Dan Garner is an entrepreneur.
He has tried many different things over the years. Some stick; some don't, but he keeps trying new things.
Garner, a 1985 East Peoria Community High School graduate, formerly had a coffee shop in Pekin. He also started Nerds on Call and sold that business. For the past 20 years, he has operated Garner's Pizza & Wings, which is now being served at EP's Timeout.
Garner describes himself as a risk taker.
His latest venture is a consignment store in East Peoria called Clean Pickin's.
Also at this business at 119 E. Washington St., is another of Garner's ventures called iTrade America.
Garner said iTrade is a bartering business in which people trade services using virtual dollars through an Internet site.
“I might trade pizza in my restaurant for plumbing,” he said.
Clients can earn trade dollar credits with their services. Anyone who has a business or service can participate. Currently, Garner said he has about 100 clients connected around the country. Clients pay a one-time start up fee.
“It's all about incremental business you wouldn't have gotten before,” Garner said.
The idea for the bartering exchange, Garner said, came from another trade business he was a member of.
“I thought I could do better,” he said.
So Garner launched his own business. His client pool includes veterinarians, hospitals, carpet cleaning and more.
Garner explained that with each trade, he gets a small cash commission. He also uses the services of his clients. The biggest monetary service he has used includes pool care and dentists and attorneys.
“The more members we add, the more value,” he said. “The members go to these places because they're in trade.”
For more information about iTrade, call 267-2189 or visit www.itradeamerica.com.
If iTrade and Garner's Pizza & Wings isn't keeping him busy enough, he has his newest business, Clean Pickin's, which opened last week in East Peoria.
“I've always bought and sold things at auctions and I love to do that,” he said. “I didn't have places to put stuff.”
With all of the Goodwills and Salvation Army's popping up, Garner said, “I'm going to do something.”
Clean Pickin's is housed in the strip of historic buildings at the four corners in East Peoria. The shop has 5,000 square feet to fill with consignors' goods. Acceptable items are furniture, sporting goods, tools and housing items.
“That's what I look for when I go to garage sales,” Garner said.
No clothing is allowed.
Consignors will get 50 percent of the proceeds from their sale. After the items is in the store for 30 days, it is marked down 20 percent, then 40 percent after 60 days. The client can come and pick up their item after 90 days or donate it to an auction.
Page 2 of 2 - Garner said his plan is to host auctions at his business every two weeks. He will also conduct charity auctions with proceeds going to charities of the consignors' choice.
“One of the things that makes this different ... they can choose the charity they want it to go to,” he said. “It's a different concept. I've looked all over the country and I haven't seen that.”
Consignors will also be able to check the status of their items at Clean Pickin's online.
Store hours will be from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday.
For more information about Clean Pickin's, call 699-0570 or visit http://www.facebook.com/CleanPickin.
How does Garner have time to relax with all these ventures?
“I really don't,” he said.