Andrew
en

Andrew

falkon5599falkon5599, Ukraine

Andrew has faced a lot of challenges in his life — from the war in his hometown Luhansk and clinical death experience to his wife’s health troubles and having to build a new life from scratch. However, he has found the strength to turn his antiques hobby into a new business on eBay which is now the main job and revenue source for not only Andrew, but for his whole family.

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Andrew was born in Luhansk. His father was a soldier so the family travelled all over the Soviet Union — from Estonia to the Far East. His dad’s work inspired him, and later Andrew got interested in phaleristics, antiques and tourism.

15 years ago together Andrew and his brother opened a small antiques shop and a small travel agency, which specialised in independent tourism. The business was going well, but the war in Luhansk changed everything. They had to leave the city, they lost their home and jobs. In 2014, Andrew had a heart attack and for a few moments was clinically dead. Somehow, doctors saved his life in a half-ruined hospital in small town Schastie (which means “Happiness”) on the frontline.

At the age of 52, Andrew had to start a new life from scratch. He needed a job to get a new house and help the children who had also lost everything.This is where his passion for antiques happened to be useful. He started to sell various collectible items on eBay. It saved their lives and became their family business.

Andrew believes that eBay is one of the best marketplaces in the world — an easy and safe platform with a great variety of products. In the beginning, he had 10 listings with a limit of $500 per month, and during the first month he sold 8 out of 10 items. Today, most of the buyers (about 40-50% of sales) are from the USA, the rest come from 50 or 60 countries since antiques lovers live all over the world.

One day, Andrew found a woman’s portrait on a local vintage market which turned out to be a portrait of Barbara Parkins, American actress, painted in 1970 by the American artist Wim Borkent. Andrew put it on eBay, and a buyer from the United States bought it in half an hour. He was a great fan of the actress and was very happy to get this piece of art. That was one of the most impressive sales as the painting had made a great adventure from the USA through various countries to Ukraine, and later back to its motherland.

“eBay continues to help our family — my wife is receiving medical treatment from cancer right now, and our business on the marketplace allows us to pay for it,” says Andrew. “This platform made me believe in myself again and helped us build our new life despite all the difficulties. But the main thing is that eBay helped us understand that our lives are totally in our own hands”.