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Sellers say eBay's Retail Revival Is a Way to Stay in Akron and Grow Globally

Jason Horinger
WKSU public radio
Birchwood Supply's Jason Horinger says he's only dabbled on eBay until now.

More than 100 small-business people from Akron and Warren absorbed some eBay religion in an old church in Akron’s Middlebury neighborhood today. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on the first meeting of eBay’s first Retail Revival program in the U.S.

The businesses are local, small and varied, and looking to dive into the global market. Akron native Jason Horinger sells vintage home decor such as wall-sized stadium score boards from his Birchwood Supply shop in Highland Square. He loves Akron and his shop, but needs a broader market – and thinks eBay needs him.  

Chris Librie welcoming the retailers
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio
WKSU public radio
Local retailers selected by eBay for Akron's Retail Revival packed "The Well," an old church that's become a community center. They got selling tips ranging from photo shoots to search engine optimization and promises of eBay support.

“It’s one of those opportunities where you want to stay ingrained, but you want to hit a larger market. Akron becomes thin pretty quick when you’re in business. But you want to try to find a way to hit a larger market. So in doing that with an established name like eBay, they’re getting some roots here, they’re investing in what we are. It’s a pretty easy decision at that point.”

The day-long session included detailed training by eBay on things like inventory control, customer support, and search-engine optimization. But it began and ended with a celebration of eBay’s diverse culture – taking a few swipes at Amazon and its beige boxes along the way.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.