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'Electronic Room' opens inside Muskegon Goodwill store

Donated computers, stereos, speakers, TVs, DVD/Blu-Ray players, and video game systems are for sale at the "electronic room" inside Apple Ave. Goodwill.

MUSKEGON, Mich — Goodwill stores may be best known for diverting used items like clothing and home furnishings from the landfill and into the hands and homes of individuals who want or need those items. 

For Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, that ongoing mission now includes additional effort to extend the life of donated electronics. The best of those donated electronics from the Muskegon area will now be offered for sale at an "electronic room" inside the Goodwill store located at 1501 E. Apple Avenue.

"Desktop and laptop computers, stereo systems, speakers, TVs, DVD/Blu-Ray players, video game systems, PC parts, and more, will be for sale," said Goodwill E-Commerce Manager Adam Kragt. "They can have a longer lifespan than just two or three years."

"It's an excellent resource for customers," added Goodwill Industries of West Michigan Team Leader Clayton Burch. "Everything has been completely tested and ready to go for customers."

In 2019, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan transformed a long-vacant former Kmart into an outlet store and retail store. The electronic room inside the retail store opened to customers March 1.

"It's has been going great and kind of hard to keep the shelves stocked right now," said Burch. 

Tuesday a customer shopping for a laptop computer picked up a ThinkPad for $150. On another shelf sits a Dell desktop computer with a 2 TB hard drive, monitor, keyboard, and mouse for $175.

"You can literally take it home and start using it right away," said Kragt.

The effort to extend the life of donated electronics fits with Goodwill's broader recycling strategy. Donated items with memory are triple-wiped to remove any personal data from the previous owner.

And while the room is mostly full of televisions and computers, both Kragt and Burch say they'll be making extra effort to stock the shelves with used and properly working gaming consoles to attract customers to the room.

"We're trying to focus more on vintage game systems, so Xbox 360, GameCube, PlayStation and Nintendo," said Burch.

"A lot of people want to play those older games," added Kragt.

The new room will be open during regular store hours: Mon-Sat. 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

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