some of the good items we had found and headed for the Rhode Island store after some local sight seeing.
When we pulled up in front, I was like a little kid. It was a former grocery store and there were boats and inflatables stacked up out front. As we were walking in, we ran into the guy from the Mystic store who told us about this one. Apparently he will make regular trips to both and the people working in this store knew him by name.
When I walked through the doors I felt like I just reached Nirvana.
Isle after isle of marine things. There was everything, brand new bilge pumps at half of what West Marine charges, used heads for next to nothing, anchors new and used, piles of teak. I did two loops around the store before I even started to look for the items I wanted to buy.
We spent two hours going through the shelves and looking for items on our list for this year’s outfitting and projects. In the end, we purchased $220 worth of gear that would have cost us over $500 from West Marine.
For Smitty, we purchased two harnesses, two tethers and a ditch bag, all brand new with no sign of wear. The ditch bag had all of the hanging hardware and had never been used. We also picked up some damp rids for $1 a piece and a bail for a project on my anchor roller.
Tom purchased 30 feet of G4 galvanized chain and a set of dingy wheels for under $70.
Based on our experience, I would recommend these consignment shops to anyone working on a boat project or outfitting a boat. We found slightly higher end stuff at the Mystic store and they were also more willing to negotiate on prices. The Wickford store had much better overall selection but they were much less willing to haggle. One item I found in there store was a Hella Jet Single Speed Fan that was brand new in the box and priced at $50. I knew that Defender had the same fan for $23.99. I brought it up to the counter and asked about the price. I showed them the Defender listing on my phone and they revised the price to $21 while saying “we don’t compete with Defender because they sell at such a discount”. I was a little put off by that because Defender is selling brand new items in the box and most of what they were selling was used. But overall it appears their pricing plan is to look items up on the West Marine website and price the items at 50-75% less based on condition. You could still negotiate prices but keep in mind this is a consignment shop not a used equipment retailer. That means that they may be limited on how little they can sell something based on their agreement with the seller. They take 40% of the sale price and the seller gets 60%. Not a bad deal for either party.
We plan to make a trip to the Fall River store in the near future. And will likely return to both Mystic and Wickford from time to time to see what new items they get in. A great rainy day trip or in the winter when we can’t sail.