From its storefront on Williston Road, Global Garage Sale can find a worldwide market. The company does the work for Vermonters looking to sell on eBay. Peter Becker of Global Garage Sale explains, "People have things they don't need or want and other people around the world need or want them. And they'll give you money for it!"
Now Becker's selling stuff for the Shelburne Museum.
We told you last May how the museum gave a thousand bucks to luminaries including comedian Jerry Seinfeld and Governor Jim Douglas. Those people spent the money on the online auction site to build exhibits that were displayed in the Round Barn.
The show was called "Got eBay?" and illustrated how different collecting is today from when Electra Havermeyer Webb went on her massive shopping sprees in the early 1900s, forming the Shelburne museum. Museum director Stephan Jost told us in May, "If [Webb] were alive today, I think she'd be looking on eBay for quilts and folk art, things like that."
But the museum really didn't need to keep activist and former Rolling Stones first lady Bianca Jagger's vinyl Warhol poster, or her vintage Vogue cover. So some pieces of the exhibit went back to where they came from, to the pages of eBay. Peter Becker says, "It's a great venue for that type of memorabilia."
The Shelburne Museum doesn't expect to make tons of money off these auctions. It just hopes to recoup some of the money it spent putting the show together. Anything it does earn off selling Bianca Jagger's Chairman Mao or items like it, will go towards the museum's education fund, and to help pay for 2008 exhibits.
The 2007 exhibit already paid off for the Shelburne Museum in the form of youthful foot traffic and also media attention outside our area, including in The Boston Globe. But a little extra "cha-ching" always helps a non-profit. Becker says, "We're doing our best to get them as much money back as possible."
The auction site doesn't pretend to be the place for high culture, but then again, making money and linking consumers around the world is certainly eBay's business masterpiece. Now a Vermont landmark is part of that online action.
Global Garage Sale is taking a cut of the auction sales, but less than normal because the Shelburne Museum is a non-profit. Those eBay auctions were scheduled to close at around 10:00 at night on Monday, January 14th.
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