By Leslie Radford
These days one can find just about anything a person needs on the Internet. The Internet has become an increasingly popular way to do business as well.
Floeck’s Country Ostrich Ranch northeast of Tucumcari has recently started selling ostrich eggs on eBay.
“We were looking into a new way to market our eggs,” said Gigi Parker who handles most of the public relations at Floeck’s.
Owner Lesa Floeck contacted David Buchen at the small business development center at Mesalands Community College to aid them in doing so. She said she gave him information on a ranch in California that was marketing their products on eBay.
“He seems very sincere in working to help us,” Floeck said.
“We’ve only been doing this a couple of weeks” Parker said. “We’ve had a lady in Midland (Texas) handling the account.”
Buchen set the Ranch up with eBay marketing assistant Cindi Bates.
Bates said Floeck’s is her first client as an eBay marketing consultant. She works with Parker in selling the eggs online to people all over the nation.
“I’ve sold things on eBay before for family and friends for several years,” Bates said. “eBay just recently started hiring marketing assistants. I had only been listed for one day when I got a message from Floeck’s.”
Bates said part of her job to help people auction things on this website is to work closely with her client and do research to find the best way to market their products.
“I did a search to see how other people were selling their eggs on eBay to get an idea of how to market (Floeck’s) ostrich eggs,” Bates said. “I’ve ran an analysis on what things are going for. It’s hard to understand (how much) you’re going to make on eBay.”
She explained that Parker sends her pictures of the eggs that she will post in an ad on eBay.
“I try to have a more professional page than the ones being posted by individuals,” Bates said. “I describe the ranch and tell about the quality of the eggs. I begin with a lower price for a starting bid, and hopefully we’ll wind up getting our asking price for the item.”
As of the beginning of the week, Floeck’s had sold around 15 eggs on eBay ranging in prices, according to Bates.
The eggs are posted for a period of seven days. The marketing assistant said she watches the counters to see how many people access the ad and how many people have placed bets on individual ads.
After the seven days, Bates contacts Parker with shipping information. After receiving payment, Bates cuts a monthly check to Floeck’s Ranch for the sales she made.
“People use the eggs for decoration,” said Parker. “They are popular among people who do arts and crafts.”
“I’m not as creative as a lot of these people,” she said referring to the artists whose works of art are displayed in the office at the Ranch. Some have made jewelry boxes and others have painted scenes on the outside of the eggs.
“I think people like our eggs because I use a small, less noticeable hole (when cleaning out the eggs) than others,” she said.
Parker said the eggs are not as fragile as one would think an egg to be. The shells are about 1/16 of an inch thick. An ostrich eggs weighs several pounds and has a fairly smooth texture. These things make the egg perfect for craft projects, according to Parker.
Before shipping the eggs to eBay customers, Parker makes a hole on the bottom of the egg on order to drain and sterilize it.
Craft shows are something Bates attends regularly and hopes she can go beyond eBay to help Floeck’s market their products. Bates said she has been talking to Parker and Floeck about setting up a website for the business and is thinking about selling additional items like hides, feathers and other bird products on eBay in the future.