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Your trash is Garage Brothers' treasure

Posted December 11, 2008

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— A Raleigh man based his garage-cleaning business on one principle: Finders, keepers.

Trena Carpenter said her garage desperately needed cleaning. "I should have had signs for falling debris," she said.

And Carpenter said she was surprised and pleased to find out what Garage Brothers would charge to do the job: "Nothing, nothing at all."

Garage Brothers workers don't take cash for jobs, but they will take their customers' junk.

"We've found different companies that will purchase certain items from us. We sell on E-bay. We sell on Craigslist," said owner Kraig Bantle.

The Garner-based company he founded two years ago has been so successful that he is able to make a full-time living from it, Bantle said. The business also offers moving and trash-removal services.

"Because of the way the economy is now, a lot of people are looking for services that are inexpensive," Bantle said.

Workers first meet with potential customers for an assessment and to determine what household items are off limits. Once their cleaned-out loot is loaded, the Garage Brothers take it to their warehouse.

There, buyers can find "anything you could imagine," Bantle said – books, bikes, furniture, even big-screen TVs.

What the company can't sell, it recycles.

"One of our main priorities is to keep as much out of the landfills as possible," Bantle said. "So we found recycling centers for just about anything you could imagine."

Carpenter had nothing but rave reviews for the workers who cleaned out her garage for free.

"It was a good deal. ... It's the kind of thing you jump on before it's too late," she said.


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  • iamyeary Dec 12, 2008

    I don't need this service because I give away or throw out everything that I will not use or do not want on a regular basis. This way I get to keep my car IN the garage where it's supposed to be.

  • EyesintheSkies Dec 11, 2008

    Maybe they can get unionized so they'll do a better job. Of course, they won't be doing it for free anymore, but they'll be union workers.

  • Slip Kid Dec 11, 2008

    Wow, great free advertising too!

  • MOM AND LOVIN IT Dec 11, 2008

    At the end of a horrible divorce and I ended up with all of "his" pack-rat stuff. Lots of computer stuff and tools. Anyone interested in helping me clean out?

  • san4short Dec 11, 2008

    I lived in an apartment complex where usually when people moved out, they would throw out good stuff. We picked up a 20" Sony color TV which worked beautifully, not to mention a load of other stuff that I ended up taking pictures of and posting on Craigslist. With the money we made doing this, I bought a new GPS, digital camera and had money for those in-between paychecks for food and gas. I even got a computer that contained a virus, had it cleaned by an IT guy and it works great! Yup, someone's garbage is someone else's treasure :)

  • TheAdmiral Dec 11, 2008

    That is what that auction company, Blue Hound Auctions I think does. They found that people don't want to clean out their garages, and they are licensed. So there is no ethical issues that come up.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 11, 2008

    All I can say is... WOW! Its hard to believe you can fund your business/employees simply by reselling used junk.