Buying into online

Buying into online

< Back to Articles | Topics: Positive business environment

This is a guest post from KingsPIER Vintage
(Member since 2019)


Sara Ericsson

A Lower Sackville retailer sold a watch to a customer in Singapore and it’s all thanks to the internet.

That store is Stoneman’s Jewellery and it and its fellow Halifax retailer KingsPIER Curated Collections are among several other retailers chosen from across the province to take part in the launch of eBay’s Retail Revival program.

Going online doesn’t mean losing
local, but rather gaining global, as retailers selling their items to in-person customers at their stores are suddenly able to market their wares to the global marketplace.

With the year-long complimentary catered training and promotional support the businesses selected for the program
receive, both retailers are looking forward to cementing the presence of their new online stores and become real players within eBay’s Canadian online retailers. And if that helps draw people in to visit their physical stores as well, then all the better.

“It’s a unique opportunity because it broadens your customer base and allows you to reach people who’d otherwise never visit your store in person. And since Halifax is a worthy tourism destination already, this could even bring people to our stores themselves, too,” says KingsPIER owner Laura MacNutt.


Cathy Chapman and Sandra Stone are the daughter-mother team who run Stoneman’s Jewellery in Lower Sackville. The duo sells items including jewelry, fine watches and other items including tea cups.

The two decided to pursue Chapman’s lifelong dream of selling jewelry and opened their shop almost four years ago. Since then, they have gathered a loyal following of customers and have seen a steady increase in sales as they navigate the management of a new business.

The store’s main focus is the sale of its jewelry and other accessory items including watches, along with jewelry repair, watch battery replacements, engravings and key cuttings, with Chapman looking after the front end of things while Stone does the bookkeeping, researches current jewelry trends and serves as the store’s President.

But as the duo began looking into other areas their sales could potentially branch into, they found items such as tea cups that while they may appeal to certain customers, did not directly align with other items in their storefront. And so they found out about the Retail Revival program and decided to apply.

“Being on eBay was something we had always wanted to do. It was always a back thought — something we’d do once we were established here and had gotten our feet wet — that we’d try to get out there and be more than just local. So we applied and the next thing we know, we’ve been chosen for this program.
We couldn’t believe it,” she says.


Halifax fine vintage retailer and KingsPIER owner Laura MacNutt sells a large number of unique pieces, often with Canadian roots or made by Canadian companies, that are best described as experienced haute-couture clothing and apparel — luxury items of varying ages and styles that are currently in or have been restored to pristine condition.

Whether it be a designer-constructed coat made of seal hide or a pair of handmade shoes no longer available in store, buyers can expect to find it all at KingsPIER.

“We have a robust selection of quality, no-faux product. We make the claim that anything that looks like leather is leather and fur is fur. If you find anything that defies that, we’ll pay you $15. We’re really confident in the quality of the product,” says MacNutt.

The store functions with an art gallery-like approach to clothes shopping — customers browse, admire and consider the item’s origins and style. It’s something that makes MacNutt’s items perfect candidates for online shopping, where a customer can have a leisurely browse through a row of items from the comfort of their couch.

It’s also the uniqueness of her items that makes them prime candidates for online sales — MacNutt uses a recently sold pair of men’s size six leather Dack’s shoes to Japanese customers. Because many of these items are so niche, MacNutt says they appeal to an audience looking online for that something different.

“There are many collectors of vintage-wear out there, but not necessarily in Halifax or Dartmouth. But because the internet has a global reach and clients all over the world are seeking these special pieces, they are able to find our pieces online,” says MacNutt.


The platform will serve to broaden the reach of each business. With that sale to Singapore, Stoneman’s has now sold several pieces across Canada and to customers in the United States.

Stone says their appointed eBay
strategist helped them learn the keywords, photography styles and information to include in describing each item they sell and that they are already seeing a difference because of it, with 25 per cent of their total sales now coming from online.

“It’s giving us a huge advantage. We’d like to get to a place where 50 per cent of our business is done online and 50 per cent from in-store sales. This is letting us go all the way around the world and we definitely want to get the most out of that as possible,” says Stone.

KingsPIER is newer to the game and has a few items posted to their site, with more ready to be posted once their final strategy is in place. The help provided through the program has been invaluable, according to MacNutt, who says it gave them the advice they needed to know how to design their online store and tailor it to their specific customer base.

“I had put stock on eBay in years past, but I wasn’t equipped with a proper understanding of how to market them to reach the audience we needed to reach. But now, with the eBay Retail Revival, we’ve been provided with all kinds of support that has given us those tools to reach the market properly,” says MacNutt. ν

< Back to Articles | Topics: Positive business environment

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