Her home office is populated by famous names such as Wedgewood, Waterford, Bose, St. John and a limited edition Mickey Mouse in its original box. Her garage is stacked high with packing materials.
Maxine McIntosh, 87, affectionately known as the Hospice of the North Coast (HNC) eBay Queen, has been named HNC’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year. She will be honored at the North County Philanthropy Council luncheon taking place on November 8, 2012 at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa.
HNC’s Resale Shop in Encinitas, which customers often remark resembles a department store more than a thrift shop, accounts for approximately 8% of HNC’s annual revenues supporting unfunded programs and services provided to clients and the community. Of that, $20,000-$25,000 per year is generated by the shop’s eBay operation, which McIntosh single-handedly created in 2002 and continues to run out of her Carlsbad home.
“I handle the bulk of the process,” reveals this modest but capable woman who in 1947 became the first female graduate of the University of Wyoming’s College of Engineering. “After conferring with Resale Shop Manager Jean Cole on potentially valuable donations, I research values, photograph items, write descriptions, post eight to ten pieces each week, converse with sellers – I’ve become very chummy with some! – finalize sales, then pack everything up, calculate postage and take the boxes to the post office.”
Recently, a 1902 Edison phonograph was purchased by a man in Thailand for $1,700. A rare ceramic of a gorgeous red oriole sold for $1,800. Many unique jewelry pieces are appraised by HNC Board member Dale Condy, who owns Gems of La Costa.
From apparel to golf clubs, McIntosh selects and sells only the cream of the crop. “Everything must be in pristine condition,” says this woman who knows the eBay business inside-and-out. “I get very excited when I find something wonderful. I get even more excited when it sells!”
McIntosh confides that her introduction to HNC was quite personal. “My mother died on HNC service in 1992. She received very good care. I was so grateful that I began volunteering; first with the Auxiliary and then at the Resale Shop. I started out ironing clothes, then was ‘promoted’ to cashier,” she laughs. In addition to working 20-25 hours a week on the eBay operation, McIntosh volunteers at the Resale Shop 10 hours per week, where Cole says everyone loves and admires her.
HNC Executive Director Nerice Kaufman says recognizing McIntosh is an honor for the organization, She states,
“To us, Maxine is a limited-edition treasure; a collectible as rare and valuable as anything you could buy on eBay.”
– Hospice of the North Coast Press Release