eBay sales store expands

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About a half-year after opening, a brick-and-mortar store specializing in online auctions is picking up the gavel.

I Sell It 4 U On EBAY, operated by Mike Bretta on Highway 11, has also moved about a half-mile north, to 84321 Highway 11, across from the M-F Drive In.

Until now, customers have brought in items for Bretta to sell on eBay in exchange for a cut of the sales price. But Bretta said many customers had called seeking to move items too big for eBay, or in too large of lots for the online auction house.

"We've had a lot of calls for complete estates," he said. "If you do an estate sale, you wind up with stuff. If you do an auction it's all gone."

The new location should help. A 5,000-square-foot warehouse, it is being remodeled to be part of an indoor-outdoor auction operation, Bretta said.

He plans to start in September and potentially hold auctions twice a week, perhaps once during the week and once on weekends. Items should run the gamut, and likely will include a lot of household items as well as antiques and furniture, he said.

The business has an agreement with a local auctioneer to handle the trademark calling.

"I'm not an auctioneer but I can do everything else," Bretta said.

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Landowners who want to ensure the family farm, pasture or woodlot stays that way long after they're pushing up daisies on the back 40 have a powerful tool at their disposal.

Conservation easements typically involve paying a property owner in exchange for an agreement that the land involved will never be converted from farmland, habitat for wildlife or scenic area into housing or commercial projects. Besides payment of some sort, easements also can help the property owner come tax time.

But as you might imagine, signing away -- forever -- the right to develop property probably isn't something you do on the back of a napkin.

To help shed some light on the subject, the Blue Mountain Land Trust is sponsoring a seminar on conservation easements for lawyers and certified public accountants.

The seminar will be led by Konrad Liegel, a partner at K&L Gates in Seattle, according to a news release. Liegel works with landowners, conservation groups, municipalities and corporations to preserve and protect a variety of properties in Washington and other states.

Information will be shared about easements and financial and tax benefits available to landowners. Continuing learning credits are approved for Washington and pending for Oregon lawyers and are recommended for Washington CPAs.

The seminar will be Sept. 21 from 9 a.m.-noon at the St. Francis Parish Hall, 712 W. Alder St., Walla Walla. Registration, which includes course materials and refreshments, is $50 before Sept. 1 and $75 after that date and at the door.

For more information call 509-525-3136 or go to www.bmlt.org.

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