Brian Scates is moving from Dallas to San Francisco at the end of July and doesn't want to lug everything he owns over 1,500 miles across the country. So instead of renting a moving truck he's decided to sell the lot (including his $26,500 Audi A6), and start with a blank slate. Since he doesn't have a garage, Brian decided to open an online store to sell everything he owns. Smart.
Brian's virtual garage sale is appropriately named "Empty My Apartment" and has already proven to be a success. In the couple of days his store has been open, his apartment is half empty. I spoke with Brian today to see what inspired him to build a temporary online store and here is his response:
"This is something I've been thinking about for a couple of months. I HATE selling things on craigslist. For everything you list, 10 people call you asking if it's available, if they can come look at it, ask you to hold it, tell you they're on their way, and then never show up. It's also hard to sell higher end things on craigslist if you are cash-only. So the idea of selling 40–50 things on craigslist made me want to kill myself."
Makes sense when you think about it. I jumped on craigslist this weekend to sell a used couch and an old IKEA bookcase and wasted my entire Saturday fussing around with phone calls and broken promises. Online classified ads undoubtedly have their purpose, but Brian's Empty My Apartment
store is a creative solution for someone selling more than a handful of items. The barrier to entry in the world of ecommerce
has never been so low, and Brian had his store up in less than an hour.
"I had the store up and running within an hour of deciding to use Shopify. I spent maybe another hour or two customizing the template, then the whole weekend taking pictures and adding products."