Mr. Used

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Update: Mr. Used is downsizing (and mostly gone).


After 30 years, Wareing is aiming at the unthinkable — reducing his inventory from 70,000 square feet to a mere 7,000. Herculean is the adjective that comes to mind when one contemplates clearing out all the toilets, countertops, doors, electrical motors, chairs, cabinets, stovetops, rocking horses, windows, fireplace mantels and electric fireplace logs, old sewing machines and slightly less old pinball machines, jukeboxes, radios and more.


Original story:

Not too far down a dead end road off Barton St. E stands a warehouse with the words “USED” plastered across the side of the building. Decorated with everything from street signs, to scrap metal, to a canopy entrance housing a miniature fighter plane, the outside of Mr. Used precedes its reputation as a second-handers dream. For Hamiltonians who know of Mr. Used, commentary is almost like folklore: Many have been, many have seen, but no one can quite give justice to what exactly lies, literally, in-store.

When you enter, every patron is welcomed with the requisite greeting, “Welcome to Mr. Used. Everything you see is for sale unless otherwise marked, all prices are negotiable.” After that – the journey is up to you. Amongst the rows of old doors and windows, used bumper cars and stacks of bar stools, you might stumble upon a gold-plated coffin or a box of mannequin parts. Look hard enough and you may notice an old ice cream truck or VW microbus hiding underneath mountains of books and toys. Take a stroll around the corner to see some antique pianos but don’t touch – if you hadn’t noticed, a collection of taxidermied wildlife are watching your every move. Very few items have marked prices and as the heaps of items and manmade aisles suggest, there is no telling how long these treasures have been buried.

Like the city itself, Mr. Used is a true reflection of Hamilton and its people: odds and ends from every walk of life that somehow find a home together in a rather unconventional way. On any given day you’ll find an assortment of people: curious locals and families wandering the endless makeshift aisles to artists and film crews, cautiously scouring through piles of ‘stuff’, looking for their next great find. Where else could the makers of “Saw” – the psychologically gruesome horror franchise – find the perfect collection of mechanisms for their infamous torture devices? The industry doesn’t just come looking either. The taped-off remnants of CBC’s long-running “The Red Green Show”’s ‘Possum Lodge’ illustrate that if The Boss wants it, Mr. Used gets it.

Whether you’re looking to buy, trade, sell, or simply explore, Mr. Used should be on every “to-see” list in Hamilton. During the summer months Mr. Used is open Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm and closed Sundays. Mr. Used is located at 984 Barton St. E. at Belview Ave (between Gage and Ottawa St.)

- Kara Weiler

  • http://bertussi.ca/ Erich Nolan Bertussi

    whoa,
    intense…

    enb..//

  • Gorm

    That lion is real!

  • Robin

    Beautiful photos, I can’t wait to check this place out! 

  • Seth Enriquez

    Wow, I`ve never heard of this place before. I`m really going to check this place out.

  • fiddledeedee

    Great place to look at…..not great to buy…..his prices are insane…items you can buy new are overpriced. Vintage stuff and collectibles you are better off on eBay or a flea market. He is kind of an asshole really….mouthy comments like “You can’t really afford it”, and “You won’t be able to pay my price.” I had cash in hand to pay his price and he mouths off. When it comes down to it, it’s really a hoard and not a store. I took a 12 year break from there and would prefer to wait until he dies and the place is auctioned off to go back.

  • The secondhander

    I totally agree with fiddledeedee. I don’t know how he stays open! There’s tons I loved in there, but can buy it at a fraction on kijiji or ebay. So frustrating as his prices are totally crazy!

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  • Nate Higgers

    I have been to Mr.Used myself, went excited, so many things to see. Everything was overpriced, not to mention there is no prices on anything. So you have to ask about everything and they are very aggressive and unfriendly. Such immoral people, I hope they go out of business.

  • Maria Rodriguez

    Years ago it was good and affordable. I have been back there but their stuff is to expensive. It is better to by new it will last.

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  • alan

    Okay I understood that this place is not a place to buy…..

  • Friendly Guy

    I went to Mr. Used after reading these comments. MY experince was good. We bought a porcelain light shade and the price was $35 , not haggling, going price. It was a decent price. We used to live in Hamilton and I know there is a “Hamilton Facade” that comes off as being rude. It could be that or they could have just been rude. My best bet is to do what I did and wear your Ti-cats t-shirt and you’ll be just fine.

  • Joan-Hamilton

    update as of Sept 12/14 – he has sold the bldg – he’s having an auction this wknd – ALL the Red/Green stuff is being auctioned this Sun Sept 14/14. I too found stuff mainly overpriced but if you hit at the right time, you can get a great deal – really depends on their mood :)

  • rick

    He is an idiot most of the stuff has been stolen or picked out of garbage he thinks he is a great piece of Hamilton but he is what Hamilton wants rid of to make this a better city and the worst part is Hamilton police know all about this and turn a blind eye