How did you grow the business?
eBay was such a success that it caused the whole structure of the family business to change. The days of being stood at 5am on a cold market stall were officially over. Instead, it was all hands on deck, selling and taking packages up to the local post office (a few bin liners full every day!).
Around the summer of 2012, my uncle asked me if I wanted to join the family business and I jumped at the opportunity.
Due to the increase in online sales, we closed the bicycle showroom and front of our shop, to create a larger warehouse. We no longer had any time for repairing bicycles, as every working minute was spent increasing our eBay listings, making them better and wrapping up packages.
We couldn’t keep running to the local post office with bin liners full of parcels, as we were getting between 200-500 sales each day, so we arranged for Royal Mail and our couriers to collect the parcels from our business premises.
We now have an annual turnover of around £1.2 million and more than 1000 listings on our eBay shop.
I think one of the reasons we’ve been so successful is that being a third-generation family business, we have a huge amount of industry knowledge. We’re able to spot which products are likely to sell well and have great intuition for what’s going to be ‘the next big thing’. And it’s not all about new parts and innovations, it’s often vintage and retro items that are our best sellers.
The survival of the business, and its ongoing success, has all been down to eBay, and the time and effort we dedicated to improving our listings and adapting our services, to ensure we always stay ahead of the competition. We’re now working on an updated business model that will enable us to take the business to expand further and take us to the next level.
Why did you enter the eBay for Business Awards?
I had an email about the awards and thought we had an interesting story to share. We were a well established business for such a long time before things went slowly downhill. Everyone within the industry was under pressure and it’s only because we took a leap of faith that our future now looks very different. eBay massively turned the business around for us, and by entering the awards and sharing our story, we hope we can inspire others in a similar situation.