This Jan. 14, 2015, file photo shows an exterior view of eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif. Online shopping and auction giant eBay Canada has chosen Halifax as the first Canadian city for its e-commerce training course, saying the Nova Scotia capital was selected on the strength of its small business community. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

EBay picks Halifax as first Canadian city for its e-commerce training

HALIFAX — Online shopping and auction giant eBay Canada has chosen Halifax as the first Canadian city for its e-commerce training course, saying the Nova Scotia capital was selected on the strength of its small business community.

Andrea Stairs, general manager for eBay Canada and Latin America, said the local retail sector has strong potential to grow by reaching new customers through the company’s global online marketplace.

“EBay is a great place to put your inventory and that’s how you go from a mom and pop shop in Halifax or rural Nova Scotia to being an exporter that touches buyers in 80 countries year,” she said.

“That’s really the power of the internet and the power of platforms like ours that have hundreds of millions of active buyers.”

She said the free 12-month training course, dubbed Retail Revival, will be offered to up to 70 businesses in the region.

The federal government has provided $60,000 for the training program through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, while the province is contributing $25,000 through Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said the city has always had a strong business sector, and the training will help independent retailers stay competitive in a global marketplace.

“It’s going to help local retailers sell their products to a wider audience,” he said. “They don’t want to come in and displace retailers, they want to help retailers do well in the online world.”

He said eBay is an “awesome fit” for the city, and will help local companies supplement their “bricks and mortar” retail with “bits and bytes” sales.

Halifax MP Andy Fillmore said small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the local economy, and eBay’s online marketplace will help them expand.

Ron Walker, owner of Beans Antiques in Wilmot, N.S., said listing items for sale on eBay “puts you on Rodeo Drive in California.”

He said he couldn’t survive as an antiques dealer in rural Nova Scotia without an online marketplace.

“I might stave off bankruptcy, but I would never succeed,” Walker said. “As long as you’ve got high speed Internet, you can make a living.”

Beans Antiques, which sells “anything that’s in grandma’s junk drawer,” has sold 31,000 items on eBay, with online sales of $1.1 million.

His advice is to sell items that are easy to ship, and avoid large or extremely fragile items: “Don’t sell ice cream cones, and don’t sell grand pianos.”

The eBay training program was first launched in Akron, Ohio, Lansing, Mich., and Wolverhampton, U.K., in 2018.

It involves in-person, classroom training as well as one-on-one ongoing support and free listings to get started.

Stairs said eBay’s commission is usually about five to 10 per cent of a successful sale, and that the skills entrepreneurs will learn through the training program would be useful for any online marketplace.

“We play in an e-commerce ecosystem and so we have sellers who are on eBay as well as a number of other sites,” she said. “We’re in a world of omnichannel retail, where you’re putting your inventory in front of customers wherever they might be.”

Just Posted

Petroleum producers speak to Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers brings recommendations

Science fair is around the corner

Central Alberta Rotary Science Fair happens March 29 and 30.

Country star Gord Bamford and The Reklaws perform free Games concert Friday

Show starts at 6:30 p.m. in heated dome off Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer

U.S. franchisee files suit against Tim Hortons, alleging price gouging

Weeks after achieving a breakthrough in two class-action lawsuits with restive Canadian… Continue reading

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Federal government set to develop code of conduct for sport in Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is developing a code of conduct for… Continue reading

Jay Baruchel has trained the dragon, now he’s letting go with ‘The Hidden World’

TORONTO — The first time actor Jay Baruchel stepped into a recording… Continue reading

Hockey ref says AC/DC support is giving him motivation in Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Enthusiastic AC/DC fan Steve McNeil says he’s feeling inspired to push even… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Most Read