Better Home Appliances & Kaimuku Bargain House

Mannfred Sen, owner of Kaimuki Bargain House, has been a fixture on Waialae since 1951.  He huddles around the paper with his grandkids, Julia and Chris Wong.

Photo: Dana Edmunds

After serving in the military, Mannfred Sen returned to Oahu in the early 1940s and took his cousin’s advice to become a door-to-door life insurance salesman. Yet things didn’t go as planned. Sen explains, “Everyone was telling me, ‘We don’t want insurance, we want an ice box or a piece of furniture. Can you get this?’” He filled a Moiliili showroom with appliances and used furniture, and transported clients there in his 1930s Ford. In 1951, he opened Better Home Appliances a block away from its current location. Today, if you need to rent a TV, refrigerator or wheelchair, 86-year-old Sen’s got you covered. He also owns Kaimuki Bargain House next door, which is a maze of used furniture and appliances on sale for reasonable prices.

3470 Waialae Ave., 737-3055.