VJ’s Bargain Barn Offers Great Deals for Home Owners on a Budget


When Brian Delay was a teen, he routinely saw brand new building materials get thrown away. “My dad worked in the mobile home industry and I remember him taking full bunks of doors and windows and watching them go into the dumpster,” he says. “I’d say to my dad, ‘Do you just throw them away?’ He’d say, ‘Yeah, that’s what we do.’”

Today Delay owns VJ’s Bargain Barn, a business his father started in the 1980s, and nothing gets trashed. On the contrary, the store offers hundreds of new cabinets, windows, refrigerators and more. Delay purchases the merchandise at rock bottom prices and passes along the savings to customers.

vj's bargain barn
Owner Brian Delay bought VJ’s Bargain Barn from his father Vern in 1997.

“Everything we carry in the store is new,” he says. “As a rule, we don’t carry anything used. Everything is obsolete or maybe has a scratch on it or is a surplus item.”

The resulting savings for shoppers are impressive; a full set of oak kitchen cabinets goes for $999. “We actually bring containers of cabinets here and sell them right to the customer,” says Delay. “It’s solid wood. You can get an entire kitchen set for $1,000.”

In many cases, factories receive orders for windows, but in the course of manufacturing 1,000 windows a day, they end up shipping the wrong model to the customer. “About 30 a day come back wrong,” says Delay. “Every time they reach 300 returned windows, they ship them to us and we sell them at dealer cost.” That’s how he can sell windows that would normally cost $300 or $400 dollars for just $100.

vj's bargain barn
The company owns a custom door-hanging machine so that customers can leave with doors exactly how they want them.

Delay’s father Vern started the business along with his friend Joe in the 1980s, with each partner putting up $5,000. Vern was a purchasing agent at a mobile home factory and Joe was in charge of assembly at a local plant. “When the place shut down, my dad was the head of purchasing in the industry, so he knew everybody,” says Delay. “At the time, everybody was throwing out all of their excess building material, literally taking surplus doors, trim, and windows and putting them in the garbage.”

Vern Delay decided to call his suppliers and see if he could take the material off their hands for a fee. “When he started, people actually just gave him stuff,” says his son. “He had truckloads of material show up.”

At the time, the company was housed in one small building. Since then, it’s grown so large that it occupies two acres, and the inventory has increased as well. Delay bought the business from his dad in 1997.

vj's bargain barn
Brian Delay makes manufacturers’ surplus or items that have become obsolete available for customers at a fraction of their normal cost.

The location is a little bit out of the way for Olympia residents, but he contends the drive is worth it. “I know I’m in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “Back in the day my dad paid just $400 per month in rent. That’s why he built it here. Now we’ve created this new building and it’s paid for, so we don’t dare move. It’s only 20 minutes from Olympia and Tumwater, and it’s worth it.”

Around 50% of Delay’s clients are either landlords or flippers – people who buy fixer-upper homes, fix them up, and sell them for a higher price. “For people who are managing a lot of rentals, if they don’t know about me, they’re missing out,” he maintains. “They can go to a big box store if they want to pay more, but they can come here, get a door for $10, some cheap trim, and they’re done.”

vj's bargain barn
VJ’s Bargain Barn offers a variety of kitchen cabinets, furniture and building materials at huge discounts.

He also sees a lot of first-time homeowners. “They don’t have any money and they want something clean and nice,” he says. “Today I’ve got an appointment with a young couple that bought a house and are just starting out. We’ll get them some cabinets and things. When you’ve only got so much to spend, you have to make it stretch.”

People who are trying to save money should visit VJ’s Bargain Barn before they go to a box store, he says. ”There’s a value here, and I see it in everything that I sell. Things that are $59 at a box store are $25 here. A box store is going to have every widget and item, but I’m going to have whatever is a deal. That’s what I can offer.”

The company also owns a door-hanging machine that allows them to customize doors for customers before they take them home. “There aren’t many places that have a machine like that,” says Delay.

vj's bargain barn
Brian Delay travels the region looking for deals to bring back for customers, including laminated flooring.

Today’s business is a far cry from the small organization his dad started three decades ago. “He literally started with two sawhorses and a piece of plywood that he filled up with stuff,” says Delay. “I used to work on Sundays by myself when I was in school, and when I went to lunch I’d put a sign on the door that said, ‘Out to Lunch.’ I’d be gone an hour, come back, and there would be two cars waiting here.”

“It took off from there,” he continues. “We’re a multi-million dollar company now.”

VJ’s Bargain Barn
6525 – 196th Avenue SW in Rochester
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily


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