Thinking of selling your business? Have you considered eBay?
That's exactly what Pete Jakstas, the owner of the Mineola Hotel in Fox Lake, is doing, and, imagine that, there's no shipping cost. The eBay listing doles out a brief history of the property, which was infamously once one of Al Capone's hideouts, as well as its zoning information (B5) and plenty of pictures.
This means the time of listing your unwanted clown lamps and autographed baseball cards on eBay are long gone. People are still doing that, but this $2 million starting price auction shows both how far the site has risen in legitimacy and viability, and also how business owners now regard the site. Cars and other big-ticket items have been popping up on the online auction site for quite some time now with regularity, but just because it keeps happening doesn't mean it's necessarily a die deal.
“I figured by putting it on eBay, it would draw some bids from around the country,” Jakstas told the Daily Herald. “Hopefully, this will help sell the property on a national market to the right bidder.”
Just because it's a quirky item doesn't mean buyers should snatch it up for the bragging rights or the story -- or even just because Capone used to hole up there. Part of the equation here is that Fox Lake officials condemned the 135-year-old business in mid-April. The building is deteriorating, and since the asking price would snag the winner a 17-acre lot of lakefront property, we're talking about one epic fixer-upper project here.
"Realistically they probably won't seal the sale on eBay," said Kenneth Broholm, a self-proclaimed "IT sales wizard" at Joliet's CloudBlue Technologies who routinely sells big-ticket items on the auction site. "They will probably gather some buyers if they gather any publicity."
In other words, they'll win publicity like this story about the sale. Truth be told, it's a story worth telling (which is why you're reading it, right?), but selling such a huge item through eBay isn't necessarily a smart idea because eBay would take about 10 percent of the final sale price, minus the cost to list it, which would be nine percent of the item's cost for a sale like this . Real-estate agents can take up to 10 percent, plus 50 percent with the brokerage who producers the buyer. If you sell via eBay, you won't meet the new owner until they are the new owner.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.