New retail outlet offers one-of-a-kind bargains
By Jillian Chandler
Late last year, Bonners Ferry locals Ken and Rebecca Byler introduced a new business to the community—UnBoxed LLC. Unlike any other business that can be found in the area, at UnBoxed, the Bylers purchase shipments of store returns, shelf pulls and overstock inventory directly from major big-box and warehouse stores.
“Online shopping has become increasingly popular in the past few years, especially since COVID-19 has changed the normal routine of life for many people,” says Rebecca. “Items bought online have a much greater percentage of returns, and since the stores cannot restock items that have been opened or used, they sell them to wholesale buyers at liquidation cost. This enables us to sell them to the public at discount prices.”
Though their inventory varies greatly from month to month, there are items that they try to keep in stock, such as kitchenware, bedding, home décor, small appliances, tools, toys and baby items. They update their Facebook page with new items, so shoppers can have an idea of what’s available before heading to the store.
The Bylers also strive to keep items in stock that may be harder to find throughout the area, encouraging the community to shop locally to find what they need, rather than driving out of town, enabling them to save both time and money. “The fact that we can offer discounted prices is an added bonus,” smiles Rebecca.
One unique thing about UnBoxed is the fact that most of their store return items are single inventory. “We sometimes get duplicates of overstock items, or when we order multiple shipments from the same store, but the best deals are often one-of-a-kind bargains,” shares Rebecca. “This enables us to carry a larger variety of items in our small store, and we are constantly adding more things to our shelves as we have space.”
While the condition of items can vary, most items are in brand new or excellent condition, Rebecca says, although they also get some items that are in used or non-working condition. “We try our best to check the items over carefully and mark anything that is defective,” affirms Rebecca. Everything is then priced accordingly.
Since opening just five months ago, they attribute the early success of the business to their wonderful employees and customers. “We would not be in business if it were not for them,” says Rebecca. She adds that their hardworking employees kept the store running smoothly for a few months this winter as she and husband Ken worked on a construction project out of state.
Starting a new business in a small town can be challenging, but the husband-and-wife team are grateful to their supportive and encouraging customers, who have been enthusiastic about spreading the word about UnBoxed to their friends and family. The couple enjoys being part of a community that works together to care for each other.
Ken has lived in Bonners Ferry since his family moved to the area in 1995, and Rebecca followed suit when the couple married in 2004. While Ken has worked construction in the community for over 20 years, they were looking for ways to expand in business that might fill a need in Bonners Ferry. Along with the UnBoxed store, the couple also owns a seasonal greenhouse business, North Bench Flower Patch, that they opened in 2010. Though they closed the business for a number of years when their children were young, the greenhouse re-opened for business in 2020. “UnBoxed is located next door to the Flower Patch, and we are excited to see both businesses expand and grow,” smiles Rebecca.
“The most rewarding thing for us is the relationships we form with our customers. We appreciate the opportunity to meet new friends, and our goal is to meet the needs of our customers in whatever way we can,” she says. “We feel very blessed to be a part of this community and to be able to raise our children here.”
UnBoxed is now open for spring hours, which are 9am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. You can find the store at 85 Three Mile Road, located on the southeast corner of Hwy 95 and Hwy 2 junction, behind the antique store. They invite you to stop in and discover all they have to offer.
85 Three Mile Road
Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805