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Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022
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Vista Store Helps Make eBay More User-Friendly

For San Diego shoppers who have not yet mustered up the courage to tackle the daunting world of eBay auctioneering (or who have tackled it but failed to master it), unloading goods onto the heavily trafficked eBay Web site is now a lot easier.

Vista-based 24/7 Auctions, North County’s first eBay consignment store, serves as a conduit to eBay, which sees $1,060 worth of products course through its Web site every second and has at least 125 million online visitors, according to 24/7 Auctions owner Tom Harris. The retailer has made a business out of marketing other people’s used possessions on eBay , the largest online auction market.

The 24/7 Auctions store, which opened in the fall at 1037 E. Vista Way, prides itself on being the perfect solution for local consumers who find eBay’s online auctions too time consuming or downright intimidating. Harris and his five-person staff take care of the fine details of the auction, from writing the item description to professionally photographing it to running and monitoring the item once it is up for auction, and finally, to settling up with the winning bidder and packing and shipping off the goods.

A mounted buffalo head is the most unusual item Harris has been handed to submit to auction. He said the seller asked him to start the bidding at $600 and the mounted head sold to a man in Georgia for $850.

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Harris said although “the odd items on eBay are the ones that usually get the press, the truth is that everyday items are the ones that sell on online auction.” What particular items are taken off owners’ hands the fastest? Harris said consumer electronics, such as digital cameras, personal music players and anything with a name brand such as Sony are big sellers. A digital camera sells every minute on eBay, according to Harris. He also listed fine jewelry, collectible figurines, collectible record albums, collectible toy cars and auto parts as hot items in the auctions.

The most common question when a customer walks into the store, according to Harris, is “What type of items sell best on eBay?” The answer is any item with national recognition as opposed to an item that the sellers designed themselves, he said.

As someone who immerses himself in the intricacies of eBay, day in and day out, Harris has some keen insight into strategies for marketing goods on the auction site. He said good photography is critical. For example, 24/7 Auctions displays up to six images to spotlight an item from multiple angles, making it look more attractive. Harris also added that on eBay these days, a seller’s reputation , determined through buyer feedback on eBay , matters.

The 24/7 Auctions store accepts items with an assumed value of at least $50 in the following categories: computers and electronics, cameras, collectibles, jewelry, various equipment and accessories and video game systems. If customers agree to set an initial bid for their item at $9.99, then the eBay listing fee is waived, said Harris. Otherwise, 24/7 Auctions charges $10 to begin the bidding at a higher price. Harris’ commission is collected only if the item is sold and is based on its selling price. The fee ranges from roughly 20 percent to 30 percent of the price.

The concept has been well-received in Vista. Harris recently finalized a franchise agreement and plans to open multiple 24/7 Auctions stores throughout San Diego County and Temecula.

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Another Shopping Center:

A 103,000-square-foot shopping center will be built in Chula Vista to service the residents of Rolling Hills Ranch and San Miguel Ranch. A groundbreaking is anticipated in the fall with an opening in late 2006. McMillin Commercial announced plans to build the shopping center on the 14-acre site it purchased from Trimark Pacific Homes and Newland Communities in late December. The center will be called the Shops at San Miguel Ranch and will sit on the southeast corner of Proctor Valley and Mount Miguel roads.

The shopping center will include roughly 103,000 square feet of retail space , a 52,000-square-foot supermarket or specialty market tenant and 51,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.

National City-based Corky McMillin Cos. is also building the 34,773-square-foot multi-tenant Kirkham Ridge Business Park in south Poway, the Liberty Station office district in Point Loma, Torrey Highlands, a neighborhood shopping center on the new state Route 56 corridor, the 150-acre Quarry Creek project straddling Oceanside and Carlsbad and a large mixed-use development along the new state Route 125 freeway corridor in the Otay Ranch area of Chula Vista.

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The Business Of Selling Wine:

With all of the attention the film “Sideways” , the Oscar-nominated movie about best friends who embark on a wine tasting tour of Santa Barbara on the eve of one friend’s wedding , has attracted lately, it’s no wonder the business of selling wine has become almost as important as that of tasting wine. Buying wine, however, can be an anxiety-inducing endeavor. Even the most seasoned wine collectors concede that they understand why so many people find wine stores anxiety-inducing.

Not all wine shops are manned by condescending clerks. A Downtown San Diego wine shop, the Wine Bank, was highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal column. The store has a merchant “which has made wine shopping fun, exciting and rewarding,” the report says. The column, titled “Wine Shopping, Minus the Big Chill,” provided a list of wine stores throughout the country that are known for their exceptional customer service.

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Wal-Mart To Infiltrate San Diego?

When New York-based developer Vornado Realty Trust yielded to New York City residents and union leaders, dropping its plans to build a Wal-Mart store there, the retailer vowed to step up its drive to gain voter approval for superstore projects in San Diego and Los Angeles. The

Wall Street Journal

reported last week that Wal-Mart Chief Executive Officer H. Lee Scott Jr. said Wal-Mart is moving ahead with its plans to open 25 more stores in California this year. “We’re not going to lay down,” he said. According to the report, Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart needs to tap into the New York City and Southern California markets to make up for slow growth elsewhere in recent years.


Send retail news to Heather Bergman via e-mail at hbergman@sdbj.com or via fax at (858) 571-3628. Call her at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 3114.

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