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Buy Local! eBay can be beneficial to existing brick n' mortar stores.

Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011, at 8:25 AM

BUY LOCAL! Flat out, no hesitation about it, buy as much local as you can, but you can sell globally and develop your home-town business as well.

For 17 years we have been selling a line of products that includes vitamins. We chose to stop selling their products and I needed to look for another source for what I have been using personally. I was just about to push the order button from an online source when WHAM, it hit me that I am not living what I preach. Shop local!!!

Well, I did, but now let's talk about selling. It may be a little chilly right now, but our local merchants are probably receiving their Spring and Summer merchandise. That means their fall and winter items will soon hit the deep discount racks.

But wait! What about selling it to the folks on the other side of the Equator who are starting to get ready for Fall and Winter? I shiver at the thought, but that is what is happening.

Maybe you have sold all you can sell of Guitar Hero (which by the way is not going to be developed in the future). But maybe the folks in Montana never got a good supply in the first place. Instead of selling it at deep discounts, you can sell it to those folks at retail price.

I helped a company sell a baler system last night to a fellow in Arizona, by way of eBay. The physical store doors were definitely closed, their people had gone home, but their 'virtual' store was still open and besides, they do not have a store in Arizona.

Maybe you have old, collectible inventory that is now in vogue. Have any of the old injector razor blades? I have a student who sells them to an Eastern European country. Exactly why she is not sure and I sure don't know, but they sell at higher than the old retail price. She also sells every day razors blades that she buys from a discount chain to people abroad who can not get their favorite replacements at the local stores.

I bet you have an employee that just sits and waits for customers to come in the door. Yes, they can be cleaning, stocking, etc. but what about selling too?

"Yeh, but eBay makes money off it" Well yes, they do make a commission and they also deliver you customers from around the country or world. But let's go back to that baler sold last night.

They are going to need baling wire and that is not on the eBay store but my customer sells it. As as long as they do their job to promote their other items, they will make sales off-line as well. They also sell other recycling machinery. Maybe the customer has need for that?

This could go on and on, but hopefully you get the idea. eBay can not only sell your inventory, it can help you market your business to a much broader market than Bedford County. Learn how to use it and think more than just those that come in your door.

Sell globally, but when at all possible, BUY local.

If you have something you want to discuss off-blog you can contact me at Steve@bedfordtradingpost.com but open discussion usually benefits all.

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I had a response from someone who developed a selling website for local merchants in Ohio. Since I know we have folks locally who could do that (and may have already)and the theme of this post is to deal locally, I won't post the details.

Maybe the T-G would be interested in something like that to grow their web presence? I believe BooCoo is affiliated with newspapers in some way. Anyone heard of their progress?

If the T-G does go that way, I would certainly shift some of our eBay business through them because it would be dealing local while selling at least nationally.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 14, 2011, at 2:46 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.
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