Sean Kelly, one of my colleagues on the b5media network’s business channel of blogs, covers the franchise scene with his excellent and sometimes lid-lifting blog, Franchise Pick. Lately he has been tracking the fortunes and misfortunes of iSOLD It – “the easy way to sell on eBay”, which describes itself as “a nationwide chain of dropoff stores that makes it easy for anyone to sell their things online”.
But while the company website presents a bright and breezy picture, it appears that things are in fact not too rosy at present. See for example Sean’s post An Open Letter to iSold It Franchisees From CEO Ken Sully. In the letter referred to in the post title, the CEO acknowledges various challenges and says, among other things, that “the company is now focusing all resources on supporting the existing franchised stores”.
Switch to Australia and the local website does not appear to give any indication of the issues aired by the CEO or of any restraint in the development of new stores. A map on the site shows buttons for sixteen stores “opening soon”, spanning the continent from East to West and South to North, four for NSW and two for every other State or Territory except the ACT. If you look further down the page there appears to be actually only one store operating, in West Geelong, and one with an address and contact details in Belmont, WA – “opening soon”.
In his latest post on the subject, iSold It Australia Franchise: eBay Plunder Downunder?, Sean wonders at the fact that the Australian website seems to be full steam ahead on selling franchises and whether this indicates that they are in better shape than had been indicated:
At least in Australia, the rumor that eBay drop-off store franchiseconcept iSold It is fundamentally flawed and not viable must be greatly exaggerated. Otherwise, why would they continue to sell franchises?
If you can shed any light on the situation with iSold It in Australia, Sean would love to hear from you.
As would I. Leave a comment and I’ll make sure Sean sees it.