Longaberger and Dresden OH misfortune prompts popular e-com business to switch from sales to salvage
The poor state of the economy is reflecting itself in declining sales for many niche businesses. Dresden, Ohio is just one example. The Heartland Collector never had a store on Main Street, but it's internet presence may prove a powerful weapon.
The Heartland Collector has been in business online for several years selling knock-off baskets, wrought iron, and pottery. Over the past couple of years, sales have plummeted while shipping costs have skyrocketed. According to owner Steven Foreman, “A strong customer base still exists and we want to take advantage of that in any way we can. We’ve seen many of our customers fall upon hard times and they simply can’t afford to buy these collectibles at such high prices.”
With the documented popularity of pawnshops and eBay, Foreman began to weigh the importance of continuing his business and losing more and more customers each month. After being approached by numerous area merchants and folks who had been laid off, he learned that many obstacles existed for them. The cost of listing items on eBay can be huge when the items don’t sell, and the knowledge needed to operate an effective, independently run ecommerce site is often too overwhelming for many. Besides, auction sites (not shop sites) allow visitors to get the best deals and are more fun. Foreman made the decision to switch his focus to one that could potentially stimulate the local economy and help friends and neighbors facing hard economic times. His background in web design and ecommerce afforded him the opportunity to make his vision a reality.
Following a complete re-design, The Heartland Collector is debuting today as a free auction website. It now allows visitors to post and sell their items online with no signup, set-up, picture upload, or end-of-auction fees. Additionally, the site offers free classifieds and a free forum for visitors to use for networking. In order to address merchant needs, basic and featured web stores are also available, but at a small set-up fee due to server space requirements.
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About The Heartland Collector: We are a small, independently owned company in Dresden, Ohio who specializes in baskets, wrought iron, and pottery. Through our website www.heartlandcollector.com we sell affordable home decor and collectibles. Our customers number in the thousands, and we proudly offer an online newsletter that alerts them of unique products that mirror those of the finest quality.