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Trading - World of eBay moves beyond computer and modems
HARRIET DANIELS, STAFF WRITER
Bruce and Terri Richardson have sold several items online
through eBay in recent years, but since the couple opened
a franchise location of iSold It in Ocala they have had
little time to pursue the virtual marketplace at their leisure.
They now visit eBay on behalf of customers wanting to sell
an item and use iSold It as an authorized trading post.
Several rows of storage bins hold a variety of items for
active eBay auctions which will be shipped to the highest
bidder when payment is received.
The iSold It Corp., based in Pasadena, Calif. is one of
numerous emerging businesses benefiting from the multibillion-dollar
eBay Inc. The local impact of eBay is also evident with
several independent drop-off sites, businesses using the
online auction to increase sales, and in January classes
started at Central Florida Community College through Continuing
Education and the newly formed Internet Business Education
Tom Burke, a local eBay education specialist, said the popularity
of the site and growth of spin-off businesses is phenomenal.
Burke is a certified eBay instructor and works through AuctionInstructor.com.
It is through AuctionInstructor.com that Burke formed the
partnership with CFCC to offer eBay classes based on eBay
to eBay's 2004 fiscal report issued in mid-January, the
company had 404.6 million listings and a merchandise volume
of $9.8 billion. The company went online in 1995.
local iSold It store in the Hillside Shopping Center near
Albertson's on East Silver Springs Boulevard is the first
franchise store to debut in Florida. The company currently
has 60 franchise stores in operation and reports another
400 are under contract in 32 states since launching in 2003.
the local region the Richardsons have committed to opening
three other franchise locations to cover Citrus County,
the Villages of Lady Lake and Gainesville.
far business at the Ocala store is already ahead of six-month
projections since opening in early December. Once a customer
decides to list an item on eBay through the iSold It network,
in-store staff take several photographs for Internet use,
write a description of the item and then catalog it in the
database and store it. After the item sells and payment
is received, the staff packs it and ships it to the receiving
been so busy, we don't get to look at eBay for fun anymore,"
Terri Richardson said.
Richardson, a retired mortgage broker, said many curious and
savvy eBay sellers are using this new local alternative to
either familiarize themselves with the online auctions or
they are too busy to post and track items themselves.
computer station in the lobby is for customer use and Terri
Richardson said some come and use the terminal to track items
they have on auction or just to learn about the system.
The company makes a percentage of the profit of listed items
that sell, "so if it doesn't sell we don't make anything,"
Once an item is sold which is listed through iSold It, the
commission, which averages 20-30 percent, an eBay processing
fees and shipping charges are deducted before the seller receives
Eric Spivey stopped in last week to check out the going rate
on eBay for a couple of his golf clubs. Friend Karla Pladna
tagged along with Spivey and offered advice whether or not
to list the clubs.
made the decision to go ahead and list a 3-wood in his first
posting on eBay through iSold It, but opted to hold off on
posting the driver thinking he could likely get more for it
said the student mix in his classes at CFCC span the age gamut
and employment background and range from those just learning
about eBay to those who want to use eBay to create a business.
He teaches the basics of eBay to more advanced sessions on
eBay business tools and hopes to be able to offer similar
sessions at local public libraries.
the business end, Burke advocates using eBay as an option
to save in traditional brick-and-mortar overhead costs. He
said it's a good source to generate extra income or for the
Willis, a former Microsoft engineer and one of eight students
in Burke's class last week, plans to become a certified eBay
instructor and help teach local classes. He said buying and
selling on eBay made him want to put the expertise to work
don't have to be a rocket scientist to do this," Willis
student, Karin Blacquier is an administrator at NHC Home Care
and a part-time artist. She said a longtime interest in the
Internet and a desire to own a business led her to consider
an eBay-based business. She hopes to start selling her art
through the online auction site in the next six months.
are a lot of things I needed to understand about eBay and
that's why I'm here," she said.
Daniels can be reached at harriet.daniels@ starbanner.com