BUCKHANNON — Forty years after a local family started the print version of The Prospector, their daughter is taking the concept online.
After a soft opening, www.theprospectoronline.com officially launches to the public today, according to Maria Adams.
Adams is the daughter of Loretta and the late Tony Adams, who had the idea for The Prospector in the 1970s.
“The first ad in the prospector was a wheelchair because a guy said he needed to buy one,” she said. “That gave my dad the idea to publish this, and the guy actually got offered three wheelchairs.”
The Prospector launched in April 2, 1976 for Upshur, Barbour, Randolph, Lewis and Webster counties, and later expanded to serve eight counties in the north central West Virginia region.
After Tony died in 1989, Loretta kept the business going with a loyal staff and remains active today.
“She still runs and operates the print Prospector,” Maria Adams said. “The print version will stay on the news stands, but what they see online is completely different. It’s bringing their classified ads to life.”
Maria Adams wanted to take The Prospector online after she saw how advertising was switching from print to online, and after about five years found the right web designer to make it happen. Maria is the owner of the online version of The Prospector.
“People have been asking for this to be online for a long time,” she said. “It is the best site I have seen that is out there like this.”
“The version that goes online helps the people of our community,” she added. “What I have come up with is a way for people in our community to make money in these hard times.”
There are no commissions charged, so people can log on and shop for free and post their items for free.
“You can see pictures people post; you can see videos,” Adams said.
The site will make money by advertising to businesses.
“I’m helping businesses market their website and their inventory,” she said.
“Businesses can advertise their products or services directly to their target market 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Adams said.“We have over 100 categories where they can select to place their business in front of their potential customers. Everything is very neat, very organized for people to use.”
The Prospector’s online version will show Buckhannon first but then expand.
“We will be in the surrounding five counties, Upshur, Barbour, Randolph, Lewis and Harrison, and then expanding as far north as Morgantown and as far south to Summersville,” Adams said. “We’re going to be doing this in 10 counties, but we are starting in Buckhannon because that’s our home. It’s continuing a legacy and hopefully starting something brand new.
“My main goal is to make sure people know that when times are tough and funds are low, they can use this to turn unwanted items into cash without any commission. I’m excited about this.
“We’ll always have local buy, sale and trade, no matter where it spreads in the United States or the world.”
As the site launches today, Adams is asking the community to log on to www.theprospector
online.com and start making money ‘The Prospector Way,’ just like the slogan says: “Turn your unwanted items into cash.”