Here’s a question to ponder - what do a 1958 Collooney to Derry livestock railway ticket, a match programme from the 1971 Texaco Cup clash between Wolves and Derry City , a 4D stamp with the Free Derry postmark and a 75 year old photo of Derry’s Walls have in common?
For many of the city’s net surfing bargain hunters the answer is obvious.
These are just a few of the myriad of items listed for Derry on eBay - the world’s largest marketplace.
Founded in 1995, eBay now boasts an annual turnover of around $10billion, and has become a nirvana for online shoppers, collectors and lovers of curios.
On Tuesday of this week, a search for Derry would have returned just over 800 items listed under the term Derry.
In the bargain basement are any number of railway tickets, photos and postcards from yesteryear, items reflecting Derry’s social, sporting, political and cultural history.
Items pertaining to the Apprentice Boys, Free Derry, the AOH, and Derry City FC all feature prominently.
This week’s most expensive item of local interest , with an asking price of £565, is a wood carving painted by Thomas Dessoulavy in 1840, depicting a “ river view near Derry.”
But it’s not just small time collectors of memorabilia who love eBay - businesses see it as an exceptionally easy and lucrative way of making money.
Now Derry City Council and Strabane District Council have teamed up to explore how local people can maximise eBay’s selling potential.
The courses, facilitated by Michael Hughes, Ireland’s only accredited eBay specialist, get underway in early May, with a presentation especially for eBay newbies.
Geraldine Stafford, the Economic Development Manager for Strabane District Council, says the course is designed to capitalise in predictions that the internet will account for 20% of the UK’s retail spend by 2020.
“It is essential, therefore, that our indigenous businesses take every opportunity to sell online and this latest tranche of programmes has been specifically designed to help them do that.”
More information is available by telephoning 028 7138 1303, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or from Michael on 028 7083 4535.