“ When it was time to upgrade our photographers equipment , we turned all of the old camera gear over to Zold.
They were able to sell everything , quickly and for more money than we had anticipated. Making our transition
smooth and cost effective. This is an Excellent service.”
Paul Darrow, Chief photograper ,The Daily News


“The photographs were professional and of the highest quality -- better than any others I have seen on ebay.
Zold’s owner has sold for me several cameras(Hasselblad, Nikon, Fuji, Linhof, Rolleiflex, Noblex), watches (Rolex,
Cartier, Ebel, Concord, Baume & Mercier, Omega), jewelry, computer equipment, and various household items.
I have been very satisfied and often surprised at the good prices attained. I have no hesitation in recommending
Zold Online, the service over the past three years has been excellent.”
Terry, Professional, Halifax NS

Zold finds gold for clients

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 Back The Halifax Herald Limited
Zold Online photographs items people want to sell, lists them on EBay and handles bidder inquiries.

Zold finds gold for clients

By BRUCE ERSKINE / Business Reporter

Trevor Cvitkovich sees his new business, Zold Online Inc., as something of an Internet closet organizer.

"We're getting rid of people's clutter," the Halifax native said Tuesday in an interview.

Zold Online, owned by Mr. Cvitkovich and his wife, Julie Peters, recently set up shop on Robie Street to sell items on EBay for clients.

"We're more of a service than anything else," said Mr. Cvitkovich, a professional photographer who has completed over 300 transactions on EBay, the popular Internet auction service that reaches over 100 million buyers worldwide.

Mr. Cvitkovich, who worked at Carsand Mosher Photographic for several years, began using EBay in 1999 to sell photography equipment he was no longer using.

"The prices were way beyond what I'd get here," he said, noting that he has sold equipment to people in many countries around the world.

"I started selling for friends and had people looking for me (to sell their items)."

He and his wife, a former manager of a Bass River Chairs store, considered starting up an EBay store business three years ago, before similar stores began opening in the United States and Ontario, where there are now three that he knows about.

"We're the first in the area, the first east of Ontario," he said, although he expects he will have competition, likely from e-stores from outside the region, within months.

Zold Online takes the complexity and some of the uncertainty out of online buying and selling, he said.

The company professionally photographs items to be sold, lists them on EBay, and handles all bidder inquiries, payment collections, packing and shipping. In return, Zold Online takes a 30 per cent commission on the first $300 and 20 per cent on any amounts over $300, with a minimum commission of $20.

"A lot of people are a little scared about giving out their credit card numbers or signing up for PayPal," an online payment service, Mr. Cvitkovich said, adding that Zold's commissions are competitive and lower than those charged by some similar businesses.

As part of its service, Zold assumes the risk of non-payment by a buyer, something that rarely happens, Mr. Cvitkovich said.

"EBay says that one per cent of all sales are fraudulent," he said, noting that in several years of Internet buying and selling, he's only had one nonpayment, for a $35 sale.

"I've been pretty lucky," he said. "If somebody looks suspicious, we ask for a money order.

"We're not going to ship until we're paid. If we do ship and get ripped off we assume the risk. The seller would be paid."

Mr. Cvitkovich said electronics - including photography equipment, watches and computers - are popular EBay items.

He recently sold $30,000 in camera gear for a local client who was very happy with the result and said he's had an enthusiastic response from local businesses he's contacted.

"We're recyclers in a sense," he said, noting that firms that might otherwise throw out or give away old office equipment, old business phones, even old retail stock, like last year's clothing lines, can realize money on those items through his firm and the vast market it can tap.

"We're pretty excited about it," he said, adding that he sees plenty of local and regional growth potential for his business.

Don Shiner, a marketing professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, said there are a lot of baby boomers with houses full of junk that is potentially quite valuable and ideally suited to EBay sales.

"I think many consumers have become partial to decluttering," he said, but they often don't have the time or inclination to put items like exercise machines, espresso machines and bread makers up for sale themselves.



The Coast

January 6-January 13 (volume 12 Number 32) ShopTalk

Going once, going twice
Online auctions are the future of the garage sale, and Zold Online Inc. wants you to start selling. Halifax’s first eBay drop-off business takes your forgotten stuff and auctions it online for a commission. Zold takes the photo, makes the transaction and you stay anonymous. They officially opened for business at 2742 Robie last Tuesday, but owners Julie Peters and Trevor Cvitkovich have been doing it for years. “There was an old rare camera kit someone wasn’t having any luck selling locally,” says Cvitkovich. “I bought it for $800 and auctioned it to a guy in Japan for US$3,700. That’s how it works—you just get lucky.” Cvitkovich says most sellers don’t have the time, or are leery with their personal info, so Zold does it all. It’s a big difference selling to the world than just selling to your own backyard,” he says, adding, “just about anything will sell.” 444-7644.

The Daily News (Halifax)
HFX Arts & More, Thursday, February 17, 2005, p. 19

They'll zell your stuff
Zold is metro's first eBay drop-off shop

Gee, Skana

Sounds like the owner of Zold Online was born to run an eBay consignment shop.

"I'm sort of a pack rat and I'm a shopper, so I've always loved rooting through attics and basements and flea markets - so for me, a lot of it is just seeing interesting things and getting money for them," says Trevor Cvitkovich, president of the new Halifax firm.

Zold (www.zoldonline.com) opened its doors at 2742 Robie St. a little more than a month ago, capitalizing on the immense popularity of online auction house eBay. But it's the fruition of five years of work for Cvitkovich, 34, who runs the company with his wife, Julie Peters, 29.

A professional photographer, he was always picking up neat stuff at flea markets and yard sales. But it wasn't gear he necessarily wanted to hang onto.

"It didn't take me long to realize not only could I buy a piece of equipment and use it for awhile, but I could sell it (on eBay) and make a profit. It actually got to the point where, in some cases, I was tripling and quadrupling my money," says Cvitkovich.

As word of his success spread, friends started asking him to sell their treasures.

"I used to joke and say, 'Maybe I should open up a store and do this,'" he recalls. Then he heard about an American store called I Sold It, the first eBay drop-off shop.

"That was when we said, 'We've got to do this. If we sit on this it's just going to pass us by.'"

Got something you want to sell on eBay? Just call or drop by Zold for an appraisal. Leave it with Cvitkovich and Peters and they'll come up with a brief description, photograph the item, and list the auction within a day or so. They deal with questions from potential buyers, collect payment and pack and ship the item.

"Once we have our money and the item's gone, then we basically just cut a cheque for the person who owned the goods," says Cvitkovich.

"The biggest appeal is just the simplicity - they don't have to sign up for PayPal and give their credit card number, they don't have to risk taking a payment from somebody and finding out it's from a stolen credit card. We sort of assume all those risks and we just use our experience to try to keep those risks to a minimum."

Zold deducts the eBay listing fee (less than $2) and auction fee (three- to four-per-cent of final price), plus its own commission, 30 per cent of the first $300 and 20 per cent after that.

Cvitkovich is looking for more camera, computer, stereo and techno gear, but has listed everything from Royal Doulton figurines to original art to household goods - a surprising number of people want to sell cars, he says - to clothing.

"We had one woman who brought us in about four boxes of items from her closet and basically said, 'Whatever you can get because I was going to throw this out' ... and I think we ended up with $500 or $600 from the stuff, even after our commission and the fees."

Among the items they're selling now are a mink coat, an 18-karat Rolex watch valued at $25,000, a framed Bobby Orr autographed jersey, and collectible trolls made in Norway.

"Those have been going like crazy," he laughs. "Those Italians love their trolls. It's really bizarre."

Timing and luck definitely play a role in this biz. "You never know if you're going to have it up at the right time for the right buyer to see it," says Cvitkovich.

There are now about 1,200 eBay consignment stores in the U.S., with a handful in Canada; Zold is the first one east of Toronto.

"It's almost a phenomenon," says Cvitkovich.


Going, going, Zold!
Halifax firm helps take the worry out of selling online
By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
2006-02-05, Business
One year on, Zold Online Inc. is exceeding its EBay sales expectations.
" We’ve tapped into a market that is bigger than we expected," said Trevor Cvitkovich, co-owner with his wife, Julie Peters, of the Halifax EBay consignment store, which recently celebrated its first anniversary.
" We haven’t had a day yet when we’ve been sitting here twiddling our thumbs, which I kind of thought we would. Most of the time we’re more overwhelmed."
Zold Online, which operates out of a storefront on Robie Street, takes the fuss out of selling items on EBay, the Internet auction site that reaches more than 100 million buyers worldwide.
The company photographs items to be sold, lists them online, and handles all bidder inquiries, payment collections, packing and shipping. Zold takes a 30 per cent commission on the first $300 of a sale and 20 per cent on any amounts over $300, with a minimum commission of $10 per item.
The company also assumes the risk of non-payment by a buyer, something Mr. Cvitkovich said rarely happens.
The store is one of a handful operating in Canada and was the first of its kind in Nova Scotia.
Two competitors moved into Halifax after Zold opened but they are no longer in business.
Mr. Cvitkovich, a professional photographer who worked at Carsand-Mosher Photographic Ltd. for several years and began selling his own camera gear online in 1999, couldn’t say why those operations folded, but he said that they were franchises that required a serious upfront financial commitment in the range of $100,000.
" I guess like any small business, it’s a lot of hard work, and the fact that Julie and I own the business ourselves, we were able to work a lot of the first year without taking any pay of any sort," he said. "It was long hours, a little bit of luck. I don’t really know what our secret was except for just keeping the overhead down and obviously, like any business, you have to bring in more money than you’re paying out."
While he wouldn’t disclose exact figures, Mr. Cvitkovich said the company’s business in Year 1 exceeded the couple’s projections and turned a profit.
" We’re (EBay) platinum power sellers," he said, which is only one step below the titanium level, which is given to an EBay seller doing more that $100,000 US a month in sales.
" Even at platinum, that means we’re selling over $50,000 a month, which for a business in its first year, I think, is pretty good," he said, estimating that the business did 3,000 transactions in its first year.
Items like electronics and camera gear are popular EBay offerings, and Mr. Cvitkovich’s expertise in photography allows him to determine optimum prices for his clients, most of whom are from metro Halifax.
But he said they’ve had to develop expertise in other areas, including collectibles like antique toys and musical instruments.
" We’re getting lots of collectibles," he said, noting older people who are downsizing have brought in boxes of old toys that they bought over the years for their children, who now don’t want them.
" In some cases, we sell those and make people a lot of money, and then I’m sure the children aren’t happy," he said with a laugh.
Recently, Zold sold a pair of Goertz marine binoculars dating back to the First World War. But they had trouble determining the worth of the item.
" We decided to put them up at $2,000 to see what happened, and I think they ended at something like $9,000 US. This was one of those cases where this gentleman’s son didn’t want them. He was pretty happy when it was all said and done."
Mr. Cvitkovich said the biggest challenge the business has faced to date is shipping.
" Shipping has been incredibly difficult," he said, noting that they prefer to use recycled shipping materials.
Ms. Peters, a former Bass River store manager, said the business has benefited from both advice and funding it received through the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.
" We got loans from them," she said, noting that Zold’s business plan was reviewed by a board of veteran entrepreneurs before the loans were approved. "They won’t give you the money if they don’t think your plan is good enough. They’ll tell you what they think is wrong."
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education is a non-profit organization funded by the federal and Nova Scotia governments that assists young entrepreneurs, said Shawn Cunningham, who manages the agency’s financing programs.
The youth business foundation, which is modeled after the Prince’s Trust in England, is sponsored by Industry Canada, RBC Foundation, Scotiabank Group, CIBC Small Business, Clearwater Seafoods and Fox Harb’r, among others.
Mr. Cunningham, who is based in Halifax, said that while the EBay business was a fairly new and somewhat untried concept, Mr. Cvitkovich and Ms. Peters were personable, energetic, hands-on people with a good location.
" Trevor especially had a lot of experience selling items on EBay," he said. "He had a very good satisfaction rating from people who’d bought things from him."
Both Mr. Cvitkovich and Ms. Peters expect that Year 2 will be one of growth.
" We’ve actually been talking with some business friends of ours who have expressed interest in investing," said Mr. Cvitkovich, who suggested they might look at opening a second store, in Dartmouth, Lower Sackville or perhaps in Moncton. "I think expansion will be the plan for the year."
Ms. Peters said Zold’s first year was great and she expects more of the same in 2006.
" We’re just going to keep getting busier and busier, it seems."
( berskine@herald.ca)


A rare chance to visit Sable
Online auction gives bidders chance to win trip to remote island
2006-02-09, Metro
If you’re having trouble coming up with an original gift idea for Valentine’s Day, the United Way of Halifax Region wants to help you out.
The organization is auctioning off what it calls once-in-a-lifetime day trips to isolated Sable Island to raise money for programs and services in Halifax Regional Municipality.
The four highest bidders will fly by helicopter to the island, located 300 kilometres southeast of Halifax, after daybreak March 11.
Longtime island residents Gerry Forbes, operations manager for the Sable Island Preservation Trust, and Zoe Lucas, an environmental researcher, will lead a tour of the 41-kilometre-long island and discuss its unique history, landscape and animal life. The group will have lunch on the island before returning to the mainland.
The auction opened Wednesday morning and closes Feb. 18. Bids can only be placed online, and the starting bid for each of the four seats on the chopper is $1,000.
" If you were trying to give a Valentine the best gift ever, this would be it," said Carole McDougall, the United Way’s director of communications. She said you can’t go to a travel agent and buy tickets to Sable Island.
The United Way announced the auction during an event held to wrap up its 2005 campaign Wednesday morning at the Casino Nova Scotia Hotel in Halifax. The organization raised $30,000 more in 2005 than it did in 2004, with 22,000 donors contributing to the $5,302,489 total.
ExxonMobil Canada, which operates the Sable offshore natural gas development and is a longtime supporter of the United Way, donated the trip. ExxonMobil staff came up with the idea of offering something that no other company could while they were planning their own United Way employee campaign.
" Knowing it’s such a Nova Scotia icon and such a special place, we thought there might be interest from people in being able to get out there," said Alan Jeffers, spokesman for ExxonMobil.
This is the first time ExxonMobil Canada has offered an organization a trip to Sable Island using its helicopters.
" (Sable Island) is part of Nova Scotia’s history so it’s quite a privilege to be able to get people out there to experience it," said Mr. Jeffers, who has visited the island.
Interested individuals can visit http://stores.ebay.com/Zold-Online to bid on the trips.

Bedford family Sable-bound

2006-02-20, Metro

A Bedford family is headed to Sable Island next month after winning an online auction for a trip to the unique destination.
Barb Brennan had purchased three of four seats to the island when the bidding closed at 6 a.m. Saturday, a news release said. The fourth ticket goes to an EBay member who goes by the handle 6912jock.
" Our family is very excited about the trip," Ms. Brennan said in the release issued later Saturday.
Ms. Brennan, two of her relatives and the fourth seat-holder will travel to the island March 11, weather permitting.
Gerry Forbes of the Environment Canada weather station and researcher Zoe Lucas, both permanent residents of the island, will give the winners a tour, the release said.
The Halifax branch of the United Way will receive $9,450 from the EBay fundraiser.
ExxonMobil Canada donated the trips and Zold Online, a Halifax company, provided EBay support.

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Atlantic Business Magazine, July/August 2007