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Friday, June 22 News

Litchfield County Pickers opens second location in New Milford

NEW MILFORD — Don’t dumpster it.

That’s the advice of Mert and Dawn Larmore, owners of Litchfield County Pickers. The Larmores opened their second consignment store in New Milford — this one at 493 Danbury Road (Route 7) — on Saturday, kicked off by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.

Litchfield County Pickers also offers pick-up services in estate sales, decluttering, clean-outs and buyouts.

“We take everything out. We don’t cherry pick,” Mert Larmore said. “That’s what really makes us different. A lot of people will take jewelry, high-end carpets and other valuable things. Then what do you do with the rest?”

Formerly occupied by Agway Agriventures, the new 16,000-square-foot space gives Litchfield County Pickers room to grow and expand their clean-out business. It had far outgrown the 3,000-square-foot location it opened at 7 Kent Road five years ago. The original location will remain open as a consignment shop.

“Business is growing and people are using our services,” Mert Larmore said. “We’ve had to turn down people in order to keep up. It was either go big or slow down.”

The Larmores chose to go big.

The new, warehouse-like space is filled with a staggering variety of items such as remote control airplanes, power tools, Kevlar kayaks, jewelry, knickknacks, collectibles, scooters, artwork, yarn and furniture. The extra space allows the Larmores to display clothing picked up at estate sales. Mert Larmore roughly estimated the number of items in the store at 10,000.

“I’ve been working since December getting stuff in here,” he said. “We have it all because we do whole estates. The inventory is always changing, too, because were bringing in a new house every week. Every time you come in, it will be different.”

Litchfield County Pickers accepts walk-in consignments, but the majority of the inventory comes from estate clean-outs and declutter or downsizing projects. Often, Mert Larmore said, Litchfield County Pickers is called at the last moment to save property from the trash.

He recently cleaned a house of an elderly woman who was transitioning to an assisted living facility. A relative helping to clean the house, not knowing what else to do, was going to throw everything away.

“It was a picker’s paradise. The woman was a collector. All these collectibles were about to be thrown in a dumpster,” said Mert Larmore, adding that they sold about $10,000 worth of items from that home. “Let us be the ones to throw it away. Things have value people don’t know they have.”

“A lot of people are downsizing. The kids are growing up and they don’t want the stuff,” he said. “We declutter or clean out a house so the home can be put on the market. A lot of people are desperate because they don’t know what to do with the stuff.”

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After cleaning out a house and packing the items into a box truck, Litchfield County Pickers brings the merchandise to one of its stores and keeps it on a shelf for 120 days. The price drops gradually the longer it remains in the store. The money collected from sold items is split with the original owner. Items that do not sell in 120 days are donated or thrown away. The store donates most unsold clothing to local churches.

“We do everything we can to avoid throwing it away,” Dawn Larmore said.

The Larmores said consigning items is a better option than traditional estate sales or tag sales held over a weekend. A rainy weekend will yield poor results at an estate sale and tag sale items must be priced well below their value to sell, Mert Larmore said.

A John Deere toy truck behind the counter at Litchfield County Pickers is priced at $42. Mert Larmore estimated it would get about $5 at a tag sale. The truck, he said, is an antique and collectible.

“People don’t know what their stuff is worth. You have to do your research,” he said. “With outdoor sales there are so many variables. In here, weather doesn’t matter. It will be an experience for a lot of people having something like this in town.”

Litchfield County Pickers is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. To reach Litchfield County Pickers, call 860-350-3626.

The writer may be reached at cbosak@hearstmediact.com; 203-731-3338

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