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For what it’s worth

Sal Tantillo opens Ohioville Consignment

by Megan Labrise
July 11, 2011 11:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sal Tantillo, owner/operator of Ohioville Consignment.
Photo by Megan Labrise
Sal Tantillo, owner/operator of Ohioville Consignment. Photo by Megan Labrise
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Sal Tantillo has always exhibited a praise-worthy skill for appraisal. At age 12, he hijacked his mother’s eBay account and sold a rare Pez dispenser for $90. “It was an older one, without feet, the kind of thing that there’s a collectors’ market for. My mom let me use the account after that,” said Tantillo.

Fifteen years later, Tantillo is the owner-operator of Ohioville Consignment, a registered eBay Drop-Off Location and consignment shop at 15 Old Route 299 in New Paltz. The business blends old-fashioned on-premises consignment -- where owners and proprietors share the profits of each item sold -- with the digital-age offering to advertise items to potential buyers around the world via eBay.

It is not the first Tantillo-run business to exist on the spot: a circa 1938 picture of 15 Old Route 299 that hangs on the shop’s back wall shows his grandfather Joseph sweeping the front porch of what was then a general store.

“It was like the Stop n’ Shop of New Paltz way back then,” said Tantillo.

Later, it became Sunset Sporting Goods, under the ownership of his father Anthony for over 35 years. Repurposing 15 Ohioville once again fits neatly with the ethos of consignment culture.

“The part I like best about selling for others is being able to take something from where it’s not really being utilized or appreciated and get it to somebody who really wants it. Otherwise, it could just waste away and be forgotten,” said Tantillo.

The yet-to-be discovered treasurers at Ohioville Consignment run the gamut from designer clothes to glassware; furniture to musical instruments; books to baseball banners displayed at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. Buyers may find a sturdy couch for $20, or a set of shiny custom rims valued at over $1,000.

“I have such a wide range of things in here, there’s really something for everybody, and the prices are great. I want a college student to be able to fill his apartment here for less than he spends on books. Dishware, furniture -- I’ve got a couch in here that’s only $20,” said Tantillo.

When an in-store item sells, the take is split 50-50.

“50-50 is a standard rate for regular consignment. eBay consignment is better: 60-40 in the owner’s favor, and it can go up to 80-20 in their favor. The more an item sells for, the higher of a percentage they’ll get,” said Tantillo.

To post a customized eBay listing, Tantillo asks that items possess an inherent value of at least $50. (Items under $50 may be subject to a $10 fee up front.) Recent examples include a signed poster of Mohammed Ali, with a certificate of authenticity, a Chanel wallet and a cadre of old Rolleiflex cameras, worth $500-1,000 for certain models.

Tantillo meets with each owner, personally assessing the item and determining his seller’s expectations. Tantillo then performs background research online, using special tools to enhance each listing and encourage bidding. A favorite, Terapeak, provides market research data to help sellers determine the keywords associated with high seller success rates.

Tantillo graduated from New Paltz High School and SUNY-New Paltz, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business. He continues his education with classes geared toward Internet marketing, with the goal of maximizing prices for his clients.

“I try whatever I can to get the most money for an item,” he said.

Since the business opened, Tantillo has successfully completed 50-60 online auctions. He ships the goods to winning bidders around the world.

There is no fee for the listing in the event that an item does not sell within 60 days.

“I really try to work with people and figure out what their expectations are. I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I want everyone to be comfortable leaving their things with me,” said Tantillo.

To set up an appointment to have an item appraised, call Tantillo at 750-4093 or e-mail ohioville@gmail.com. Ohioville Consignment is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues., Wed, Fri. and Sat.; Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Monday and Thursday.

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