- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) - When Jeremy Klapp was a sophomore at Knoxville High School, he took the school’s first HTML Web design class.

“I actually ended up teaching that class,” said Jeremy Klapp, 33, because he knew more than the teacher. He became a Web designer and Webmaster, and has used these skills to open up an online discount store, which has now turned into a thriving retail outlet.

“It’s kind of just a hobby that ended up providing a career,” Klapp said.

KND Discounts began as an online-only eBay store in October 2013. After that proved to be successful, Jeremy Klapp and his father, David, decided to open a retail location in May 2014.

“I’ve been selling online for probably 10 years,” Jeremy Klapp said. “We started … selling online-only, and it did well so we moved up to a retail store,” David Klapp said.

The store has been a success. David Klapp said the retail store accounts for about half of the business.

“We would really love it to go 90 percent in the store, 10 percent on eBay,” David Klapp said.

Almost everything KND Discounts sells is new, and its goal is to sell products at 70 percent off their regular price. It’s able to do this because it buys products from closing businesses or that are out of season.

“We’ve bought out other stores that are going out of business,” David Klapp said. “We’ll step in at some point and say, we’ll take everything.”

“We buy shelf-pull seasonal items from the big box stores at drastically discounted prices, and then extend that discounted price over to the consumer here,” Jeremy Klapp said. KND also sells merchandise that may be the previous year’s model or that has damaged packaging. “Anything we can get a good buy on,” David said. KND Discounts owns a truck and drives all over the United States to find discounted products.

“Indianapolis is a mecca for distribution, so we do a lot over there, but so is Minnesota and Texas,” David said. “We have a lot of sources to purchase from, anything from the U.S. government to Wal-Mart.”

Because of its methods, KND Discounts sells anything it can get its hands on and may run out of a product at any time.

“We’re talking anything from an automotive part to a kitchen sink. And we have both and everything in between,” David said. “We’ve sold furnaces. We’ve sold ice makers.”

It sold 630 countertop ice makers in 90 days.

“But we can’t get our hands on one now,” David Klapp said. “It’s kind of weird how the stuff shows up at the warehouses we buy it from.”

“We sell things as simple as a pair of socks or a pair of earrings,” Jeremy Klapp said. “We’re selling some plastic cups right now that are flying out the door,” David Klapp said. “We had TVs. We were selling 50-inch TVs for $200.”

When it had the TVs, customers would call to ask when the next shipment would arrive.

“We’d say we’re going Friday,” David Klapp said. “Saturday morning, when we’re unloading the truck, they’re standing there buying them. We didn’t sell one in the store. We sold them all off the back of the truck.”

Jeremy and David Klapp run the store with two other employees. They say they have run out of room in their current building, which used to house Jalisco Supermarket.

“We’ve sold furniture. We have recliners and couches in here, but every time we bring a couch in, we have to take something out,” David Klapp said. “And that’s our limitation.”

They want to expand. “We’re looking to expand, and we’d like to add 10 employees,” David Klapp said. “We would like to be open seven days a week and 12 hours a day.”

Jeremy and David Klapp said they opened the store in part to give back to the community.

“I’ve seen how this town struggles,” David Klapp said. “We’re trying to put something back into the community.”

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Source: The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, https://bit.ly/1CpNw4A

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Information from: The Register-Mail, https://www.register-mail.com

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