Mark and Kolinda Messier love the excitement that comes along with going to storage unit auctions.

“My husband always says it’s just like Christmas,” Kolinda Messier said.

The couple, who attends numerous storage unit auctions across Nebraska and Iowa, recently turned their hobby into a full-fledged business.

Their business, Second Hand Merchant, recently opened its doors at 1686 E 23rd Avenue North and features a variety of second hand goods that previously sat collecting dust in those very storage units.

“It could be a dollar to five hundred dollars, we never know what we are going to find,” Messier said. “We just sold a brand new recliner sofa last week, which was a surprise find that we found covered in a blanket in the back of a unit.”

Along with a variety of furniture, the store also features clothes, shoes, artwork, books, motorcycle gear, decorations, and jewelry among many other unique items.

“We have trendy stuff, vintage stuff, different collectibles,” Messier said. “If it is in Goodwill you will probably find it in here, but we also do a lot more high end stuff as well.”

The second hand goods available at Second Hand Merchant are always changing, as the Messiers’ move in new products from their warehouse into the storefront.

“We keep our warehouse full, so we keep pulling in new things every day,” Messier said.

One of the drawback of storage unit auctions, is the fact that sometimes you can end up with a lot of junk.

“Sometimes they’ll will have units that nobody wanted, so they will take all the junk and put it into one unit, and then put something really nice in front of it to fool everybody,” Messier said. “Then you end up stuck with kind of a dud.”

When the Messiers’ get a unit full of junk, they donate and recycle what they can’t sell in the store.

“We recently bought a unit that was full of books, and there was a library close to the unit so we just donated all the books to that library,” Messier said.

Along with giving slightly used goods a second chance, the Messiers’ also extend that same philosophy to people.

“We believe in giving all the merchandise a second chance, if it is broken or needs paint my husband will give it a second chance by fixing it up,” Messier said. “But we also believe everyone deserves a second chance, so if someone comes in feeling down we can give them an encouraging word or help them out however we can.”

Second Chance Merchant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and anyone looking for specific items, or more information can contact the store at 402-727-0733.

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