Josh Cohen has turned other people’s trash into a treasure all his own. Before launching his business, The Junkluggers, back in 2004, Cohen was making just over minimum wage as an intern at a commercial real estate firm. After discovering that a friend made $100 hauling away a refrigerator, he traded in his suits for trash bags and a truck, and the rest, as they say, is history. Fast forward almost 10 years, and the Manhattan-based business now boasts 50 employees, 14 trucks and a whopping $2.4 million dollars in revenues last year. With plans to expand into the franchising arena, Cohen is confident that he’ll continue to make a pretty penny off of people’s unwanted crap.
Before using $4,000 of his bar mitzvah money after graduation to purchase a truck, Cohen spent his summers borrowing his mother’s SUV to haul away neighbors’ unwanted items… for a small fee of course. He acquired his business guerilla marketing style, printing flyers that detailed his services and stuffing them into as many mailboxes as possible.
“I thought if I could get the systems right and the marketing right, there was no reason that this couldn’t work,” Cohen said to the New York Daily News. The Junkluggers’ fees start at $198 in the New York-area and the business currently serves New Jersey, New Haven County, Connecticut and Nassau County. The company claims that it sorts through the items it hauls away to donate and recycle any useful electronics, metal, wood, toys, and clothing.
While Cohen’s business concept of an upscale, cleaned up, junkman persona is not an entirely new concept– companies like College Hunks Moving Junk and Canada-based business 1-800-Got-Junk have been around a lot longer and have a larger franchise territory– there’s always plenty of junk to go around.