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The giant home improvement chain is not the only option for borough do-it-yourselfers intent on remodeling their homes. A Queens village store offers similar wares for home repairs and renovations but with a neighborhood attitude.
The Auction Outlet Discount Home Center at 215-10 Hempstead Ave. in Queens Village in the shadows of the Long Island Rail Road, is filled with home repair materials stretching across a mammoth warehouse.
Home Depot is everybodys competition, but we have our niche, said Denis Venezia, who owns the store with his brother-in-law Tom DiPietro. We cater to the customer and have very competitive pricing on both grade A and grade B materials.
Venezia and DiPietro took over the Auction Outlet in 1982 and will celebrate their 10-year anniversary in June. Venezia said when acquired the place, it was on the way out because the previous owner could not compete with the giant chains.
We brought it back to life, Venezia said.
He said the Auction Outlet, which had the same name when they bought it, is a family-owned neighborhood business with repeat customers such as contractors who have been loyal patrons and keep returning again and again.
Ninety percent of the customers come from Queens Village and Hollis, Venezia said. It is very local, but we do draw some people from Long Island. People know what we have and get it at the right price, which keeps them coming back.
The store, a large open space similar to a giant loft, is full of every type of door a person could want for both outside and inside, kitchen cabinets from low to high end, more than 25 different kinds of domestic and imported tiles in a wide array of colors, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, paint, tools and everything in between.
In addition to selling a customer the raw material, Venezia and DiPietro will help them lay out the plans for a bathroom or kitchen. He said people come in with the rough measurements and after picking the fixtures, they will make sure it is a nice neat fit. The store also guarantees the fit and delivery.
He said the original owner, who moved to the 215-10 Hempstead Ave. store in 1984, only carried off-loaded goods. Those are materials with a slight imperfection that the factory sells to wholesalers at a cheaper rate, such as a door with a scratch, a dent in a paint can or off-color tiles.
Today, Venezia said, the Auction House stocks first-quality goods as well as special price or close-out merchandise.
When we opened, we had a optimistic outlook, were personable to customers, offered the right price, right material, and we were able to build it back up, he said. Things have been good knock on wood. We have loyal customers and the neighborhood has been good to us.
Auction House is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information call 479-1200.
Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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