How eBay created its own business community in Brooklyn
Company reps and e-vendors left their offices and homes to talk revenue and process — offline.
When Hurricane Sandy struck seven years ago, its aftereffects harmed as many as 100,000 small businesses, many of which folded shortly thereafter due to the storm’s devastating impact. Adam Wexler’s electronics dealership barely survived, but it was spared partly because of its nontraditional model. For 20 years, Wexler has made a living on eBay, via his virtual store High-End Audio Auctions.
Instead of displaying his wares in windows and on shelves for customers passing through a brick-and-mortar outlet, Wexler stores his merchandise in a Red Hook warehouse. But after Hurricane Sandy, “All my inventory was seven feet under water,” Wexler told an audience of more than 100 other eBay sellers, at a gathering in Greenpoint last month that was organized by the company.
He put the corrupted stock online for sale anyway, disclosing on his store’s page that the goods had been damaged in the storm. He was pleased to find plenty of buyers nonplussed, who figured they could either fix the devices themselves or make use of some of the parts.
“I sold every single waterlogged item on eBay,” Wexler said. “Thanks to eBay, my losses were minimized.”