The Salvation Army stores in Northern Virginia are the most successful Family Stores in the United States. Now they’re leading the pack with the first official online thrift operation on eBay.
The eBay site, named “The Salvation Army Northern Virginia Adult Rehabilitation Center,” launched in late 2011. Derek Anderson, a graduate of the Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center, runs the online store along with three other staff members. Together, they are responsible for finding items appropriate for eBay, photographing them, writing descriptions, posting them online, managing payment, packing and shipping sales, and customer feedback.
Anderson said one of his favorite sales involved a vintage Omega watch. After inspecting the watch and doing a bit of research, his team was convinced that they could get more for it by selling it online. Typically, this watch would sell for $39 at one of the stores. However, once it was placed on eBay, the Omega watch fetched an impressive $4,050.
Hoping to replicate that success, The Salvation Army Family Stores are set to launch additional online versions in Houston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Every item donated or bought from the Family Stores helps fund residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment for men and women in the community.