"Opportunities to get on E-bay and sell are unlimited. Everyone in Montpelier could get on E-bay and it wouldn’t negatively affect anything," says ecommerce pioneer, Jared Caldwell.

After graduating from Bear Lake High School, Jared moved to Twin Falls to attend the College of Southern Idaho. Two years later he graduated with an A.A.S. degree in theater. After graduating, he made a career change and became an apprentice mortician in Jerome, Idaho.

While at this job, his boss got him interested in going to auctions and yard sales. He went to the auctions in both Jerome and Twin Falls on a weekly basis. He started buying items that looked interesting. At first he would just buy "piles of stuff." Sometimes he would buy the specials which were a whole box of things for a dollar.

He was assured that he could sell things on E-bay for a profit. So he started looking around in E-bay to see if he could figure things out. It took him about two days of investigation. He spent most of his time looking at what was selling and for how much the items were being sold. Jared started selling items on E-bay in February of 2000. He related that it was much harder then than it is now. He said, "It used to be harder to download pictures. It took some time to get that figured out. Now, E-bay will do it for you for a small fee."

He started by looking through what he had in his "auction specials" and looking the items up on E-bay to see how much they were being sold for. Then he would post them to his auction using the lower limit for the beginning bid. He would attend auction previews and take pictures of items he thought would sell on E-bay. He would return to his computer and look for similar items and for how much they were being sold. Before he bought anything, he would always check to see the prices that were being paid on E-bay. This also gave him an idea on how much to bid on them in the auctions.

After he had purchased an item, he would post it to E-bay using the amount he had paid for the item. Using this strategy, he more than doubled his income while living in Jerome.

A second strategy Jared used for selling items was to purchase items on E-bay and then take them to live auctions, especially in the Jackson area and sell them. He said that by knowing what items were being sold for on E-bay, he could often more than double the price at auctions, Several items, in particular, he purchased for $7.50on E-bay and sold them for over $30 each in Jackson Hole.

Approximately a year ago, Jared moved back to Montpelier where he wants to live. It’s where he has family and friends, and he enjoys the lifestyle of the area. He has purchased a home in Montpelier where he plans to stay. "It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been on E-bay" Jared related. "My computer has a virus and I need to get it fixed." He still has many auction items that he brought from Jerome that he plans to sell on E-bay. He’s checked all these items with what is currently being sold and feels he had about $6,000 he will earn as soon as he gets back to selling.

As to the technical skills that are required to be successful, Jared modestly stated, "What I know about computers is ‘slim to none.’ I can run programs, but I can’t fix computers. I need help when something goes wrong." He feels that people should form small groups and help each other get started. Then it wouldn’t be so overwhelming for any of them.

Anyone interested in selling crafts, antiques, or other items via E-bay is invited to contact Jared Caldwell who will post digital photos of your items on E-bay for a 20 percent commission for each item that sells. The ISU College of Technology’s Special Programs office and Jared will be hosting a presentation on how to use E-bay later in July followed by a hands-on workshop on how you can do this yourself with a minimum of technical knowledge