Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Volgens mij is zelf-bediening zoals bij De Koopjesmolen, Troc, De Westfriesebeurs, etc efficienter dan Ebay Drop-Off Stores.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Mr. Lister, a fast-growing Syracuse company that sold merchandise on consignment on eBay, abruptly shut down Monday, closing its seven Central New York stores and laying off 22 of its 30 employees.
In the next few days, the company will tell the owners of about 2,000 unsold items when and where they can pick them up, said company founder Tim Maloney. Notices will go out by e-mail and by postal mail, he said.
Maloney, 35, started Mr. Lister in June 2004. He opened a store at 2760 Erie Blvd. E., where customers could drop off items to be sold on eBay. The company charged a fee of up to 25 percent of the proceeds, which included shipping and other costs.
Mr. Lister found a ready audience. It grew to handle about 1,500 eBay auctions a week, Maloney said.
Maloney opened stores in Brewerton, Cortland, Fulton, Liverpool, Oneida and Oswego during the past year.
The company, which financed its growth in part with a $100,000 loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, won an SBA small business award earlier this year.
But labor costs overtook the business, said Maloney, who had to pay people to do things that many eBay sellers do themselves, such as answer e-mail. Maloney said his staff answered about 2,000 e-mails a day from consignors and bidders and 500 to 1,000 calls per day to the company's toll-free number.
"Just the labor involved in talking and dealing and cutting checks and everything else for 1,500 consignors a week is just astronomical," Maloney said. "And it was growing. It wasn't leveling off."
The average item handled by Mr. Lister sold for about $70.
The company mailed about 500 checks to customers Jan. 1 to cover items recently sold, and will send the final 500 or so checks soon, he said.
"Everybody is going to get paid," Maloney said.
After shutting down his retail operation, Maloney plans to focus on his wholesale business, Mr. Markdown, which sells large volumes of surplus merchandise. He said he does not expect to file for bankruptcy protection, but that might depend on whether he can break his store leases through negotiation.
1. Stock it. 2. Price it right. 3. Show the value 4. Take the money. 5. Teach them