The North East Regional Portal is launching a new competition “You Trade” to encourage online entrepreneurship in the North of England. Open to residents of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Tees Valley Â£2000 will be awarded to get contestants started trading on eBay.
Budding eBay sellers need to submit a business plan which will be judged by a panel of industry experts with the ten successful applicants announced by 9th February. A condition of entry is that they start trading on eBay by 31st March. They will also have to demonstrate how they will support themselves during the year and of course confirm that their business will trade on eBay. Entry is not open to anyone who currently has a business registration with eBay.
It often seems easy to say “Lets start an eBay business” but the truth is most successful sellers either grow organically expanding from profits, or already had a business and migrate to eBay as a second income stream. Many sellers complain if they “just had the money for stock” they’d be able to compete. The truth is that someone else always has more to invest than you and it really is possible to build a substantial business from a tiny initial investment. eBay is a fiercely competitive environment where only the fittest survive long term.
This does remind me of the Guardian competion from 2005 where seed money was Â£1500. Do competitions like this really produce winners – or is it a publicity stunt? Do the winners go on to build successful ongoing businesses? The eventual winner of the Guardian competion has shut up shop on eBay. Although they continue as an avid eBay buyer they no longer sell on the site. Having said that the two closest runners up are still trading, so maybe the wrong winner was chosen.
We’ll watch with interest as the ten new competitors enter the online fray and see how they fare. The true test is not during the competition, but also if the businesses they start are sound and can stand the test of time.
If you live in the North East you can apply at n-e-life.com, deadline for entries is 8th January 2007.
In the case of the Guardian competition, I’d vote strongly for “gimmick”. Of the five winners, three of them have closed their shops, the book bag lady has 22 items listed with 32 f/b received in the last month, and the soap people have 28 items listed, with just 2 f/b received. Doesn’t look like any of them are going to get rich.
I’m the project manager for the YouTrade project at n-e-life.com and I’m ecstatic that TameBay has highlighted this project. There’s too much focus on winning – what I’m after are 10 sustainable businesses that can grow and perhaps add jobs in the future. What people sell isn’t important – commercial success is what the World is all about and here in the North East of England, we need more people to start their own business. If YouTrade can do this for 10 individuals, the project will have been worthwhile. Support us and spread the word!!
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