Small business champions in the eBay for Business Awards 2018

By Chris Dawson October 26, 2018 - 2:50 pm

The eBay for Business Awards recognise the best of British innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Free to enter, the Awards are open to all businesses with an eBay account, regardless of size. Winners receive dedicated eBay business support, cash prize and a trip to meet eBay’s global executive team in the USA.

Now, eBay is celebrating this year’s finalists – including Velocity, a Cambridge-based company started by two friends on eBay just five years ago that now generates £25 million of sales per year – at a ceremony at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho this evening.

Over 1,000 inspirational entries came from across the country, from multi million pound enterprises to small bricks-and-mortar businesses turning to eBay to sell around the clock when their shop doors are shut. This year’s awards recognise some inspirational finalists, including:

  • Velocity

    Founded by the creators of Majority, the second largest DAB radio brand, which now accounts for 40% of the business’s £25 million sales

  • The Smokey Carter

    A herb and spices business started from one man’s kitchen, which is now stocked in 30 delis across Europe

  • Zzap

    A coin-handling business masterminded by two students in their university halls, which now supplies clients including McDonalds and Sainsbury’s

  • Heavenly Homes

    An interiors company run by an ex-City lawyer, who pursued her passion and built a successful home furnishing business turning over 100K+

  • Agri Parts

    Established by an entrepreneur with a complex heart condition, this farming accessories business is a thriving example of how to overcome adversity to build a successful business

“The eBay for Business Awards celebrate some of the best and brightest of the eBay seller community.
Whether these businesses are selling DAB radios or tap shoes – all of them share sheer determination, innovation and agility to have built successful businesses in today’s retail climate.”

– Rob Hattrell, Vice President, eBay UK

About the eBay For Business Awards

The eBay for Business Awards is a nationwide hunt for the best and brightest of British innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses with great products to sell. Spanning multiple categories, the award program celebrates the contributions of small businesses on eBay to the economy and recognizes the entrepreneurs who have used eBay to help build successful businesses.

The ten award winning finalists receive £1,000, gold plated customer service support and free eBay store subscriptions for a year.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a £5,000 cash prize and a trip the USA to meet eBay’s top team.

More information about last year’s winners is available here.

Full list of eBay for Business Awards 2018 finalists

Business Name Location Business type Detail of the business
Velocity Cambridge Electronics Business founders PJ and Eddie have built the second largest DAB radio brand in the UK, taking their business from a garage to an 18,000 sq ft warehouse achieving sales of over £25 million last year.
The Smokey Carter Manchester Seasonings /Sauces Husband and wife team, Howard and Samantha Carter, are the producer of World inspired BBQ rubs and sauces. Smokey Carter now has 13 different sauces and rubs available and is stocked in delis across the world, from Kuwait to Sweden.
Families and Babies Bolton Charity Families and Babies is a charity that supports breastfeeding mothers and their families across the UK. Selling on eBay has provided them with the ability to expand support for breastfeeding, wellbeing and volunteering opportunities.
That’s Entertainment Dancewear Liverpool Retail Husband and wife, Alan and Gill, run an expert business in dancewear and theatrical make-up. Through eBay, they have been able to tap into an international market and now sell their stock all over the world.
ZZap Wokingham Machinery Andrew, the founder of ZZap, invested all his savings in his cash-handling machine business, after starting his business at university with a friend. ZZap now supplies high profile clients such as McDonalds and Gucci to name a few. The company has sold over 30,000 units and has recently moved to a 3250 sq ft warehouse.
Hopkinson Cycles Wakefield Retail Hopkinson Cycles is a third-generation bicycle shop started in 1970. Changes in shopping habits initially hit the family business hard. However, Hopkinson Cycles started to list on eBay and their online business grew rapidly, with turnover increasing to over £1 million each year.
Bottle Buddi Plymouth Retail Inspired by her daughter, Sarah-Jane created ‘Bottle Buddi’. Frustrated with never having enough hands to hold everything whilst making sure her daughter was hydrated, Sarah Jane designed this light-weight water resistant pouch which attaches to a book bag using press studs. Bottle Buddi has sold an estimated 13,000 orders across the UK and counting.
Schott Packaging Darlington Packaging Working for his father’s removal company, Tom Schott noticed unused cardboard boxes leftover and began to list some on eBay to clear space. There was a high demand for Tom’s products and now, with help of friend Josh, Schott Packaging Ltd employs five members of staff and is projected to turnover £1.1million this financial year.
Heavenly Homes and Gardens Bristol Homeware Initially Jade was working as a corporate lawyer by day and in the evenings running her homeware business. In 2016, Jade decided to run her business full time and her eBay turnover increased by 300%. Heavenly Homes and Gardens has recently hit a £100,000 turnover, having sold products to fashion designers and film sets.
Agri Parts UK Ltd Presteigne Machinery Emilio has turned his tractor parts and accessories start-up into a successful business with 3 stock-filled warehouses. Having defied four open heart surgeries, selling on eBay enabled Emilio to run his business the way he wants, working around his health conditions. Agri Parts has customers from all over the world, from Israel to Russia to Puerto Rico.
  • Dave
    3 years ago

    I have to admit to reporting quite a few of Velocity’s listings for breaching the picture standards. ‘The listing inappropriately draws attention or diverts members to a listing.’

    Guess eBay really don’t care!

    And as for Hopkins cycles, the worst service I ever had on eBay was from them!

    Oh well… 🙂

    • 3 years ago

      @Dave And what upset you about those photos?

      3 years ago

      How can Velocity be an eBay finalist with over 180 negative and 190 neutral feedback comments in the last 12 months??!! And Heavenly Homes & Gardens only have 99.4% feedback. Or are these the only companies that put themselves forward for the award?

    • Dave
      3 years ago

      @ tyler, they clearly break the eBay picture rules!

      Not allowed: Adding additional text, artwork or marketing to pictures
      Not allowed: Using placeholder images to convey messages, such as no image available or out of stock, or other marketing messages

    • 3 years ago

      @Dave There are some truly sad (jealous / envious) people in the world.

      And in what way do those “minor” infringements effect you or your sales ?

      From what I recall, eBay issued an announcement a long time ago that all images should be plain with nothing else, which seemed strange as it was already a “rule”. They then backed down on that idea, there was a lot of debate about it here on Tamebay.

      So whilst it is “in the rules”, as far as I know, eBay do not uphold them or even reconise the rule.

      All my images contain a watermark, which I believe is against the rules, people have used my images and I successfully reported them to eBay and got them removed for copyright / image theft. At no point did anybody from eBay say my images flouted the rules.

    • Jim
      3 years ago

      lauded and held as example
      the best of ebay
      An obvious shining example ,
      flout the rules you may win an award

    • Dave
      3 years ago

      @tyler, I expect a one rule for all on eBay, and I would certainly expect an award finalist to comply with the (rather simple) rules. A large seller displaying the manufactures’ logo beside the listing in the results page, even more so. They should be squeaky clean and be an example to the rest of us for being able to have that logo (which is a huge boost on its own) showing up in their listing.

      It shouldn’t be too much to ask.

      If that makes me sad/jealous/envious, then so be it. But the fact remains, I am right.

    • 3 years ago

      @Dave Are you right?

      The Logo on the listings in the search results have NOTHING to do with the images on the listing but is to do with Velocity Electronics are a “Humax Authorised seller”

      But it does sound like you are right about being sad/jealous/envious, maybe you should spend more time on your own business and get yourself Authorised.

      If you can’t beat them, join them….

    • 3 years ago

      Sour grapes much!? Did anyone complaining even apply?

    • Dave
      3 years ago

      @Tyler, I am an authorised Humax seller, just not eBay’s bestie 😊

      It’s daft even arguing about it, here’s the current policy:

      eBay state: ‘Make sure your listings follow these guidelines. If they don’t, some or all of your listings may be ended or not displayed in eBay search results. You may also be subject to a range of other actions, including listing fees not being refunded and limits of your buying and selling privileges.’

      That listing does NOT comply! I’m not sad/jealous/envious of the seller, just disappointed in eBay.

      ‘If you can’t beat them, join them….’ <– Quite 🙂

    • 3 years ago

      @Dave It really does not matter about the “Rule” it is a petty rule and even eBay choose to ignore it, as it is never enforced.

      And it is very petty for another seller to be reporting a listing because of it. I would be ashamed of myself if I had to stoop to such practice.

      It sounds like your frustration is more about them having the enhanced listing status and showing the brand logo in the search results, which has NOTHING to do with the image rule.

      Maybe you should spend your time working out how to get the logo on your listings, rather than reporting their listings.

      Or you could go through every listing on eBay reporting the thousands of rule breakers, that will give you something to do…

    • jim
      3 years ago

      Its good business to comply with ebay rules,
      ebay have awful habit of enforcing petty rules without warning
      ebay seem to infer that rule braking is acceptable,
      with the choice of some finalists
      you may even be rewarded for rule braking ,
      which rules do we judge petty?
      which do we think should be enforced ?

  • Elisha
    3 years ago

    Good luck on winning..the rest of us plod on in the hope we get sales…

  • james
    3 years ago

    The ten award winning finalists receive… gold plated customer service support….

    when speaking with ebay CS, i often get the impression they have been dipped in gold, or another heavy metal, just from the sheer density they manage to convey.

  • Ian
    3 years ago

    It’s a sham one of my competitors won last year after copying my products and breaks so many rules like plastering their website domain on images, now they even have a picture showing their ebay trophy I thought you was only supposed to show pictures of the product you are selling. It’s so disgraceful how they can pick winners that breach ebays policies, I have reported the seller many times but nothing ever gets done.

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