“We’re really looking at this as an opportunity for our consigners and for us to work together, to see if we can make this work, because gosh, we don’t know what’s going to come in the spring,” Carlson said. “And it feels like there’s a chance that an in-person opportunity won’t happen again then, either.”
Seidel said she and Carlson could never hold the in-person events without the support of about 350 volunteers, who work in exchange for shopping early. But with Half-Pint Online, consignors list and manage the items they’re selling, and there’s no need for that help.
“We definitely feel a void not having volunteers with us on this journey into the virtual world and look forward to a day in the future when it is safe to be together once again,” Seidel said.
Seidel said the disadvantage for shoppers online is not having the ability to see an item in person, especially since most of the items are “gently used.” She said consignors also prefer their items be seen in person instead of in photographs and descriptions.
What the online platform offers, she said, is the convenience of selling and shopping from the comfort of home.
There’s a possibility that once COVID-19 recedes, the online marketplace could be incorporated into Half-Pint’s operations, Carlson said. “Everyone’s been looking at the pandemic: ‘How can we learn from this?’ “