Teen's business could save you time

February 29, 2008 4:25:37 PM PST
Whether it's work, school, grocery shopping, or taking the kids to soccer practice, many families are constantly on the go. That means other chores are being put on the back burner, including that annual garage sale. But a local young entrepreneur is hitting a grand slam with consumers when it comes to garage sales.At first glance Ben Weissenstein looks like your ordinary high school student.

"I'm a senior at Episcopal high school," he said.

Like any other Houston teen he loves hanging out with his friends.

"Baseball, hanging out with friends is definitely a big priority," Ben said.

But he's one step ahead of the other young men in his high school class.

"I'm Ben Weissenstein, owner, founder and CEO of Grand Slam Garage Sales."

Ben started the company back in 2006 after his mother had a garage sale.

He recalled, "A friend and I helped her out and she said, 'You should help people out. You love to make money.' So I said I'll do that."

Sandy Eckles is having a garage sale this weekend. She says without Ben's help, stuff would continue to pile up in her garage.

She asked, "Who wants to fool with it, pricing it, this that and the other. They do it all."

Here's how it works. Ben and his crew will go to the customer's house to see if they have enough stuff to hold a garage sale.

"They came - very professional - had a little notebook and they were dressed in their little uniform," Sandy said.

If everything looks good, they lock in a date, find out the customer's expectations and start the ball rolling.

"Then we advertise for the sale in multiple ways," Ben explained.

The day before the sale Ben and his crew meet at his office, which is a shed right behind his house. They load up and head over to the client's house to set up. There they clean, polish and get ready to open shop first thing in the morning.

"Once the sale is over, whatever doesn't sell we bring to Goodwill and get the customer a donation receipt," Ben said.

And unlike estate sales, Ben charges a flat fee and backs up his product.

"We charge a flat fee of $450 and that includes everything from start to finish," he said. "The thing is, the average sale makes $750 at least. So they're going to come home with a few hundred bucks. They do nothing and they get a receipt from Goodwill."

For the client, it's a win-win situation.

"It's awesome," Sandy agreed. "These guys are going to make a fortune if they can pull off what they really say they can do."

For Ben and his crew, it not only puts a little extra change in their pockets, but prepares them for the future.

"I know this is going to be a huge corporation that everyone's heard of," Ben promised. "It's worth it day in and day out."

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