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The Man-Cave Exchange is consignment for men

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Long-time Hastings resident Julie La Favor knows all too well how the effect the economy has been having on so many people. She was working for a $2 billion marketing firm in Minneapolis, and then she lost her job.

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After that she started working for herself from home, buying clothing and selling it for a profit on eBay.

"I loved the freedom of it," she said.

It's what made her realize there was a real market for used items, and she started thinking about how she could serve that niche.

The answer was the The Man-Cave Exchange. It's a consignment store specifically tuned to men, and it's La Favor's new business.

Consignment stores aren't anything new, she said, but what she hasn't seen is a place specifically for men to go where they can find items such as hand and power tools, sporting and hunting equipment, building materials, electronics and more. So she created one.

"It's a place for guys to go to find the items they want and also drop off the items they don't need," La Favor explained, adding that there will be plenty of things women will be interested in as well.

The store acts as a middleman for people who want to make some money by selling some of their items, but who also don't want the trouble of selling them from their homes.

"For people to come to your home, it isn't always safe," La Favor said.

Besides avoiding the dangers associated with inviting a stranger to your home, The Man-Cave Exchange also eliminates the frustrations of tire-kickers, no-shows and advertising. The store will use professional software to price the items with the seller, usually at between 50 and 75 percent of retail market value.

Consignment shops such as The Man-Cave Exchange shouldn't be confused with pawn shops. The biggest difference, La Favor said, is that pawn shops pay the seller instantly, while consignment stores pay the seller after the item has sold. Consignment stores will give higher returns to sellers as well. Sellers get 70 to 80 percent of the sale price at The Man-Cave Exchange, while the store takes 20 to 30 percent. Pawn shops will offer a loan for an item at 50 percent or less of the item's resale value.

La Favor offers other perks for selling at her store as well. Not only do items attract buyers while they browse the store, but they also get an online presence. Once the store gets up and running, buyers will be able to see the store's stock online, and buyers will be able to monitor their items there as well.

One challenge La Favor is encountering is the fact that people wonder how qualified she is as a woman to run a man-centered store. That won't be a problem, she explained. While she may not know everything about the items, she has well-qualified employees who will be able to help customers with any of their questions.

"There are going to be educated people here to help them," she said.

The building, located at 3175 Vermillion Street, is open thanks to the U-Haul business La Favor also runs out of the parking lot, but the store itself isn't ready just yet. La Favor said she's shooting for an end-of-January opening, but it all depends on when she can get enough items in. She said she expects the business to really pick up in the spring, when people start cleaning out their basements and garages.

To see what items will be accepted and how to start the consignment process, go to www.themancaveexchange.com. A simple place to start is with this thought:

"When you bring in an item, think of what you would want to buy yourself," La Favor said.

To contact La Favor, call 651-437-3029 or e-mail Julie@themancaveexchange.com.

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Katrina Styx
Katrina Styx has been a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.
(651) 319-4501
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