It would be easy to assume that websites like Craigslist have decimated the market for second-hand consignment shops because, after all, anyone with Internet access can market his or her items to a worldwide audience with a few clicks of the mouse.
But, that’s not necessarily true, says David MacIntyre, who recently opened a used tools shop on Old Cooch’s Bridge Road. Along with a childhood friend, he is building the business by using Craigslist to his advantage.
He advertises his products on the website and arranges for potential buyers to come to his storefront to make the transaction, with the hope they will browse other merchandise at the same time.
MacIntrye, who lives in Fairfield Crest, said he is finding that many customers prefer having an established storefront to come to.
“Brick-and-mortar stores tend to be safer than meeting up with someone in a Wawa parking lot at midnight,” he said.
MacIntyre and friend Wade Horton, of Pike Creek, opened Delaware Tool Exchange in a Glasgow garage in March and moved the business to a small unit in Cooch’s Bridge Industrial Park in October.
They came up with the idea after their fathers died and they were tasked with selling off their tools.
“We banded together and started having garage sales,” MacIntyre said. “We enjoyed working together.”
Both still have fulltime jobs – MacIntyre is a civilian worker at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Horton is a refinery worker in Philadelphia – so they operate Delaware Tool Exchange on the side. However, the men, who are both U.S. Army veterans, see the business as something they will be able to continue working on after retiring from their day jobs.
“I can’t play golf every day, I’m told,” MacIntyre said.
Delaware Tool Exchange works on a consignment model, meaning that people interested in selling their items set a price, leave the item at the store and sign a consignment agreement. Once the item sells, MacIntyre sends the seller the proceeds, minus a 30-percent commission.
He estimates that 90 percent of his sales are initiated through Craigslist, though he expects that may decrease once people become more familiar with his store.
Delaware Tool Exchange, located at 1247 Old Cooch’s Bridge Rd., is open noon to 4 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to noon Sundays, as well as by appointment.