The owners of the Garage Sale Company Zeeshan Karim Rajwani and Agha Zia ul Hassan tell us about thrift store and second-hand store business in Pakistan. How did you guys start this business Our business journey started about 6 years ago. It was while changing some of my household furniture using Olx, I realized that selling your items through these classified websites was not safe as you had to deal with and bring into your house a bunch of total strangers. That was a risk I was unwilling to take for me and my family. Simultaneously I realized that buying stuff through olx etc was also a lot of hassle as either most of listings were either bogus, or the items being sold were usually not house ready and needed work. I felt that there some crucial missing element that somehow was being neglected in this market. Then I realized that the missing element was that, both the buyer and the seller should be dealing with a business rather than with each other. This led me to create The Garage Sale Company, a go between business entity, where sellers could sell their household stuff for cash or store credit and where the buyers could buy any pre loved or new household item of their choice, eliminating the hassle as well as the security & quality issues, and ensuring that whatever a customer is buying has been quality assured and have been readied for home use. This success is incidental to the fact that we were able to identify and monetize this market white space where the majority of Pakistan’s and the world’s population who are comprised of middle- class families are our potential customers From our humble beginnings where we just started the business armed with just a table chair and a laptop, we have gone on to become one of the smaller but loved brands in Karachi, occupying multiple spaces in excess of 5000 square feet, having sold thousands of pieces of furniture and household products and serviced more than 35000 customers. Could you tell us about your success in this field? This success is incidental to the fact that we were able to identify and monetize this market white space where the majority of Pakistan’s and the world’s population who are comprised of middle- class families are our potential customers. In addition to providing useful service to a huge middle-class market, we have been able to create wealth for our employees, for ourselves and our vendor’s and suppliers. In addition to that we have been able to positively impact the environment by helping reducing waste, simply by helping to increase the useable life of furniture and home products. Tell us about your clientele We find great pleasure whenever one of customers appreciate our business and how it helped them furnish their homes at a fraction of the cost they would normally have to pay. This we find has been our greatest strength or you can say competitive advantage, we are the only furniture & home store in Pakistan or maybe the world who in addition to helping people sell their household items, also help them buy items from us in exchange of their unwanted items. Future plans to expand? We want to build this business into a national Home Store Chain with presence in all the cities across Pakistan. Could you tell us about any achievements recently? With Expansion in mind we got enrolled in the Founder's Institute (The Founder Institute is an American business incubator, entrepreneur training and startup launch program that was founded in Palo Alto, California in 2009. Although based in Silicon Valley, The Founder Institute maintains chapters in over 180 cities and more than 65 different nations across the globe.) We will be one of the first graduating companies from Founder institute's first ever online virtual program. As the Founder Institute is such a huge platform, it will be a key stepping stone towards putting us on the map and will help us find good investors to fund our expansion needs. A message of motivation for the readers For the upcoming entrepreneurs and future dreamers, I can assure them that the world is changing and the future for startups have never been brighter. And every brilliant idea which is backed by patience & persistence can be turned into a world class business. An individual just ought to have the hunger for doing so.