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Frequently Asked Questions
Is all this stuff actually in stock?
Yes - unless marked as "SOLD." We update the database once a day - typically in the evening shortly after closing the store. We keep sold items on the site for two days after they sell.
You may call us (206-763-6929) to get up-to-the-minute availability of a particular item. When calling, please have the six-digit "Item Number" ready.
Why are some of the descriptions so vague?
We process large volumes of used building materials daily and attempt to add new items to our website the same day they arrive. To keep up, we rely on an intake process that is highly automated. Our system only requires items get categorized. Beyond that, further description is optional. Sometimes pictures are added, or listings are modified after the initial posting.
Please do not expect us to be able to provide much more information about an item over the telephone or via e-mail. Usually, all that we know is posted. You are welcome to call us at 206-763-6929, but often your best recourse if you need more information is to visit our store and see the item in person.
Where is the shopping cart?
We do NOT sell items directly from our website.
This website is designed to be a catalog of items currently available at our retail store in South Seattle. Our store and this website are oriented toward local customers. Due to the unique nature and variable condition of many of our items, we recommend that purchases be made in person at our Seattle store so that items may be personally inspected for suitability.
I am ready to buy something. What do I do?
Great! Come on down...
Our store is located at 3223 6th Ave. S. in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood. We are open seven days a week from 9-6. We accept major credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex and Discover), checks and cash.
What about phone orders?
We do accept phone orders on a limited basis* (206-763-6929 x0). Although, as stated above, we strongly encourage you to personally inspect all items before purchasing.
We accept credit card or store credit as payment for phone orders.
All phone orders must be picked up at our yard within two days. Items purchased by phone that are found upon inspection to be unsuitable may be returned (within 90 days) but will be charged our standard 10 percent return fee.
*We do not guarantee the ability to process your order via telephone. Certain hard-to-locate items may be unavailable for phone purchase. At rare times, we may be unable to process phone orders due to staffing levels or abnormally busy store traffic.
Can I hold items?
Yes. Typically, you may hold up to 10 items until 5:30 p.m. the following day. If the item you're holding has multiple holds on it from other customers, we may shorten the length of the hold. We strongly recommend calling and speaking to a staff member during regular business hours to hold an item, rather than sending an e-mail or leaving a voicemail. In the circumstance that we cannot process your hold for one reason or another, we will call you back. To secure the items, you must purchase them by the time your hold expires at 5:30 p.m. It is common for other customers to place second holds on items and call in to purchase them at 5:31 p.m. For the quickest transaction, please have the six-digit inventory number on hand for all the items you would like to hold.
Why does Second Use ask for my name or contact information?
The simple answer is that it will make returns and holds go much faster. Second Use has a database of customers' names and purchases to quicken these tasks, in addition to giving us a way to reach you if there are any problems with your item or transaction. The information we receive from customers is private; we will never sell the information or add it to any listservs or mailing lists without permission.
Can I store my purchase at Second Use until I'm able to pick it up?
Yes. Customers can store items at Second Use for two days after their purchase, free of charge. After two days, a daily storage rate will apply. The cost is $5/day or $20/week for items that fit on one pallet or cart. Unusual items that require a lot of work to move- for instance, a chandelier- will be subject to a $35/hour handling fee, plus 35 cents/square foot/day to store.
Does Second Use ship items?
Yes. Items that are easily shippable via UPS or FedEx Ground are marked "Shipping Available." Unfortunately, many of the items we sell are bulky and quite expensive to ship. Larger items are still shippable (just more difficult). Please contact us with any specific inquiries. For more information about shipping and delivery, visit Shipping & Delivery on the website.
Can I return items?
Returns for cash, check or credit card are accepted for 31 days after purchase. There is always a 10 percent re-stock fee, to help us cover the money we lose in credit card and labor fees. From 31 to 90 days, customers can return items for store credit only, minus the 10 percent re-stock fee. Please bring your receipt with you upon the return. If you have lost your receipt, we may be able to look up your information in our database, if you have an account with Second Use.
What is the best way to contact Second Use?
Phone is far better than e-mail for a quick question about our inventory. Our number is 206-763-6929.
We respond to e-mail as time allows. If you must e-mail with questions about inventory seen on this site (or those not seen here), our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not expect a rapid response.