In recent years, the Internet has offered millions of people the chance to run and own their own business from home. Thanks to eBay, Etsy, Craigslist and more, these savvy entrepreneurs can connect with customers, sell a variety of goods, ship packages and receive payments almost anywhere they have internet access. Now, this business model is taking off with a new generation: grandparents! For this reason, a group of middle school students and their teachers recently held a seminar in their New Jersey town to help senior citizens learn the basics and prepare for the dangers of becoming an online merchant.
On March 10, 2015, the Student Government Association at Glassboro Intermediate School in New Jersey held a seminar titled “How to Sell Your Items Online, a Grandparents Gone Wired Production.” Sponsored by the Borough of Glassboro’s Senior Education Branch, the students provided hands-on computer help, while several teachers guided participants through the steps and strategies of online retail. Dinner and refreshments were also provided.
The course was divided into three basic sections: List It, Ship It, and Get Paid. In each section, the instructors described the processes of online sales in detail, covering everything from the difference between eBay and Craigslist to the best way to ship items with cheap mailers and different postal services. A key service for many of the seniors will likely be scheduled pick ups, which will save many of the older residents a trip to the post office to mail their goods.
Many of the seniors in attendance reported that they planned to use the lessons to branch into online sales, as well as purchase various items themselves. As more and more of our world hinges on online transactions, this is likely an important development for many. However, it is important that these seniors learn to be vigilant as well: for this reason, instructors were quick to remind the attendees that any sales conducted in person should take place in a public area, hopefully with another person besides the potential buyer or seller.
Glassboro Intermediate School plans to offer several more Grandparents Gone Wired seminars over the course of the next year.