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eBay points to growth in seller numbers – and says entrepreneurs are looking for a more flexible way of working

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eBay says more than 36,000  businesses started to sell on its online marketplace in 2018.

The growth is the biggest eBay has seen in the UK since 2015 and comes, says the company, as people turn to entrepreneurship in order to find greater flexibility and independence in the way they work.

eBay’s Small Business Barometer suggests that being able to choose working hours (33%) and make their won decisions are the primary motivations for those setting up their own businesses.

Four in 10 of those questioned were optimistic about their growth prospects for 2019 compared to 22% who were pessimistic. Some 62% planned to increase their investments in 2019.

One in five (22%) of those questioned expected most of their growth to come from online sales, while 14% expected growth by increasing the number of products they sold.

Rob Hattrell, vice president of eBay in the UK, said: “Britain’s small business scene is booming, fuelled by a desire for greater flexibility, independence and empowerment. It’s this attitude, coupled with an agile approach to decision-making, that means our sellers have what it takes to keep British businesses ahead of the pack.” 

The Print House store sells printed gifts, clothing and acecessories on eBay. Co-founder Ed Snelson said: “When I started my business, I was working full-time in the aircraft manufacturing industry and my business partner Hannah was an estate agent. We’d never wanted a nine-to-five lifestyle, so decided to set up a store on eBay to create our own success.

“Working round-the-clock to begin with was difficult, but it gave us both the freedom to walk away from our traditional jobs just a year later. Today, eBay makes up over 50% of our revenue growth, and this year we are aiming to turnover £1.6 million in sales.”

eBay has led a Retail Revival programme in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council that is supporting bricks and mortar retailers and online sellers to improve their digital businesses. Sixty-four businesses are taking part. Three months into the programme they had collectively grown their revenues by 41% and reached £1m in sales.

Image courtesy of eBay

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