After three years of not making any profit in her consignment sporting goods business in Pinckney, Barbara Clark was ready to throw in the towel.
Clark said a man named Jerry, whom she calls her guardian angel, came into the week before it closed and told her he had the perfect place for her in Brighton.
"He said the only problem with my store was the location because there wasn't enough traffic," Clark said. "He owned a commercial building. He took care of it and put me in there for a temporary location to see how we would do here. And it did significantly better than Pinckney."
"There's a larger population to pull from," Clark said. "There's people that work in Brighton who commute in and commute out, who have thier lunch hours here. You get people who live here, people passing through the shopping area."
After just three months in the Brighton Commons shopping center, next to , Instant RePlay is now located at 620 W. Grand River Ave., in the former Summit Sports location.
Clark said her business kind of chose her, not the other way around.
"I'm a mom and there was a need. That's first and foremost, for families to have affordable sporting goods for kids to engage in sports. Just the cost of admissions to any kind of sport is expensive, and that's not including the cost of the sporting goods."
Clark used her daughter as an example.
"I just signed her up for dance and it was $300 - that's not including her costumes and the stuff that she'll need in her recitals."
Dawn Thie of Matrix Marketing said she met Clark when she decided to teach her 4-year-old daughter to ski.
"I'm not going to spend $300 on skis and boots for her," Thie said. "But it makes total sense for me to come here and get a pair of gently used skis for her, and when she grows out of them, bring them back here to Barbara and get the next size. It made a ton of sense in that regard - especially when you have little kids because they grow out of things so quickly or half the time, don't stick with it."
Clark said about 65 to 70 percent of her inventory comes from consignment. Customers bring in their gently used sporting goods, Clark sells it, and 55 percent of the proceeds goes back to the customer.
The other way the store gets sporting goods is through clearance new merchandise - or last year's models - which come from retailers and wholesalers
Instant RePlay prices its inventory at 30 to 50 percent off, based on age and condition.
"If it's anything that is physically touching the body, like footwear or head gear, it's automatically 50 percent off," Clark said.
In addition to the 55-44 split profit, Clark also offers a 30 percent off exchange program.
"If someone brings in a nice, clean soccer cleat - those are really popular - they'll get 30 percent off towards the purchase of the new soccer cleat," Clark said.
In order to bring in merchandise to sell at Instant RePlay, the person must be 18-years-old in order to sign a consignor agreement and attest that you're the owner of the property.
Clark said this process, along with the fact that she doesn't offer a cash exchange program up front, eliminates the chance of people bringing in stolen goods.
Instant RePlay is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.