For my enterprise story, I am analyzing the business trends of secondhand stores in Eugene. Thus far in quest, I have contacted three businesses: Your Place(secondhand shop), Northwest Pawn (pawn shop) and Ace Trading Co. (pawn shop). I was able to contact the owners of the first two, but am having difficulty arranging to speak with the owner of Ace Trading.
I have made a preliminary list of other sources I plan to contact as well. This list includes locations within Friendly Area Neighborhood, such as Tsunami Books and the Goodwill Industries of Lane and South Coast Counties: Attended Donation Centers. Another spot I want to hit, though it is not in my neighborhood, is St. Vincent de Paul.
I want to be able to make a definitive list of all the secondhand shops in Eugene for a sidebar, but it looks like this may be more difficult than I had at first thought. Google is not very up to date, and secondhand shops come and go often. Some are listed, but no longer exist, and vice versa. I may be forced to (gasp) use a phone book.
For my profile sidebar, I want to profile Your Place owner Debbie Barkley. She’s been at that location for 20 years, and only just recently gave up being a pawn shop in favor of being a secondhand shop. Considering she has a lot of experience in both worlds, I believe it would be good to get her story.
In my interviews, I will be (and am) asking about current and past business trends. Are more items being brought in? Are more items being bought? What kind of items? Has the customer base changed, grown or shrunk? Generally, are people, who have fallen on hard times due to a suffering economy, taking advantage of price-reduced, previously owned items? For Goodwill, I can also ask if donation rates have fallen or risen.
I am excited to provide photography for this piece, as many of the items sitting around these stores are worn and have obviously been loved. I was shocked by the sheer number of guitars these places had.
In addition to this, I will be attempting to find a decent waffle iron.