APPLIANCES AND MORE Sears has opened its second appliance outlet in the area, and this location includes a section for Lands' End apparel.
You'll find push and riding lawn mowers and a full array of appliances, including washers, dryers, stoves and refrigerators. When I was there, I saw NordicTrack exercise equipment marked 50 percent off, along with summer furniture, outdoor grills of all sizes and air-hockey tables. Outdoor fire bowls were 44 percent off, and West Bend snack ovens were discounted 60 percent. The large store also had TV sets, microwave ovens, Mr. Coffee coffeemakers, vacuums, luggage and sewing machines. Brands include Kenmore, Amana, Estate, Roper, Memorex and other well-known names. The manufacturers' original warranties are honored on purchases here.
The Lands' End section has housewares as well as clothing for men, women and children, including pants, shirts, outerwear, accessories and some shoes. The size range runs the gamut. Savings are 60 to 80 percent.
Sears Outlet, 6020 Sawmill Rd. (south of Rt. 161, next to Target), 761-3160. Open Mon-Sat 9 am-9 pm, Sun 10 am-7 pm. A second location is at 3467 Cleveland Ave., 447-9537.
FOR THE BIRDS Wild Birds Unlimited has been taking care of our feathered friends since 1986. This store has everything you need for the avian population, along with many other animal-related items. According to owner Tom Sheley, bird-watching, along with gardening, is the No. 1 pastime in the nation.
In June, when birds are nesting, you might want to get them some birdseed to keep them twittering. The store has a Father's Day seed sale during June, with prices lowered on all seeds. You'll also find suet, finch food, corn, nuts, hummingbird nectar, birdhouses, martin houses, birdbaths and stained-glass bird suncatchers. I also enjoyed looking at the bat houses; Sheley says a bat can eat thousands of mosquitoes in one evening. In May and June, the store has 114 species of hardy native perennial shrubs and plants that attract birds.
The store carries a variety of items that would make unique gifts. You'll find earrings crafted in Vermont, binoculars, telescopes, Tilley hats with UV protection, handmade wind chimes and bird jigsaw puzzles. Sheley told me he likes to buy U.S.-made products whenever possible.
Wild Birds Unlimited, 5400 Riverside Dr. (Rt. 33 just north of Hayden Run), 766-2103; wbu.com/columbusoh. Open Mon-Sat 9:30 am-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm.
ALMOST NEW Michelle Renda opened Trading Places in October and says she's pleased with the public's reception of this furniture consignment shop. She says she's picky about what she accepts, and you can see that in the quality of the pieces on display. Renda says her goal is to have high style and high quality products at affordable prices.
Everything she takes on consignment starts at 50 percent off the original price. The shop will keep items for 90 days. Merchandise that is more than $250 is discounted 10 percent every 15 days; items that cost less are lowered 20 percent every 30 days.
When I was there, I saw a Hooker TV armoire that retailed for $2,600, on sale here for $419. An $11,000 Drexel Heritage dining room table with six chairs and two other pieces is priced here at $3,600. A Horchow mirror that sells for $983 online is $499. The store has a good supply of the type of artwork typically seen in furniture stores, sold at prices below wholesale.
Renda keeps a wish list for customers in search of a particular item; if it comes into the shop, she'll let you know. If you have an item to sell, you can visit the shop's website, describe the piece and get it approved before you take it in to sell.
Trading Places, 4018 Powell Rd. (just west of Sawmill Road, near the two silos), 717-9221; tradingplacesoh.com. Open Tue-Fri 10 am-7 pm, Sat till 5 pm, Sun noon-5 pm; closed Mon.
Send sale and bargain suggestions two months before sale to: Bargain Bits, Columbus Monthly, P.O. Box 29913, Columbus, Ohio 43229-7513, or firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please.
This story appeared in the June 2010 issue of Columbus Monthly.