The Thomson post office gave customers a quick course in eBay on Thursday. Lincolnton postmaster Al Mooney was on hand to explain the online sales system.
Mooney, who operates the workshops at post offices throughout the area, used the occasion to promote shipping through the U.S. Postal Service. He said the postal service is a practical means to ship online bargains because it delivers six days a week and has no hidden charges. He said other shippers might have surcharges for Saturday delivery or for delivering to a residential address instead of to a business. "What you pay up front is all you're gonna pay," Mooney said of postal service shipping.
Gary Haynes, a quality engineer with Thomson Plastics, listened to Mooney's introduction. Haynes, of Thomson, said he has been buying on eBay and now will consider selling and shipping.
"It helps to take some stuff you've got in the house and to turn it into some cash in the pocket sometimes," he said.
Mooney said he buys bargains at auctions and sells on eBay, as a part-time, evening job. His offerings include old books, car parts, and a recently acquired collection of railroad books.
He said 18 million Americans buy or sell on eBay. He said the process allows a buyer to find an item without going to a mall.
"A lot of people sell collector's items, things they bought when they were younger," he said.
He said about 30 people approached his information booth in the post office lobby between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
One person had just received some World War II medals he had bought on eBay.
Mooney showed a video that instructed its viewers on setting up an eBay account, listing, describing and photographing items, and shipping the items. He also gave out copies of that video. Mooney planned to keep up his vigil in the post office lobby until 3 p.m.