As easy as eBay: Residents discover eBay tutorial at Lincoln Township library

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Brian Johnston, head of public services at the Lincoln Township Public Library, discusses the merits of eBay during a workshop on Tuesday inside the library’s conference room. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

STEVENSVILLE — Susan Craw has a few books she wants to sell and was looking for a proper venue to distribute them.

Then she heard about the eBay class the Lincoln Township Public Library was holding Tuesday.

Craw, a Stevensville resident, said this was the second type of computer class she has taken with the library.

“I’ve always heard of eBay and I have some things I need to have sold to declutter my house. I have these huge books. A couple of them are really nice Walt Disney ones. I wanted to see if there was anything I could get from them.”

Craw said she was surprised by the fee that eBay takes out of the sales figure. She’s also still a bit unsure of how to go about choosing the best keywords for her books.

Brian Johnston, head of public services at the library, led the class with a projection presentation and a few stories from his experiences with eBay.

Johnston started doing these classes in 2012, which have since ranged from four-part tutorials on Microsoft Word and Excel to a lesson in Google Sites.

“When I came here, we were doing a few basic computer classes. When I started here, I took it and ran with it. These classes have really become my niche here.”

The computer classes require registration and limits the participant’s age at 13. Several laptops are handed out to those who don’t have them.

Johnston does all his classes at least three times a year. He said he’s probably taught his eBay class about 15 or 20 times by now.

The structure of the class has changed over the time, as Johnston said he’s learned what participants are more interested in.

When he was new at doing this, Johnston said he discovered he would go too fast a lot of the time.

The breakdown of the auctions and even registering to the website were covered in the nearly two-hour class.

Through feedback on the evaluations he hands out at the beginning of class, Johnston said he’s learned to put more of a focus on the selling aspect of eBay.

“When people sign up for the class, a lot of them want to know more about selling, whether that be shipping or doing the right things so it reaches more people online.”

Craw fits into that fold. She said she enjoyed the class, but isn’t looking to buy anything from the third-party website.

“Are you kidding? I don’t need anything else,” Craw said smiling. “I’m decluttering. I need to sell my stuff.”

Johnston said he enjoys helping the participants and hopes his efforts will make people feel comfortable about using eBay.

He said for those who are unfamiliar with technology, there’s an underlying fear that they might get a computer virus or give away personal information.

“I get a lot of people who take my classes who are new to computers,” he said after the class was over Tuesday. “When you’ve lived a good portion of your life without this technology and you’re then expected to know how to use it, that can be scary for folks. I want them to walk out of here, feeling empowered with the information I’ve given them.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 1, 2017)

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