Lansing’s hidden gem: Dicker and Deal

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At the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Cedar Street sits a one-story blue and white building. Silhouette paintings of people with tools, at computers and on bikes adorn the side facing the street, causing onlookers to wonder what lies inside. Dicker and Deal Second Hand Store, founded in 1973, is a place to buy and sell pre-owned items.

Imani Floyd is a Lansing resident and relatively new customer. She has bought and sold from the store and said both experiences have been good.

“I like it,” said the 20-year-old. “They’re pretty flexible.”

An African American woman in a black fleece smiles below a sign that reads "? Lansing"

Maysa Sitar

Imani Floyd smiles below a sign outside Dicker and Deal

Others are long-time clients. James Foster said he worked at Dicker and Deal in high school and has returned as a customer.

“I’m constantly buying tools from this place instead of going to the major stores and buying something brand new,” said Foster, a maintenance worker. “They got just fine tools here that somebody wasn’t going to use.”

Stacey Potter is the general manager and the son of Dicker and Deal’s owner and founder, Gary Potter.

“My father opened it in ’73,” said Potter. “and I started here right when I was 16. My dad told me if I wanted a car, I had to get a job and be able to put gas in it and pay insurance.”

Since then, Potter has worked his way up, slowly taking on more responsibility as his father steps back. The store features a variety of products including tools, guns, jewelry, electronics and memorabilia.

“It’s not like when you go into Target or Meijer and you just see the same crap,” said Potter, “Here you come in and you’ve got a big neon sign that says, ‘Cool Stuff’. It’s cool stuff to look at and for people to reminisce on.”

Photo of the Dicker and Deal store, with lots of assorted items for sale and a large, glowing sign reading "cool stuff" in the background

Maysa Sitar

Dicker and Deal, featuring the iconic “Cool Stuff” sign and a glass case of assorted memorabilia

Kathleen Henrys has worked at Dicker and Deal for two years and has worked in the second-hand business for 20 years, starting at Capitol Discount.

“My father was actually a customer over at Capitol Discount for a long time and they had offered me a job when I was 18, so that’s how I got into the business,” said Henrys, “I stuck around because it’s actually really cool.”

In addition to pre-owned items, Dicker and Deal offers temporary cash services. Foster said that he is using this system now.

“I was short on some bills so I brought some stuff down here that was valuable,” said Foster, “They loaned me some money and now I’m coming back to pay them!”

The store has more than 50 employees and, according to Potter’s estimate, sees 400 to 500 customers per day.

“We get a diverse group of people,” said Potter, “We’ll have anywhere from homeless people in with little to nothing, and then I’ll have guys that’ll walk in with a three-piece suit that’ll be a diamond broker. We get to see every walk of life.”

Potter, who has worked at the store for 20 years, said his favorite part of the job is dealing with customers.

“It’s fun being able to help people out as best you can,” said Potter. “A lot of people have low expectations for a place like this, so we try to change that.”

Dicker and Deal has multiple small locations, as well as a furniture shop and a music shop. You can find more information at dickeranddeal.com or by phoning 517-487-3886.

Henrys, a manager, said she enjoys working at Dicker and Deal.

“It’s got its stressful days, but it’s got its really fun days too.”