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eBay drop-off store to open this week

April 04, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - At a yard sale a few years ago, Kim Hines paid $2 for a quilt patch depicting Raggedy Ann & Andy. She took it home and listed it on eBay, where it sold in 12 minutes for $125.

"That was my big buy for the day," she recalled. "I get a rush out of that."

Hines, of Mercersburg, Pa., hopes to experience more of that rush in the coming days. After five years of trading on the online auction Juggernaut eBay from home, she has rented a former pizza parlor at 24 E. Baltimore St. in Greencastle and will open an eBay drop-off store, Greencastle Online Auctions, on Tuesday.

"eBay drop-off stores are a hot business across the nation," she said. "Entrepreneur magazine says it's one of the top start-up businesses." She stressed that the store is not a franchise, but an independent business.

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While there are drop-off stores in larger Pennsylvania cities of Harrisburg, York and Lancaster, none are open in this area, she said.

"People bring their items to us to sell for them. Anyone can sell on eBay. We make it smooth and easy for you and the buyer," said Hines.

Hines, 36, will photograph the items, research them if necessary, list them on eBay and answer questions from potential buyers.

"Details are important to collectors," she said. "It's good if the seller provides details and history of the piece if possible. Having the box, papers and documentation for old items increases their value."

When the auction is over, Hines will process the payment, and pack and ship the item. The buyer pays the shipping as part of the sale. She then sends a check to the seller. The process usually takes seven to 10 days, she said.

"We are an established seller on eBay and have more than 3,000 feedbacks, with a rating of more than 99 percent positive," she said. "That's a key thing buyers look at."

Hines suggests that items brought to her for sale have an approximate value of $35 or more; eBay fees and her commission come out of the selling price.

Previously a marketing manager for Whitetail Resorts and for Delamar Enterprises, Hines has a degree in graphic design from Bradley Academy in York.

Hines' husband, Peter Hines, 40, is quitting his job at Whitetail to come to the business.

"He's the tech guy and construction guy," she said. "There's a lot of money to be made. This has the potential to be very successful."

Selling on eBay is popular because "you are selling to the world, not just to Franklin County," she said, although some items are better sold locally, such as an old postcard with a scene of Greencastle.

Hines said her family ran an auction business for a while in Orrstown, Pa.

"I developed my love of old things there. It's a weird little medley of experience," she said. "It's cool to find something you had when you were little. And I learn something new every day."

The store's Web site is www.greencastleonlineauctions.com.

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