Loyal radio fans turn to ‘Trading Post’ to sell their stuff

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - In this day and age, there are countless ways to get rid of unwanted stuff around the house. From Facebook to Craigslist, selling your items is as simple as snapping a picture and hitting ‘post.’ But in central Vermont, many people are still turning to their local radio station to sell their stuff.

Nearly gone by the wayside are the days of traditional newspaper classifieds, as more and more people turn to the internet to sell their stuff.

Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist each see millions of people per month logging on to buy or sell. But here in Vermont, there’s still a large subsect of Vermonters turning to local media to offload their goods.

“Good Monday morning, it is 6:40. You are tuned in to “The Trading Post” program on WDEV AM and FM,” said WDEV host Kia Winchell, announcing the daily show over the airwaves.

The station and its blend of local programming have long been an institution in Vermont, and “The Trading Post” is no exception. “We found a letter where Cousin Harold Grout had taken over the program in I think 1945, so we’ve been doing it for a while,” Winchell said.

She says the show is the original buy, sell, and swap program. “We ask for a maximum of three items per caller -- one car, truck, and a matching parts car. No personal ads, thank you. And The Trading Post is for private sale, not corporations or businesses,” Winchell explained.

And once the lines open up, the business begins. “Looks like the phone lines are busy already. Wild Bill from South Woodbury, how are you sir?” Winchell says, welcoming a caller.

Of course, there’s no way for WDEV to verify if what these callers are selling is a hunk of junk. They just offer a forum for the junk to be sold, and almost anything goes. “I couldn’t believe last week, somebody had barrels of chicken manure on the air,” Winchell said.

The program is popular with Vermonters across central Vermont and Winchell says there’s a community of listeners with some calling in every day, Like Ed Stygles from Jericho. “I don’t know anything about Ed from Jericho. All I know is he calls in every week with his farm equipment,” Winchell said.

We went to meet Stygles shortly after he called in to list a piece of equipment. “Put up that tedder. It’s to ted hay out, you know, after you mow it. Had an extra one, so...” Stygles explained.

The former WCAX Super Senior says he’s been calling in for what he estimates to be around 60 years. So, why on WDEV? “Well, you don’t have to pay. That’s what you want to know, right? No, I don’t know, you usually sell pretty decent at times on there,” Stygles said, adding that it’s easier than other free services online. “Well, if you don’t have a computer or any of that fancy stuff. I don’t even have a cell phone.”

Stygles says if you don’t have stuff anyone wants, you won’t get many calls, though he’s had some luck over the years -- and some other benefits aside -- from offloading his items. “My voice, I don’t know, I guess it’s different because I can be way off to auction or somewhere. ‘You’re Ed aren’t yah?’’ I says, ‘Yeah.’ And they say, ‘I can tell by your voice,’” Winchell said.

The Trading Post is on every weekday morning for a few minutes and on Saturday they have an hour-long bonus edition at 8 a.m., immediately followed by another favorite local show, “Music to go to the Dump by.”

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