Instant Business Idea: Sell Seasonal Gift Baskets From Your Driveway

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There’s always a lot of interest for home-based businesses with flexible hours. (Why wouldn’t there be?) Here’s one unique example that I drove past today on a busy local street:

Cell Phone Val Home Biz

In case you can’t make out the sign, it says “Valentine’s Baskets – Sale”. Sorry for the blurriness, it was taken with a cell phone. I circled around for a second look, but I didn’t stop so I don’t know how much they were. The gift baskets seemed nice, with teddy bears and balloons and such. I wonder if they were from last year’s After-Valentine’s clearance sales, or if they were handmade. There’s a business idea – take advantage of after-Christmas/ Thanksgiving/Easter/Valentine’s day sales, bunch up the cheap knickknacks, and make them into gift baskets for next year. I would probably look into a better venue than selling from your driveway (eBay? local craft markets?).

Although I am skeptical that they will be very successful, I might stop by tomorrow to chat with the entrepreneurial homeowners to see what their motivation was (and maybe suggest they make a more legible sign).

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  1. Interesting and simple idea. I’ll bet they sold alot of these. While it would be embarrasing to sell on your driveway I bet some people bought from them out of admiration for their “pluck”.

    Let us know their prices and how they are doing with this. I live on a busy street too…

  2. I would warn anyone to check out their deed restrictions and local laws regarding a business like this. Many neighborhoods allow a certain number of garage sales per year but that doesn’t mean you can sell items on your driveway every weekend.

    My street has someone who does that, and its against local law. It puts the neighbors in the situation of having to decide to report them or not. Besides it makes the neighborhood look like crap when someone does this. But that’s just my opinion.

  3. While I personally wouldn’t do such a thing as I feel my time is more valuable than hanging around the end of my driveway/side of the road, I have seen many people do this around where I live. They must be making money as they always seem to be out and their offerings do seem to change.

    What seems really tacky is when they are selling flowers EVERY sunday at the entrance to the veteran’s cemetary. I don’t know if they are there on days other than Sunday, but I always see them there on the way to church. At least the people down the street aren’t basically blocking the entrance to the cemetary.

  4. I like the idea as long as nobody does it on my street.

    But the first thing I thought about when I looked at the picture was my newspaper route when I was a kid (12 – 14ish). (The Internet is killing newspapers. I suspect other factors killed off newspaper deliver jobs for kids. But it was the best job ever for kids.) I learned about:

    1. Responsibility. I had about 75 homes that expected me to deliver their paper after I got home from school and early on the weekends. It didn’t take very long, but it was a 7-day a week job.
    2. Customer service. Once or twice a week, just after dinner, I had to knock on doors to collect my money, note any hold requests and handle any complaints. Most of my profits were tips. I learned so much about business talking to my customers every week.
    3. Earning profits. My local newspaper charged me per paper and I had to pay them every week. It was my job to keep books, track payments, etc. It was a great learning experience.

    What jobs can kids get today that compares?

  5. Lawn sales are pretty big in my little town in Minnesota. I got togther with my friends and had a sale last summer and sold off a lot of my old junk. I got to sit around on my bum in the sun, people watch, meet my neighbors, and made $100!

  6. Follow-up: Took the dog on a walk past this house today. The baskets appear to be put together by hand, and include:

    1 wicker basket
    1 big stuffed animal
    1-2 boxes of chocolates
    0-1 balloons attached
    2-3 bath products (shower gel/bath salt)
    fake filler grass and cellophane wrapper.

    The weird thing is that I stood there for about 3 minutes examining every basket, but nobody ever came out to talk to me. So I just left without being able to find out how much they cost.

    I drive past this house several times a week, and I’ve never seen something like this out there. It’s a big house in a relatively nice neighborhood.

  7. I would be leary of buying a basket with both chocolate and bath products, as the smell from the bath products can transfer to the chocolate and make it taste weird.
    Maybe their usual method of selling baskets is slow so they decided to try an additional method. ??

  8. Lol

    That’s too funny. It sounds like they raided the dollar store.

  9. OK, I have to admit I doubt I’d buy this from them!!! But it’s actually a pretty creative idea and one that any of us could morph into something that could rake in a little extra money somehow.

  10. I really admire someone who at least try to do something creative for extra money. This statement is for the people who want to make out as if it is a joke. I would recommend to the seller to start out selling at the local flea market. I did and can out with a good profit.

  11. I agree that the entrepenurial nature of this is very admirable, however the venue could be a lot better. I think eBay, or even craigslist would have been a better venue to sell these baskets.

    I like the authors idea of stock piling cheap off season items to sell in the “on” season.

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