eBay businesses beating the recession

Growth areas include fashion, motors, home and garden plus electronics
Kerry Butters
Kerry Butters -


British entrepreneurs who sell through eBay are finding the recession easier to ride out, as the auction site announced yesterday that it has seen a rise in eBay millionaires of 25% this year.

The number of businesses trading on eBay who enjoy a turnover of £1 million or more are said to be boosting their sales by exporting goods to countries such as the US, Australia, Germany, Ireland and France.

Growth areas include fashion, motors, home and garden, and electronics. Brad Aspree of Ravewaves told the BBC that he has a £6 million turnover selling CDs and DVDs.

Retail Director for eBay UK Angus McCarey said in an interview with the BBC that the company will support businesses who become successful due to the site, and said they will help out with advice on matters such as VAT registration.

He went on to say that a “surge” of businesses had started up since the beginning of the recession and added: “Whilst the UK economy is often compared unfavourably to Germany, our figures show good reason to be optimistic.”

“Online SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are growing faster on eBay, with millionaire businesses developing at three times the rate compared to Germany.”

“Exports are helping to drive this success as UK SMEs benefit from the international audience that selling online gives them.”

Most of the companies boasting a turnover of more than £1 million are based in London, followed by Birmingham and Nottingham.

This is good news for the UK economy with many stores reporting a particularly bad summer and Co-Op chief exec Peter Marks recently describing it as “the worst recession in 40 years.”

Whilst recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show that high street retail sales grew only slightly last month, the e-commerce sector is experiencing a growth period.

A survey last month showed that online retailers are expecting to create 750,000 jobs over the next four years and 63% of e-commerce businesses have increased their number of staff over the last year.

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