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Yard sale business seems answer to mom's dream

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Lee Anne Carmack launched Yardsalefrog.com to help yard salers easily locate sales and help those putting on sales get a larger turnout.
Lee Anne Carmack didn’t start her online business for the “all mighty dollar,” the entrepreneur and mother of four said.

She just wanted to realize a dream, something she encouraged everyone to do after the death of her 20-year-old son, Peter, in 2005. She is doing a job she loves.

Carmack launched Yardsalefrog,com on Peter’s birthday, March 6. The Web site allows users to advertise, locate and get turn-by-turn directions to yard sales in Tennessee.

Her other dream was to be on a game show, which she almost accomplished. Carmack auditioned for and won a spot to appear on the game show Show Me the Money hosted by William Shatner. The game show, however, was canceled just after she received her airplane ticket to go tape the show.

Giving her son’s eulogy and encouraging others to do something they always wanted to do gave Carmack the motivation and the focus to start her own business.

She even tells two of her children, Aaron, 27, and Addie, 19, who she calls her young advisory board, that “every good idea is worth exploring. Sometimes you have to convince people that it is good.”

Carmack formerly worked as the internal communications manager for Saturn for 10 years before taking a buyout in 2004.

It didn’t take her long to get bored being a stay-at-home mom, something she never thought she would be.

But she always had a love for yard sales. When her now 10-year-old son Mitchell was just 2, they would go to yard sales together.

“We started collecting all the figurines from (Disney) movies we had,” Carmack said.

Carmack, however, would get frustrated with trying to find yard sales and following sporadically placed signs.

So after the stock market sunk last year, Carmack and her husband decided to use what money they had left and start an online business.

She wanted to create a Web site that would serve as a tool to help yard salers locate sales offering what they are looking for and an easy way to locate the sales.

Carmack also wanted to give people holding yard sales an easy and an affordable way to advertise their sale.

“People want a better tool,” she said. “If you give them a tool that is better and easy then they will use it.”

Carmack did just that with Yardsalefrog.com.

And, with the downturn in the economy, she said now was the perfect time to start the Web site.

“The yard sale market is really thriving right now with the economy,” Carmack said.

People need the extra cash to pay bills, in addition to the need to declutter their homes.

Those having a yard sale can post their sale anytime on the Web site and it will automatically transfer to a locator map on the site five days before the start of the sale.

Yard sales are posted for free on the Web site. Or for $8 listers get turn-by-turn directions to their sale and have unlimited item listing.

Through the Web site, those looking for yard sales can find out where the greater concentration of sales are located, get turn-by-turn directions from their driveway, use the route planner feature to map out the entire day of yard selling and search for sales by items, zip code or city.

Carmack just calls her Web site “a tool to make life easier.”

If proven successful in Tennessee, she hopes to one-day franchise Yardsalefrog.com in other states.

Erin Edgemon can be reached at 869-0812 and at eedgemon@murfreesboropost.com.

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Members Opinions:
September 15, 2009 at 8:23am
What a cool idea! Good for you and best wishes to you!!!
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