Thousands expected to register own business on eBay in January, online marketplace reports

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Online marketplace eBay is braced for a 30 per cent surge in new business registrations this month. January is the most popular time to start-up online, according to new figures released by the marketplace.

eBay, which has operated for over 20 years in the UK, also announced that 75,000 businesses have started up via its mobile app alone in the UK over the past three years, indicating small businesses owners are getting evermore tech savvy.

The top 10 most successful new businesses that registered on eBay UK last year are now turning over nearly a combined £6 million through their eBay stores. This is an average of £600,000 per online business in its first year.

Petrol heads power an army of new businesses

The new car market in the UK dipped in 2018, potentially partially fueled by a legion of startups in the eBay Car Parts and Accessories industry, as drivers sought to repair their older models rather than buying a new vehicle.

Over a third (35 per cent) of the top 20 new sellers on eBay over the past three years operate in the Cars and Car Accessories category, where buyers can purchase niche parts for specific car models. Home and Garden and Physical Media (such as vinyl) are the other most popular categories for most successful new firms.

Car parts also dominate the top 10 most popular products sold by new eBay businesses:

Products
1 Rear Light Assemblies
2 Wall Decals & Stickers
3 Headlight Assemblies
4 Wing Mirrors & Accessories
5 Doors & Door Parts
6 CDs
7 Seat Covers & Cushions
8 DVDs & Blu-rays
9 Window Motors, Winders & Parts
10 Wings & Quarter Panels

A nation of ‘Sandwich Startups’

The peak time of the day for launching a business on eBay is between 12-4pm, as aspiring entrepreneurs resolve to escape the office humdrum for the independence of running a business during lunch. Many have found success in making the switch.

Speaking about the figures, Rob Hattrell, VP of eBay in the UK said: “2017 was a fantastic year for our sellers, many of whom saw export growth, with countries like Australia, the US and France the lead destinations for UK goods on eBay.

“2018 looks set to be even better with start-ups launching in droves this January – providing even more choice for savvy shoppers looking to find a unique product online.

‘We are optimistic about the future for online retail, which is increasingly a story of changing customer demands and the nimble businesses that are able to adapt at pace.”

Many new January businesses start out part time as a way of testing out an idea or earning some extra income.

One such successful January entrepreneur is 22-year-old Jignesh Pabari, founder of vehicle paint business Intermix Supplies Ltd, based in Southall, London. Having left school at 15 and worked as a trainee in other trade businesses, Jignesh took the plunge to set up his own business in January 2016 by investing some savings in paint supplies and registering on eBay. Two years later, he’s turned over around hundreds of thousands of pounds and is now planning to grow his business by expanding his product ranges and employing staff.

Jignesh Pabari, founder of Intermix Supplies Ltd, which sells car paint said: “There was no ‘lightbulb’ moment where I said I’d start a business, but the 2016 New Year felt like the right time to make the jump into starting my car paint firm. I’d always wanted to build my own company and always kept a casual eye out for gaps in the market. I noticed that consumers were increasingly repainting their cars, and re-colouring their vehicles to spruce up older models. In many ways, this trend inspired the decision to launch Intermix Supplies Ltd on eBay in early 2016.

“It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since then. Through a combination of online sales on eBay and physical sales to local tradespeople, I’ve gradually been able to build up a reputation for good quality, reliable service and am seeing returning and referral customers, both online and in the physical shop. The key for the eBay shop is providing the same service for online customers as those who come through my doors.

“I couldn’t have made it this far without the support of my girlfriend, Sejal. She’s been with me every step of the way, from supporting me as a start-up to mucking in operationally as the business has grown – she’s been fantastic.

“In 2018, the aim is to grow the business in new markets. By providing a wider range of products and building a team to manage demand, I can continue on an upward trajectory.”