Janesville42.8°

Business hits the spot for Internet sellers

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Stacy Vogel
November 5, 2007
— The new store downtown doesn’t look much like a consignment shop.

Most of the space inside is bare. A spinning wheel and high chair sit on one side of the room, while a computer and desk chair face the opposite wall.


The windows offer a few more items: security cameras, an antique mirror, a saxophone.


Some of the merchandise isn’t even on display at The e Selling Spot, 126 W. Fulton St., and it really doesn’t matter. Most of the customers won’t see their purchases until they arrive on their doorstep. In fact, most of the customers probably won’t even know where Edgerton is.


The concept is simple. Customers take to the store items they want to sell, and owners Ed Grzelinski and Paul Davis put the items up for bid on eBay, an Internet auction site.


The store takes the hassle out of eBay by photographing the items, writing descriptions and putting the items up on the site. It then monitors sales and answers questions from buyers. It even ships the items once they’re sold.


“They bring it in, and that’s the last time they have to touch it,” Davis said.


The store passes on eBay’s fee of $3.50 to list each item. If the item sells, the store keeps 20 percent of the sale price.


Grzelinski approached Davis with the idea earlier this summer, and by August they had formed their company. They sold a few things they found around their homes and garages to build up a good rating on the site.


They knew they were on to something when they sold one of Grzelinski’s old belts made of a motorcycle chain for $162 after listing it for $5.


One of their first customers after the store opened in October scored a similar success. Carol Mathison, Edgerton, listed a 50-year-old Wedgwood teapot for a minimum bid of $30.


The teapot sold for $187 to a buyer in Canada after a bidding war.


“Somebody really wanted that teapot,” Mathison said.


Strangely enough, the rest of the china Mathison put up didn’t sell at all. She’s listing the pieces for an additional week through Tuesday. If they don’t sell this time, she’ll probably give them to her daughter or take them to an auction house, she said.


She said she’ll probably use the store again even if the china doesn’t sell.


“It turned out well, so I’m happy, even if it was just the teapot,” she said.



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