eBay store set to open

The first shop to help Australians buy and sell goods on eBay is almost ready, with its doors set to open on New South Wales' Central Coast on 5 July.

QuikDrop in Green Point Shopping Village will be the retail chain's first store outside the US.

QuikDrop uses a go-between model for eBay sales. Stores offer customers specialist service and handle payment and delivery in return for commission.

In the US, QuikDrop has rapidly expanded since the launch of its first store last August and will soon open its 15th franchise.

The Australian store will be the first of 75 to open across the country over three years.

The Green Point location was chosen as it's close to home for Australian area developer Jerry Haba.

"As franchisees we own the first one," he said.

"We'll have a soft opening in three weeks then a big one later one with promotion once we iron out any bugs."

Nevertheless, it will be all systems go come 5 July, said Haba.

"We'll be a full eBay broker, so people can [also] use us to buy or find products."

Customers could use QuikDrop to take the hassle out of searching for a particular item, he said.

"The huge international marketplace that's open to us means we could undercut a retail price by 30 to 40 per cent [and deliver it to the customer] after a week's wait."

Just three staff will be employed initially, but more could be needed should customer levels approach the 800 to 1200 items per month that US stores usually take, said Haba.

Signage is still being set up, but Haba said the store will look similar to the US model.

Similarly, there has been little change to the service details as previously reported. Customers must show a driver’s licence in order to sign a QuikDrop contract, and, if selling, will be given a date by which the item will be listed on eBay. If the item isn't sold, QuikDrop will list the item again.

Two PCs will sit towards the front of the store for customers to browse the Internet and, ideally, sign up to become a buyer on eBay, said Haba. However, eBay registration is not required to use QuikDrop, he said.

The store will also offer packaging and shipping services not related to eBay via third-party courier services.

QuikDrop has also been in talks with schools in the area about using its service for charity drives.

Internet cafe services and brokering for other online auction services and e-marketplaces like The Trading Post were future possibilities, said Haba.

The company was still negotiating with potential franchisees on opening stores in other areas, said Haba.

Haba will focus on the operation of the Green Point store for the next three to six months before considering other stores.

"We're in talks with people in Melbourne and New South Wales about opening stores in the next few months," he said.

"We want a number of stores by the year's end."

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