Statue Bargain Barn

A Bargain Set to Close

— Tax System Blamed

By Graeme Trask
24th January 2010

Local Icon and well known business, “The Statue Bargain Barn” is to close its doors after 28 years’ of operation.

The Statue Bargain Barn is one of the largest second-hand stores in New Zealand and is owned by Kapiti businessman Bruce Lang.

He says: “We are closing our doors because of competition from TradeMe.”

Over recent years the online auction site “TradeMe” has lured many people wanting to buy and sell their own items online rather than dropping into the store. They are even said to have directed people towards online sites which provide gst calculator making accounting quite easy when compared to the traditional ways.

Mr Lang says the online auction site had forced him to cut his staff from 15 to two over the past 3 years.

“It’s all to do with 3 letters – T A X,” he says.

“My argument isn’t directed at TradeMe itself, but rather the auctions that take place where many individuals are making a living on TradeMe and then don’t declare their profits to Inland Revenue,” he says.

Mr Lang says he contacted the IRD and suggested that to combat this anomaly everyone who registers with TradeMe should also have to include their IRD number.

However, he says. it seems as though this has fallen on deaf ears.

Mr Lang says many times people have brought items into the shop — or asked him to visit them and give a price on items they wanted to sell — only to be told, “Oh, we can get a better price on TradeMe.”

And he says operating a business incurs costs such as wages, rates on land and buildings, the running of vehicles and GST.

“License fees alone cost 2 ½ thousand dollars,” he says.

He adds: “Even the other local dealers are feeling the pinch, and their days could be numbered as well.”

KIN visited the owner of Mac’s Mini Mart in Raumati, Nikki Trotter, who said prices have been forced down because of TradeMe, and dealers needed to adapt to the new situation.

At Paraparaumu Beach, Everybodys’ Warehouse owner Steven McLellan says:

“I don’t see any one particular thing as having an effect on our business,” he says.

It’s an accumulation of cheap imports coming into the country, enticing offers such as three to four years’ interest free, and TradeMe are just some examples.”

And he says: “Nothing is certain in this world, but it will be business as usual.”

The History

Mr Lang started the business back in 1981 in an old plywood building that was originally used to build boats.

He named it after a well known feature that sits so prominent on top of the hill behind the business, Our Lady of Lourdes.

Mr Lang sold a wide variety of items from furniture right through to little knick knacks.

Office furniture was acquired in bulk through auctions.

Over a period of time the business grew and expanded rapidly.

It became so well known that people from other districts took special bus trips and called in at the Bargain Barn.

But about 10 years ago a fire caused major damage to part of the building. It took 1½ million dollars to rebuild and then restock the shop.

Bruce and his brother Ewan, who are now both in their 60’s, have now decided it’s time to move on. They will close their business on March 31.

Mr Lang says: “The land & buildings, which encompass some 4000m2 & 2800m2 respectively, are up for sale or lease.”