How did you end up launching your own eBay shop?
Eddie and I met while working together for a high street retailer. We were both feeling pretty disillusioned with corporate life at the time and decided to have a go at starting our own thing.
We spotted a gap in the market for clearance electrical stock.
We knew brands often found themselves stuck with a lot of excess stock, which would cost money for them to keep. Instead of discarding it to landfill or cutting prices prematurely, we offered to take it all off their hands – meaning we had an exclusive offer and weren’t competing against any other sellers.
Using eBay meant we were able to access a large potential market and that was how we were able to turn the stock back into something profitable.
When did you sell your first item on eBay?
We founded Velocity after investing £1.5k each to buy some laptop rucksacks. Much to our surprise they quickly sold out and we were able to reinvest what we’d made into buying more stock.
For two years we ran the business from my house, while working full time.
Eddie would get up at 5am and pick and pack the items, then in our lunch breaks we’d take them to the post office, and we’d spend our evenings responding to emails, sourcing products and adding more and more listings.
When we were offered voluntary redundancy, things really took off. Sales started increasing by 60% month on month, as we were able to commit so much more time to growing the business.
When we started, we envisaged our sales would go up by £100 or £200 a time, but for our first Christmas – and while still working other jobs alongside our eBay business - we turned over around £140,000!
We reached £1m turnover within just two years and expect to achieve sales of £30 million this financial year.
How did you grow the business?
We continued to add more and more products and the business rapidly grew, to the point where we’re now receiving around 3,000 orders per day.
We’ve since created our own range of radios and other household audio devices too, under the brand name ‘Majority Radios’, with individual items named after places in Cambridge where the business is based. We’re proud to say that Majority Radio is now the second largest digital radio brand in the UK by volume sold and the products can be found in more than a million homes.
The great thing about selling on eBay is its reach.
People from all over the world have ordered DAB radios from us and we’re adding new customers all the time. Germany has proven to be a very strong market and we recently started selling in the US for the first time too.
We’re on track to turnover £30M this financial year, have 25 members of staff and are about to move to new larger offices. One of our proudest moments to date has been the business appearing in the Sunday Times Fastrack listings and to be recognised by the Sunday Times as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in Europe.