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Small Business Power – 237% rise in SMEs selling on eBay

By Chris Dawson July 21, 2021 - 8:00 am

eBay UK are launching new support package to help power the new wave of small businesses on the platform to grow as the UK unlocks and the marketplace celebrates Small Business Power. This package includes seller offers, coupons to encourage shoppers to buy into Small Business Power, training programmes and marketing investments.

Hundreds of thousands of new “pandemic startups” have sprung up on eBay UK, with the marketplace recording a 237% rise in new small businesses joining the platform since the start of the pandemic, the equivalent to a new business registering every 2 minutes. These businesses have sold over 72 million items to eBay UK’s 29 million strong shopper base in the past year.

As high streets and small businesses enjoy the final phase of lockdown restrictions lifting, eBay UK is today committing to help entrepreneurs survive and thrive beyond the pandemic, as part of the Small Business Power campaign.

eBay Small Business Power package of support

The new Small Business Power package of support includes:

  • A series of new seller offers, including reducing fees by 5%, as well as 75% off new listing costs for existing and new business sellers to help them make the most of selling online
  • Coupons and discounts for eBay shoppers to incentivise purchasing from small businesses
  • Investment in training programmes to help sellers make the most of the eBay platform
  • Greater investment in marketing our small business sellers across TV, social, print and online media

As an example, there is a promotion currently running on eBay offering 20% off purchases over £9.99 from small businesses on eBay. This promotion runs through to 11:59pm UK local time on 22 July 2021.
eBay Small Business Power promotion

This new package, part of eBay’s broader efforts to help businesses start up and scale up, follows a £33 million investment from eBay UK over the last year to help its community of hundreds of thousands of small businesses weather the challenges brought on by Covid-19. These measures included the waiving of fees, new marketing costs, training schemes, and other programmes to help during the height of the pandemic, and the focus has now turned to how eBay UK can help power these new businesses to grow and scale up as the UK unlocks.

Home & Garden, Electronics and Fashion were the most popular categories for new businesses setting up on eBay UK in the last year, with the greatest number of businesses created, as budding entrepreneurs saw the opportunity to capitalise on the trend for lockdown home renovations, and the need to invest in working from home tech and electronics.

Henry Cawley (23) founder of UK Components“I started my business selling 3D printer parts in 2020, when my university degree was put on hold due to lockdown. Since then, my business has continued to excel, generating over £48,000 in annual turnover. I’ve been able to use the profits I’ve earned to fund my Final Year Project at uni and am looking to invest in my business long term. I’d encourage other young entrepreneurs to take the plunge and set up on eBay.”
– Henry Cawley (23) founder of UK Components, from Bath

James and Natalie Mather (35 and 39) founders of Sustain Furniture“When our son was unfortunately in hospital last year, Covid restrictions meant that James was left at home with some extra time on his hands. Due to this, we decided to start up on eBay selling a variety of reclaimed furniture items. We were shocked at the speed and volume of orders we received in the first few months and quickly our business boomed. We’ve now moved into a new unit in Trafford Park and have taken on four employees. To our amazement, we’ve now sold nearly 2,000 pieces of furniture and are looking ahead to how we can work with eBay to expand our business even further.”
– James and Natalie Mather (35 and 39) founders of Sustain Furniture, from Stockport

Rob Hattrell, Head of eBay Europe“Business will be paying the price of Covid for years to come, and it’s small businesses that will bear the brunt of this. It is now more important than ever to shop small and shop local – whether that is in-store or online – and to keep supporting and celebrating the power of small businesses. Our new support package, as part of our Small Business Power campaign, aims to do just that and we hope the 29 million buyers on our platform will join us in backing Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit.”
– Rob Hattrell, Head of eBay Europe

Along with eBay UK’s continued investment in small businesses, earlier this year the marketplace committed to absorbing the cost of the Digital Services Tax for its hundreds of thousands of small business sellers, while other platforms passed this cost onto sellers.

  • Erwyn
    5 months ago

    Too little, too late. After 8 years of selling on Ebay, of which 5 full-time, I decided to wind-up my online business last week. Despite increasing doubling turnover since 2016 to £250K, it simply doesn’t pay enough to pay yourself a decent salary. Doubling turnover didn’t lead to anything more on the bottom line because of the continuing rise in costs of selling on Ebay (direct and indirect costs). Sadly being outside the EU, spiralling Ebay/Paypal/delivery and other other costs, simply make it unprofitable to run a small business. Every penny you make goes elsewhere from selling fees, staffing, delivery to taxation. Good luck to anyone else, but I’m out!

  • SAM
    5 months ago

    “So if you look at the business boards and facebook” they have been running the so called 20% discount with no extra coverage ( not what they do for their big sellers). You have it on the listings just no way people know it is there unless they stumble over it I could have done this myself.
    The vast majority are not even on the deal page pretty much making the whole thing nil and void.

    A few large outfits and wholesale companies are however. It is just a PR stunt.

  • 5 months ago
  • Rob
    5 months ago

    Sam, agree with what you say. I have asked what I need to get on things like daily deals as I deal with a few good brands and have access to clearance stock. No interest from ebay to get back to me with an answer of what my account needs to look like in terms of presentation, performance, turn over etc.
    Have been on a few of the promotions with things like 20% off. Hardly any extra sales with this weeks one and not as good as they sound as still pay full fees and VAT on sale price and ebay bill you later for your share of the 10%
    Went to a trade fair this week in Harrogate and only discovered when I got there it was sponsored by ebay. No mention of it anywhere on ebay, no ebay representatives to talk to.
    Like most things ebay do and the minute, try to cover everything but do nothing great. They still want the used market but want business to come on board but then don’t clamp down on the private sellers running a business.

  • SAM
    5 months ago

    They put a banner on their Facebook page so???

    If they do not actually surface your deals on the deal page…which is what they need to do it is pointless….this is where customers search, it is where the links go from pages like hotukdeals.
    They said they would share the cost of the 20%…fine no issue. They are not providing the coverage they said they would.
    They however are not surfacing the deals for the vast majority of sellers this is the issue.
    Guy with over 1/2 million fb is being surfaced.

  • Robin
    5 months ago

    What independent body can verify their claims about this “237% rise” ?!?!

  • Amj
    5 months ago

    ebay fees are up fprm approx 15 to 17% before managed payments, to approx 24 to 25% now.. take vat, cost of delivery, product costs etc and leaves very little..

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