eBay Brings Business to the Heartland
By: Lauren Keith
Some of you might be doing this, right after you click off the Heartland News web site: checking the latest bids on eBay!
eBay has taken the nation and the Heartland by storm. But, is it good for everyone?
While the Internet powerhouse has helped some folks cash in on extra money, others, like antique dealers, aren't so quick to log on and start bidding. "He bought it for a dollar and sold that table for $530!" So, there is a market on eBay for old-looking things. Don't ever think what's sitting in your house is junk-- it may not be!" says Jim Prater, as he peers at a glass table that even has a crack in it.
Prater knows firsthand about the advantages eBay customers sometimes see. Besides selling his own items on eBay, he also ships items for his postal customers. In fact, eBay sellers make up 75 percent of his Postal Pal clients.
And it's not just small items Prater ships. His staff found a way to ship a rather-large and old couch.
And if he can't find a box or crate to fit, Prater makes his own. "It never ceases to amaze me what comes in that door," he exclaims.
When Heartland News was at Postal Pal, one man shipped a grill for a 1946
After seeing all of these random items selling so quickly, Prater wonders about eBay’s effects on antique dealers. “That's what's hurting these antique dealers, because they don't have the selection you have on eBay,” said Prater.
But not so fast, antique dealer Alan Pigg has found a way to beat the system. "When I don't have other things, I may just take something off the shelf and sell it on eBay," said Pigg.He also says eBay is merely a tool that supplements his flea market and antique shop. He recommends others in that business do the same.
Still, PIgg admits, "Something like this may sell for ten bucks here, and we don't have to ship it. We don't have to put forth the effort required in eBay format and I'd much rather sell it here than on eBay!” said Pigg.
That antique dealer also says no matter how popular eBay remains, there will always be a market there for the shoppers who want to see, touch and feel an item they're about to purchase, rather than looking at it on a computer screen.