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Old 12-08-2009, 08:06 PM   #1
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Just made me sick!


July 01 of this year a locally, family owned builder supply house went under, bankrupt. With two big box apron stores and now a "contractors supply center" here, they just could not compete. The main sad part was that they had the only custom mill shop in town, now we have no one to do this type of wood work. The other day when I went by the location I saw activity going on so I went to the business across the street, where I knew the owner and asked what was going on. It seems we are getting a "Ace Hardware Super Store". That's fine with me, I didn't even know Ace Hardware had Super Stores. I asked my friend what was going on over there and he told me they were cleaning out the upstairs of things that had accumulated over the last fifty-two (52) years, paperwork, boxes, etc. I get a call the other day from my friend and he told me that I would not believe what was going on over there now. They were throwing away all of the inventory on the first floor. All of the tools, power tools, hardware, stock windows, stock doors, everything. Now that made me mad! They could have had a yard sale for this stuff. My friend told me that when this started they had people stopping and doing "dumpster diving" to get some of this stuff and the people in charge called the police to stop it. They told him that they had to throw away all of this inventory for "legal reasons" and would put new stock into the store before opening. BS! and more BS! They threw away five of the large ten (10) cubic yard dumpsters loaded with this brand new inventory. Maybe I won't shop the new Ace Super Store. David

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Old 12-08-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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Just made me sick!


*$%^!! Least they could have done was donate it to some charitable organization -- directly, or "yard sale" proceeds...

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Old 12-09-2009, 06:57 AM   #3
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Just made me sick!


Simple reason, income tax laws. By throwing them out the company can take a write off for them. If they sell them, the company will have to pay someone to host the sale, process all transactions, pay and record sales tax... The cost to have a sale is probably less profitable than to discard. The items may have been in the way and needed to be gotten rid of immediately. Still, they should have donated them.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:35 AM   #4
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Just made me sick!


This is what happens when everyone wants to get the rock bottom price on things. Big box stores selling cheap crap have been doing it for years now.

The lumber yard here is a True Value hardware store. Even with that, they laid off most of the good help in the lumber area. It's mostly minimum wage kids working there now.

When prices go down and quantity is increased, quality suffers.........Just a fact of this business.

Remember that next time you purchase something or hire someone.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:05 AM   #5
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Just made me sick!


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Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
Simple reason, income tax laws. By throwing them out the company can take a write off for them. If they sell them, the company will have to pay someone to host the sale, process all transactions, pay and record sales tax... The cost to have a sale is probably less profitable than to discard. The items may have been in the way and needed to be gotten rid of immediately. Still, they should have donated them.

If they had donated them to Habitat for Humanity or any other legally registered no-profit, they could have taken at least the wholesale cost as a tax write-off. I suspect a group like HfH would have come and taken the stuff right out of the building as well.


It's a shame.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:20 AM   #6
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Just made me sick!


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Originally Posted by MJW View Post
This is what happens when everyone wants to get the rock bottom price on things. Big box stores selling cheap crap have been doing it for years now.

Remember that next time you purchase something or hire someone.
Yup.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:44 AM   #7
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Just made me sick!


Stuff like this is crazy. It really is too bad they couldn't donate it.

I used to work for the post office a long time ago and you wouldn't believe how much stuff they are forced to throw away. They throw away several dumpsters worth of CD's and DVD everyday, amongst other things. They have no choice though, it has something to do with regulations.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:16 AM   #8
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Just made me sick!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MJW View Post
Remember that next time you purchase something or hire someone.
We have a Lowe's, Home Depot and Menard's (with another on the way), along with five WalMart corporation presences within about 20-30 square miles. There is an ACE superstore in one of the newer developments as well. I avoid them all if I possibly can and still shop the surviving local hardware, paint, fastener, lumber and building supply stores. They are doing their best to compete. Time is money for me and I also like that the locals still have people that actually know what they are selling and what I want! I can even order by phone and know that I can count on getting what I ask for delivered.

It's not just that bulk buying makes the products seem cheaper. Box stores do not take care of their employees the way locals do. They offer minimal (if at all) health insurance access that is beyond the reach of most working there, may or may not extend to a spouse or children, etc. So people end up on the public roles and being ER treated which just increases taxes. Someone has to pay the piper. They get property tax incentives so do not contribute fairly to that base either for schools, roads, parks and other community infrastructure. WalMart's property tax incentives ran out in one store so rather than pay the full rates, they moved two miles or so down the road outside of city limits where they are not yet an issue but where police and fire still have to provide services to them. The county had to improve the road, traffic lights, etc. with no help from WalMart whatsoever. There are restrictions on re-leasing the building (and who but another box store type place could use so much space anyhow?) they left so it has been empty for years as a blight on the landscape.

Much of the merchandise in box stores is sub standard. And if you need 5 of something, plan on them having 4 on hand and having no idea when or if they will get the other one in!

Worst is they give nothing back in philanthropy to communities. Too busy sponsoring Nascar or something on a national level I suppose to give a darn about local little league or cheerleading uniforms and so forth like the locals do.

Sorry to hear about all the inventory and tools being hauled away and dumpstered. There may well have been some legal issues but you would have thought there could have been some way to donate. I suspect more than anything there was an expediency issue.

As for custom millwork? Online sources may soon be your best and only bet. The box stores ain't not never gonna put in woodworking machines or hire the people that know how to run them. There are some nice shops around that are worth supporting before accepting what the box stores offer as quasi replacements.

Last edited by user1007; 12-10-2009 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:16 AM   #9
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Just made me sick!


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
If they had donated them to Habitat for Humanity or any other legally registered no-profit, they could have taken at least the wholesale cost as a tax write-off. I suspect a group like HfH would have come and taken the stuff right out of the building as well.


It's a shame.
No they could not.

They bought it for penny's on the dollar(5 to 15 cents). So they can't "write off" the greater wholesale value.

Best they could have deducted. Was 60% of what they paid for it.
Which might come out to a deduct of a few thousand dollars.


Ain't no such thing as a write off.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post

They get property tax incentives so do not contribute fairly to that base either for schools, roads, parks and other community infrastructure. WalMart's property tax incentives ran out in one store so rather than pay the full rates, they moved two miles or so down the road outside of city limits where they are not yet an issue but where police and fire still have to provide services to them. The county had to improve the road, traffic lights, etc. with no help from WalMart whatsoever. There are restrictions on re-leasing the building (and who but another box store type place could use so much space anyhow?) they left so it has been empty for years as a blight on the landscape.
Someone is paying (or building up a tax liability) the property tax. Just because a building is empty and not used. Doesn't mean the owner/owners don't pay (owe) taxes on it.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:36 AM   #11
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Someone is paying (or building up a tax liability) the property tax. Just because a building is empty and not used. Doesn't mean the owner/owners don't pay (owe) taxes on it.
Owner was a locally created WalMart real estate shell. Conveniently went bankrupt when problems started and all assets disappeared. There is no owner left to pay taxes. The banks holding the mortgage are not paying them hoping the City will claim it for back taxes.

The City claims it for back taxes? Big deal going nowhere there. What do they want with a 30 million square mile butt ugly building that will not pay taxes if they own it? Indoor park? Cannot use it for that.

It is is tagged as an environmental hazard in the eyes of Illinois and US EPA because of the way lawn and other household chemicals were stored, managed and leaked out. All the violations are no new news.

City doesn't dare claim it back. Minute they do they are responsible for cleaning it up and will climbed on by the State and Feds to clean up the site.

I did hear that Goodwill Industries is trying to step up to the plate and see if they can use the space as a regional processing facility for donated goods. This would be great if it could be made safe for the employees. They will not take on the EPA liability either though.

Where is WalMart? Two miles away in the case of the store I mention, ignoring the whole situation and sucking money out of this community like it does everywhere with no particular concern for giving any back. Still storing chemicals the way it always has.

Menard's was forced to agree to kick in some money to help build some houses around their new store for low income employees, like theirs, in return for building a second store. I guess, kicking and screaming, they are going to do it. Lowest of Lowe's? Hope Depot? Nothing of consequence gets donated back to communities here from box stores. Or in your area either. Just ask someday!

Just stop shopping in them. There are alternatives. Aren't they worth searching out in the long run or does the quality of the blue green lighting in box stores turn us all on so much something happens to us?

Last edited by user1007; 12-10-2009 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:52 AM   #12
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Just made me sick!


The simple truth is, that there are more regular home shoppers than professionals. And they chose the home shopper. (bulk buyers)

It's sad, but true. Even sadder, is that the home purchased tools will get stashed away and almost never used. This leaves the serious DIY'ers to have to deal with poor products too.

How about the companies that didn't offer the same price to small businesses, that it did to the bulk sellers? Just because you only sell 50 drills a year, it's still a sale for the company. So, in the end, the small business is plagued with outrageous competition, and they have been plagued for years over this issue.

Ma and Pa shops have always been the Gems of a community, but that community is gone.

With the current state of the economy, I believe that many will have to jump back and regroup. That means we will become more self reliant, that means, mom and pop, and any other person that is gifted with a talent, will become a much needed source of talent, information, professionalism, knowhow, and a new means of exchange. That also means that big business will have to think twice before trashing much needed tools, especially when the average homeowner is busy just trying to pay his mortgage.

There are a lot of big businesses that are going down today, and it will get worse. (my opinion) so who knows what we have to look forward to.

We are the small guy, and we always seem to be able to find a way to get past the obstacles.

Including the legal "Rules" that big business require.

Last edited by Sheila4467; 12-10-2009 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
No they could not.

They bought it for penny's on the dollar(5 to 15 cents). So they can't "write off" the greater wholesale value.

Best they could have deducted. Was 60% of what they paid for it.
Which might come out to a deduct of a few thousand dollars.


Ain't no such thing as a write off.
what are you talking about? You have no idea who was even throwing the stuff away and yes, the IRS does allow a value to be deducted and not just a cost basis. Here is an excerpt from a tax advisors website:

Quote:
Gifts of property

In addition to donating money, many small businesses choose to make contributions of merchandise, property, and other assets. Generally speaking, tangible property can be deducted in the amount of the property’s fair market value, or FMV. FMV is defined as the amount a buyer would be willing to pay if the property was sold on the open market.
As well, the giftor could actually expend money on labor to stack, package and deliver the donation and those costs would also be deductable.

but regardless, what I was after was: the company could have gifted the merchandise to a legally acknowledged non-profit agency where the giftor would have realized some gain rather than a cost to dispose and the recievor could have put the material to good use. Any gain is better than a loss and helping the general populace is an admirable act, even if it is shadowed by doing it for a business' benefit.

True philanthropy is even better and the company throwing the stuff away had that chance as well.

btw; the reason the greater value is able to be deducted is: the giftor could have realized the greater value by selling the material so the IRS views the gift as the value the giftor gave because that is what they actually gave up. I was simply trying to allude to the possibilities without getting too specific or argumentative.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:47 AM   #14
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Just made me sick!


If they give it away then the people they give it to do not need to buy it. If they trash it then they get to claim it, AND the people they donated to still need to buy something. So they are more likely to mve the new product as well. This is also the reason they fought dumpster diving, as if they placed it in the dumpster, they could still claim it even if somebody took it out of the dumpster (there is a lot of legal precedent on private vs. public once it is in the trash), but they want the dumpster divers to buy new, not get free stuff.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:01 AM   #15
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Just made me sick!


if they donate it, they can deduct the market value. If they trash it, at best, they can only deduct actual cost. If they donate, they can deduct the labor it took to effect the action. If they trash it, their cost of labor is deductible only as a business expense the same as all other labor.

Plus, if the donate it, they build a huge amount of goodwill. That goodwill results in thousands of dollars of free advertising from the group that they donated to as well as local media outlets eat that stuff up.

The last habitat for humanity project I was involved in was in at least two local newspapers and all 3 major network associated television stations in the area.

I was working at a construction project and the GC of that project allowed HH to use the backlot of the project as well as electric and we had some people that worked on the construction project volunteer as well. We did the complete wall pre-build for an entire house in about 2 hours.


That ran on the news at least a half dozen times that I know of. It's hard to buy that kind of publicity.

as to dumpster divers:

they could be liable for injuries to dumpster divers plus since they do not control who the material goes to, they do not get the charitable deduction, just the same as with any other scrapping of material.

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