|Good Buys is a shop that is true to its name. "This is what we hear all the time. People say, 'we can't believe your prices,'" said Nancy Johnston. She and her husband, Gene, are the owners of this must-see shop located in a 1930s brick service station in downtown Hermann.
Good Buys is known for its huge selection of T-shirts. Browsers are always welcome to come in and have a little fun. Nancy said she often hears visitors giggling as they read the inscriptions while rummaging through hundreds of shirts that are stacked on tables throughout the shop. The place also is packed with sunglasses, magnets, western décor items, lamps, picture frames, clocks, note paper, sweatshirts, jackets, and novelties. Collectors can find knives, dolls, and Indian artifacts, and it's a great place to pick up Hermann souvenirs.
Gene has been a traveling salesman most of his working life. He was a salesman for several major companies before he decided to open his own shop and spent much of his time on the road. He found out about Hermann on sales trips here selling jewelry to a former shopkeeper. The Johnstons liked what they saw and decided to make it their home. Gene opened Good Buys in 1990.
But, Gene likes being on the road, so when Nancy retired from teaching in 1997 she took over the daily operations of Good Buys. "He's the last of the itinerant peddlers," Nancy said about Gene. Having Nancy to manage things on the home front affords Gene the opportunity to get back on the road. The perennial salesman, he spends much of his time traveling throughout Missouri and surrounding states peddling his wares. Twice a year he follows the Old Route 66 from Hermann to Las Vegas selling items that bear its name -- shot glasses, T-shirts, pictures, and custom orders -- to shops along the route. Good Buys does a high volume of custom screening and embroidery on T-shirts. Customers can bring in a funny saying or favorite photo that Nancy can scan to have imprinted on a shirt. Turn around time is about 24 hours. However, if a customer plans to leave town before it is ready, Nancy will ship their order.
Good Buys is open seven days a week from 11-5. However, the shop will close on Tuesdays during the winter months. Sunday openings during the winter will be on a weather-permitting basis.
The shop is located at 137 E. First St. For information, call 573-486-2044.