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Newlyweds find success in used appliance sales

Cristy and Craig Barnes, owners of Southern Appliance and Repair, stand inside their showroom of used appliances at their location on Congress Street in New Market. They buy used appliances and recondition them for resale. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Craig Barnes, owner of Southern Appliance and Repair, looks at the back panel of this range in his New Market appliance store. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Ryan Cornell

NEW MARKET -- Craig and Christy Barnes are used to bringing their work home with them.

A top-loader washing machine missing a bearing sits in the hallway of their Mount Jackson home. Other appliances requiring extra work also take up valuable space.

"We have the ones we're not going to lose money on," Christy Barnes said. "We're like, we'll deal with that noise, we'll bring it home."

One month before marrying in December, the couple opened Southern Appliance & Repair in New Market. Their business, which started out of their home last fall, sells used appliances from all types of brands, including refrigerators, washers and dryers, and repairs broken appliances.

According to Christy Barnes, it's the only shop of its kind in the area.

"Unless you're going to a thrift store or someone on Craigslist, which you don't know anything about the stuff when you buy it, we pretty much have the monopoly around here on that," she said.

She said customers have the option to buy one of their used appliances if it's cheaper than getting a broken appliance fixed.

These used appliances come from an array of sources, from people flipping apartment buildings and condominiums and removing the old appliances to bidding on storage units.

Christy Barnes manages the office and handles the sales. Her husband, whom she calls "the brains of the operations," does the bidding and repairing.

"He's one of those guys," she said. "It doesn't matter what is out there, if he doesn't know it, he's gonna learn it."

Craig Barnes said he first discovered his love for fixing things as a teenager.

"My mom had friends bringing vacuum cleaners over, bringing toasters over with the cords burnt, bringing their VCR with the bands broken on the heads, just one of those things," he said. "Take toys apart and see how they work and put them back together."

Last year, he completed his second certification in refrigeration and air conditioning from Massanutten Technical Center.

Christy Barnes said the hardest part of the job has been satisfying everybody.

"We do a great job of cleaning them [appliances] up, so it might look brand new on the site, but we never say they're new," she said. "But some people think they're buying new, so the slightest little thing and they're irate."

She said they have "big plans" and are thinking about expanding once their lease on the building runs out in November.

Southern Appliance & Repair services the region in Virginia between Winchester and Harrisonburg and Page County.

Where: 9538 S. Congress St., New Market
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon. through Fri.; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sat.
Call: 540-740-4225
Online: southernapprepair.com

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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