LONG BEACH - A new business has recently moved into Long Beach's First Place Mall. Long Beach Uniquities: An eBay Store was created by Theresa Hensel after selling coins through eBay for her husband Jeff's shop, Long Beach Coins and Collectibles.
One shop away from Long Beach Coins and Collectibles, Uniquities is a great outlet for locals to sell things online safely and easily. Each day, customers come in with random finds in hopes of getting a few bucks - and they always do. Whether it's a figurine or a lamp, Hensel welcomes a variety of items and looks forward to listing each sale.
After the initial consultation with the customer, Hensel does some of her own research on the item. She then compares costs, writes and posts a description and photo of the item online, stores the item for the duration of the auction, monitors bids, and answers questions for potential bidders. When it sells, she boxes it up, ships it out, receives 20 percent of the total bid for closing fees, and calls the seller to pick up their payment.
If an item listed on eBay doesn't sell after the initial seven-day sale period, Hensel says she can list it as a consignment sale item in her shop. When sold as a consignment, Hensel receives a percentage of the sale as a listing fee. While she doesn't have an excessive amount of room for many consignment items, Hensel says she will do consignment sales for more high-end items.
When it comes to antique sales, Hensel asks that her customers provide some background information on the item, such as how they acquired the item, how long they've had it, how old it might be, and any other pertinent details. It also helps if the person has a dollar amount that they would like to receive for the item.
Hensel says that ideal sales items are clean and are of acceptable size since she currently doesn't have a lot of storage space. It's also preferable if the item fits into a flat-rate box, which is easier and less expensive to ship. Furniture and automobile sales are pick-up only.
In the past couple of months, Hensel says she has had approximately 200 Internet sales for a wide variety of pieces, including an ivory tusk, fishing net, Christmas ornaments, dishes, a cashmere coat, and a solid sterling silver flatware set that sold for $700. "DVDs are big sellers, especially military and war DVDs."
Authentic items, such as stones and jewelry, need to be accompanied with an appraisal prior to auction.
"It's like an online garage sale that caters to people all over the world," explains Hensel, who once worked in production at the Home Shopping Network. "But when you say 'garage sale,' people think 'junk' and it's not. ... I love meeting everyone that comes into my store, as well as learning about the history of all the items I receive."
She likes to describe her job as an "Internet concierge," where not only can she advertise her customer's things to online shoppers, but also shop for specific items for her customers as well. Have a certain book you've been looking for and just can't seem to find? Contact Hensel and she will try to find it, all she asks for is a 10 percent finder's fee.
"It's a service that is great for people who don't have the time to try to find the item or compare costs, as well as for people who are hesitant to use their credit card online," she explains.
So the next time you clean our your garage, take a few treasures down to Uniquities - you may just have a treasure someone at the other end of the country is looking for. Be sure to stop in occasionally to see what Hensel has in stock, if you see something you like and there aren't any online bids, she will sell it to you and close the auction.
Located at 811 Pacific Highway South in Suite 7 in Long Beach, Long Beach Uniquities is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment only. Call 642-3007.