How did you end up launching your own eBay shop?
“One day I was watching my son, then aged 8, playing in the garden and I noticed he was struggling to kick a football properly. He was desperate to be able to play like his older brother, and it made me think, why is it so difficult for him? And what can I do to help?
“I decided that a lighter football could be the solution, so I tried to find one online. But when I started searching I found there wasn’t much on offer. There were some size 4 balls, but they were all quite expensive, and there were no size 3 footballs at all! I was really surprised.
“No one was offering anything suitable for children aged around 3-7 years, and it sparked an idea. I did lots of research, quickly discovering that if you search for ‘light football’ all you find is football-shaped lampshades and cigarette lighters!
“I thought there was an opportunity here, so I decided to have a go at making something myself”
“I thought there was an opportunity here, so I decided to have a go at making something myself. I found tools online that could help me source and connect with suppliers to get a product made. It wasn’t something I’d ever done before, but there were plenty of resources to help guide me.
“I went on to find a supplier and produced a number of samples before finding a formula that worked for me.
“The Lionstrike footballs I designed are unique – they are 25% lighter than standard footballs and are therefore much easier to kick. There is a size 3 football weighing 210g, suitable for kids aged 3 to 7 years, and a size 4 football, weighing 260g, suitable for kids aged 7 to 13 years.
“After some thorough testing, I placed my first order for 400 footballs. It was quite a big shipment and I had to store it in the shed.”
When did you sell your first item on eBay?
“The next thing I needed was a route to market and eBay was an easy way to get in front of a consumer audience. I’d personally sold items on the marketplace before and liked how it worked, so set about taking some good photos and drafting product descriptions, to create my listings.
“The shipment of footballs arrived in February 2016 and I put my first listings up in May. I started to sell a few footballs each week, and month by month the figures keep increasing.
“In less than two years, I have gone from having a handful of orders each week, to making around 700+ sales a month. Alongside my eBay shop I have a website, but my sales on eBay have always been far greater. I have found the marketplace to be a very simple, yet effective tool for selling products online and it continues to be one of my main sales drivers.”
“The next thing I needed was a route to market and eBay was an easy way to get in front of a consumer audience”