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José Luis Orellana

fullbanknotes, El Salvador

José Orellana had had a passion for coins and banknotes from the age of 7, specifically for those from his country and Central America. It inspired him to open an eBay store to share his collection with people from other parts of the world. In 2001, the US dollar became the official currency in El Salvador, and the local currency (colón) inevitably disappeared. Thanks to this, many people all over the world wanted to buy colóns for collections or sell them locally and internationally.

José Luis Orellana .jpg

Despite not having much knowledge of logistics, José opened his banknote and coin store on eBay in 2017. For him, the platform represents entrepreneurship experience, as he also has a full-time job. In his eBay store, José sells private Salvadoran banknotes, and those from 1934, with the effigy of the goddess Ceres, are the most precious and sought after. The reason is simple: they ceased to exist in many countries in the early 20th century when banks stopped printing their own banknotes.

Today, 90% of José’s clients live in the United States — due to the large presence of Salvadorans in the country, but José also has a regular clientele in countries such as Russia, India, China, England, Spain, and Serbia. At the moment, his catalog only includes colón coins and banknotes, but since last year he has been looking for and buying rare banknotes from other countries to expand his catalog.

José is happy that his online store has been growing impressively fast. Three years ago, José's mother was diagnosed with cancer and, thanks to the success and growth of the eBay store, he could be by her side, supporting her and paying for the treatment. The extra income from online sales allows José's mother to continue fighting the disease, knowing that she has the unconditional support of her son.

Although the store has stable sales on the platform, José intends to triple them in the coming years. He is sure: if he loses his current job, selling on eBay will become his main occupation.

José believes that his banknotes and coins help his compatriots tell their children and family about the history of El Salvador.

“There isn't a market just for professional or amateur collectors, but a market for nostalgia, through which you reach your customers.”