Business Idea from Home

A business from home:  A Virtual Garage Sale

The garage sale, yard sale or sidewalk sale is an idea that continues to be popular and successful.  On any given weekend, driving around local communities will yield several to dozens of these sales.

In the current economic climate, people continue to scale back on spending and search for bargains and non-essential items at low prices.  Notice increased business at Kohls, Costco, Walmart, Target, Dollar General, McDonalds and other value priced concerns.

We still need clothes, other necessities, and gifts for our daily living needs; the stores mentioned above provide some at low cost.

How can you take advantage of this situation?  Ask a simple business question:  How can you tap into that market, fill that niche?

Garage sales can fill that need.

Challenges exist when running garage and yard sales:  Time and labor involved is significant; bad weather can reduce traffic; limited publicity and exposure reduces the target market.

There is a better way:  The Internet

Multiple outlets exist to sell items online to a large locale – Craigslist – or world market – eBay.  Niche sites for books, clothes, and other items exist as well.  Examples include:  Glyde, Linda’s Stuff, and KiJiJi.  Use Google search to locate other resale sites.

Many of these are free to advertise on; only registration is required to open an account.

Some sites will expect you to ship items to the buyer so include those charges with the sales price.  Also,  sites such as eBay will allow you to set minimum bids or a highest amount over a set period of time.

PayPal or credit cards are common means of payment; items will be shipped once payment is received.

Due to its local nature, items sold on Craigslist can be shipped but often  customers pick them up at your house or a set meeting area (for safety purposes). You can accept any form of payment you prefer but would be wise to limit it to cash or money orders.

Finally, some sites – notably Craigslist – invite negotiation over price.  Research the item’s condition, price range, and be prepared with your bottom line price and discounts for multi-item purchases , if applicable.

By Dion Shaw

Dion Shaw is the founder and owner of homepreneurs

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