My name is Chad Coatney, and I am the proud owner of Master Movers LLC. I get the question all the time from customers asking, “What made you choose this business?” I always say, “It’s quite a long story, but if you have time, I don’t mind sharing.”
I always start by telling them how I was born in Sarasota and lived there until I was about 12 years old. Then I moved to a tiny town of 660 people in Illinois, and boy, was that a culture change. I ended up enjoying life in a small town, and I turned into a big outdoorsman. I ended up graduating high school and going off to a community college nearby where I majored in beer and women, but not school. I cut collage short after just one year because, honestly, college was not for me, and I didn’t want to waste any more of my Dad’s hard-earned money. So, I decided to leave college in Illinois and come back to Florida where I still had some family roots, and I knew there was a lot more opportunity.
My family in Florida owned an auction company, here in Venice, and they offered me a job paying a whopping $8 per hour. (How gracious of them, lol.) I was working my butt off moving furniture and decor in and out of trucks every day and setting up the warehouse for our weekly auction. I honestly loved the work, and I loved the auction business. I loved it so much that I became an apprentice auctioneer and, surprisingly, wasn’t too bad at auctioning off the furniture. I was full-time for about two years before I started thinking to myself that I need to start doing something on the side to make more money. I’ve always been one of those guys that’s always thinking about how to make the next buck.
So, I sit at home on Friday nights while my friends are out partying. I’m just sitting in silence, racking my brain, “How can I make more money?” “There must be something I can do?” “What do I know how to do?”
A second job was out of the question with the fluctuating hours of the auction, and then it hit me like a freight train, “I CAN FLIP FURNITURE!”
After watching the hundreds of thousands of items sold through the auction, I was very confident about what the typical value of furniture was. So, I decided to wake up early and go to garage sales to see what I could find.
That first day I went out, I was terrified just to walk up to a garage sale, but the urge to make a buck was stronger than the fear of rejection. The first garage sale I went to was in Nokomis down by Pelican Alley just before the bridge on Albee Rd. I see this beautiful marble top hall table/ sofa table for only $30! I knew I didn’t even have to haggle on the price of this one; it was a moneymaker! After that, I kept the search going. That day I picked up a queen bedroom set for $125, A sofa and love for $150, and a few other small pictures, lamps, bedding, and decor.
I rushed over to the auction to see what my family thought of my $350 worth of goodies. They loved every bit of it! We set all of it up in the prime locations of the auction, and I waited anxiously for Thursday night. Ironically enough, someone came on Monday morning expressing interest in my first-ever purchase, the marble top sofa/hall table, and they wanted to buy it before the auction, which was usually a big no-no. Still, since it was mine, we made the exception.
He ended up paying $180 for that table, and I was $150 richer for about an hour’s worth of work! I was beyond ecstatic!
I was on to something here; I could make some big bucks doing this. Thursday came around, and my items did very well. I ended up netting over $500 for one day’s worth of work! That was almost double what I made in a week!
Needless to say, I was out garage sailing every weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It got to the point where I knew if I spent the 40 hours a week hunting furniture, then I would definitely make more money than working for the auction. It was a terrifying plunge, but I jumped in headfirst.
The first thing I did was make signs that said, “I buy, Sell, and Move Furniture” with my phone number on them. I’d put them out every weekend and drum up enough work to keep me busy the rest of the week. I then received a call from the store manager at Hudson’s Furniture in Sarasota asking me if I wanted to deliver their floor sample deliveries, and I said sure, not knowing it was a 30,000 sq ft showroom. (Keep in mind all I have is a 6×12 trailer.) They kept me very busy, and then they opened up another store in Bradenton that also wanted me to make their deliveries. My hands were full, and it got to the point where I had no time to flip furniture because of all the deliveries, but I didn’t want to give up the deliveries. I had a decision to make, and I decided that I wanted to make the moving and delivery company an actual business. I thought, “I’ll just hire a couple of guys to work for me so I can make residual income while still having the time to flip furniture.”
Boy, was I naive!
To get the business up and running has taken so much blood, sweat, and tears out of me, it was unreal. Starting this moving business was, hands down, the hardest thing I’ve ever done! I’m very proud of how far we’ve come and the reputation we’ve built for Master Movers. It all started with me and a 6×12 trailer, and now we have five box trucks and ten employees. We’re Master Movers the MOVERS WITH MANNERS! Call today for your free estimate 941-451-9904.