When Warwick and Julie Needham pull down the shutters at Dinsdale PostShop for the last time on Christmas Eve they will have said goodbye to thousands of regular customers.
"We know them by their first names," said Mr Needham.
The Needhams have owned the Whatawhata Rd shopping centre business for 32 years.
When the nearby Dinsdale branch of Westpac closed its doors in September many customers closed their Westpac account and transferred their money to the shop's Kiwibank outlet.
"The letters have declined quite significantly over the last five years, 30 or 40 per cent," Mr Needham said.
"Parcels have increased with the advent of Trade Me. It's significantly up. We have not lost anything in the process."
In fact the business has gained from Trade Me, not only through putting sellers and buyers in touch but by selling some of its own stock on Trade Me too.
"We have been glad to be part of the community and got to know so many people. It was a great experience."
His most memorable moments include guns and frozen food.
"We have had people try to send weapons through the mail, shotguns, and declined to send it because it's illegal. It was a private sale."
He's also discovered puddles of freezing water leaking from parcels.
"People try to send frozen food by courier overnight thinking it will be all right, but it's not."
When the Needhams started the business 32 years it looked very different.
"It started off as a kitchenware and home appliances store 32 years ago," Mr Needham said.
"It was pretty busy when we started out because we had gone into video hire as well. That became a great part of the business. Then DVDs.
"Then the PostShop franchise came on board and Kiwibank when that was launched.
"We are going to retire from the PostShop and look for something different."
Their son Cameron is also leaving the business.
"We are just going to have a look around and decide what we are going to do next.
"We have a number of ideas but can't get into it until we finish here."
The Patels, who have bought the shop, come to Hamilton from Opotiki where they have run a Four Square convenience store.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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