ETrade Plus expands services to focus on business clients

eTrade Plus expands services to focus on business clients

Brandler, Emily

eTrade Plus Inc., a Dalton Gardens, Idaho-based company that sells items on eBay primarily for individual customers, says it’s expanding its services to focus more on serving business clients.

The 3-year-old company developed its new services, called Business 2 Business (B2B), earlier this year, says Tommy Jones, its president and CEO. eTrade Plus’ services to businesses are similar to those for individuals, in that it takes photographs of customers’ items and uploads those images to eBay’s Web site, writes item descriptions, answers all phone calls and emails about the items, packages and ships them, then sends customers checks for their items, minus its and eBay’s commissions, Jones says. eTrade Plus charges a commission fee based on a sliding scale ranging from 10 percent to 30 percent.

“I tried to sell some things on eBay and saw what a big hassle it was,” Jones says of his reasons for starting eTrade Plus. “A lot of people don’t have the know-how to follow through with it and make transactions happen.”

Jones says the company’s B2B services provide a way for businesses to liquidate excess inventory and outdated equipment and technology while avoiding the potential hassles and dangers of conducting business on eBay.

Under the program, eTrade Plus conducts onsite evaluations of merchandise at a client’s business to make sure the goods meet the company’s minimum value of $40, Jones says. The goods then are transferred to and stored at eTrade Plus’ warehouse. eTrade Plus creates a marketing strategy to trv to maximize the revenue potential of the items, then uploads photos and descriptions of the goods to eBay’s Web site, he says. After it sells the merchandise and ships it to the buyer, it sends a check to the client.

“A lot of our competitors here are focused on walk-in consignment, but we’ve found the business need is far greater than the individual need,” Jones asserts. “Most companies just take a loss on their goods; we turn it into revenue that can be used to invest in better merchandise.”

eTrade Plus’ customers have included Spokane-based Northwest Mailing Inc.; Eagle Pawn in Rathdrum; Coeur d’Alenebased Lake City Photo; and nonprofits such as the Kootenai County Humane Society and-St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d’Alene, Jones says. For SOS Surplus, in Post Falls, it sold a Ferret, which is an armored fighting vehicle that looks like a small tank, for $14,500, he says.

eTrade Plus has four employees and plans to hire a few more people this summer. Employee levels fluctuate based on the amount of goods in the company’s inventory, Jones says. He declines to disclose the company’s annual revenues.

The company is located at 7680 N. Government Way.

Copyright Northwest Business Press Inc. Apr 05, 2007

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