Agri Parts UK

The self-taught entrepreneur who has never let health problems hold him back

Emilio Giordano from New Radnor in Wales has never been one to let a heart condition get in his way. Inspired to become his own boss after leaving university, it was his family’s farming heritage that led him to hit on a winning business idea.

Named Inspiration Award winner in the eBay for Business Awards 2018, Emilio launched his eBay shop, Agri Parts UK, in 2014. Offering a range of tractor parts and accessories, the shop now boasts customers all over the world and is proof that no matter what physical challenges you may face in life, with hard work, determination, and perseverance you can be successful.

Here’s his inspiring story.

How did you end up launching your own eBay shop?

Having been born with a heart condition, I have needed four open heart surgeries to date – the most recent of which took place when I was 21. There were complications following the operation and when I was applying for jobs I soon realised I was unable to commit, due to my ongoing difficulties.

I ended up watching a number of documentaries about successful entrepreneurs and thought to myself ‘if they can do it, why can't I?’ and was inspired to become my own boss.

At the time, I had just left university with no money and my health complications, so I had nothing to lose!
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When did you sell your first item on eBay?

I had lived on a farm my whole life and after doing some research, I found that there was a growing market for tractor parts on eBay, but no dominating brand offering an extensive range. As I grew up around tractors and had an interest in mechanical engineering, selling tractor parts made perfect sense.

The younger generation of farmers are using the internet to find affordable replacement parts, so eBay was the ideal place to start my business. The platform allowed me to access a large proportion of my target market with a relatively small investment and minimal set-up costs.

The first items I listed were things like rear lights and fuel tank caps - small items that were available from a local supplier and easy for me to package and send out to customers.

In the beginning, the business grew quite slowly and it was a huge learning curve.
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There was so much to get my head around, from sourcing suppliers, to accounting, photography and keywords, so I spent a lot of time studying online tutorials to increase my skills and knowledge.

How did you grow the business?

When I first entered the market, there was strong competition. Competitors attempted to push us out by reducing their prices, which drove me to source new suppliers, buy at more competitive prices, and stay focused.

It wasn’t long before I was so busy that my dad came on board to support me and a year later my brother joined as warehouse manager, along with another employee who works in the warehouse.

At the start I was making around £500 a month, while I was finding my feet and putting the foundations in place to grow the business.

Now, just a few years later, the business is on track to hit its first £1million turnover.
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As our stock levels soared, we began running out of space, so we built an extension to the warehouse and rented another building on the farm, increasing the space we operate from to almost 10,000 square feet.

Our suppliers were initially in the UK, but we now work with suppliers all over the world, including China, India, Turkey and Slovenia.
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Our customers are mainly UK-based, but we have also started distributing further afield through eBay’s global shipping programme, to places including America, Europe and Russia.

We’re adding new products all the time and have a tried-and-tested process in place for choosing products, advertising them and processing the items to get them out to customers quickly.

But the biggest contributor to our success is the fact we take real pride in providing excellent customer service. Our current rating on eBay is 100%, with many customers complimenting the service. As a result, a large proportion of our buyers are repeat customers.

What does the future hold?

Within the next 5-10years I want Agri Parts UK to become the go-to place for farmers, vintage tractor enthusiasts and garages. I plan to employ more people and I am also looking to expand our warehouse with new office space and a conference room.

In addition, I wish to raise the profile and visibility of the brand. We were mentioned in Classic Tractor Magazine and a customer commented that we were "superb", which was a brilliant moment. It would be great to generate more coverage in the media like that.

Customer care will always remain a key focus and I want to maintain that mentality as we grow.

I never want to become a faceless corporate company where you can’t have a conversation with someone human.
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Why did you enter the eBay for Business Awards?

I wanted to share my story, as I like to think that my business has made a positive difference to others. I have given three people a job they enjoy and supply customers with high quality, affordable tractor parts and a great customer experience.

I hoped my story might encourage others who are thinking of starting their own business, to go for it - as I'm proof of what can be achieved. No matter what adversity someone faces in life, I truly believe you can be successful with hard work, determination, and perseverance.   

Top tips

1.

Make use of online tutorials to boost your knowledge

Thanks to the internet there are now loads of free resources available online. For example, on YouTube you can find all sorts of business tutorials. Utilise these online communities and all the information that is available at your fingertips

2.

Think long term

I believe in focusing on long term goals, especially when it comes to customer service. You’ve got to take the longer view. If there’s a problem, even if it involves a short-term loss, then it’s better to take the hit, as in the long term that customer is more likely to return, and you’ll get the benefit back. Customers also talk and recommendation is hugely valuable for any business.

3.

Work with people you can rely on

It’s been great working with family at Agri Parts, as I know I can trust and rely on them. The first few people you employ need to be reliable, as you won’t have the time or resources to spare

4.

Do something you’re passionate about

Above all, find something you’re passionate about. If you love what you do, then it doesn’t feel like you’re working

Want to be an eBay for Business award winner just like Emilio? You could win an all-expenses-paid trip to the USA, as well as up to £5,000 in prize money, plus much more. You’ll find loads more information about the awards and how to enter, here.

Meet Emilio – A heart condition has never held this inspiring entrepreneur back #ebayawardsuk via @eBayUK_News
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Established
2014
Did you know
Agri Parts UK work with suppliers all over the world, including China, India, Turkey and Slovenia
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We’re offering one lucky winner up to £20,000 to boost their business, along with a fantastic bundle of marketing support. There will also be a £5,000 cash prize for each of our category winners, who will also receive a free year-long Anchor Store Subscription with access to eBay’s Concierge – our gold-plated private customer service team.

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