Birmingham is UK’s fastest growing eBay city

No primary category set

Since the recession began in 2008 over 45,000 new businesses have opened up on eBay. The total turnover of these new ‘recession bloomer’ businesses exceeded £350 million in 2010, showing a new wave of entrepreneurialism has hit the UK. Over 3,500 of these post recession entrepreneurs are turning over in excess of £100,000.

eBay data also reveals that Birmingham is the UK’s hot-spot for e-commerce start-ups, with over 1,000 new businesses setting up since the recession, contributing over £18 million to the local economy. Nearly a third of all eBay businesses in Birmingham have been established since September 2008.

UK’s top 5 post-recession e-commerce hot-spots
The findings call in to question the Government’s regional economic growth strategy, as the top four post-recession hot-spots have all been named as Enterprise Zones by the April 2011 budget – areas that will receive measures such as tax breaks and simplified planning rules to stimulate growth and allow businesses to thrive – despite the fact they seems to be succeeding economically without Government assistance. Important regional growth centres such as Southampton, Portsmouth, Norwich and Swindon are all under-performing according to eBay data, but no plans have been announced to encourage growth and enterprise in these areas.

Angus McCarey, Retail Director for eBay UK points out that “We know that many new businesses have struggled since the recession, and the Government must ensure the next 10 Enterprise Zones announced are the areas most in need of support”.

What we don’t know is if the new businesses on eBay are “new” businesses or if they’re existing companies who have added eBay as a new channel. One thing is for certain though in the areas highlighted above business on eBay is booming. The top growing eBay categories are Health and Beauty, Mobile and Home Phone, Home and Garden, Clothes, Shoes and Accessories and Business, Office and Industrial. Over 30% of the businesses in all five of these categories started trading on eBay during the recession.

Emma Jones, co-founder of Startup Britain – a Government-backed campaign which supports new enterprises said “Since the StartUp Britain campaign was launched a couple of months ago, we have witnessed a 25% increase in the number of people searching for the term ‘start up’ – this is clearly borne out by eBay research showing more people earning a full or part time living from trading online. What’s more, there is evidence to show if people around you are starting businesses, you are more likely to do so yourself. That’s why we’re delighted so many people have come forward to launch a StartUp Local campaign in their area. They will be working to encourage and support the next generation of eBay entrepreneurs!”

21 Responses

  1. Birmingham and Manchester were always my favorite two cities to run or attend ecommerce events. Much more action than in London and great entrepreneurial crowd.

  2. What a surprise! Big Cities with high populations have generated more New ebay businesses. I would be far more surprised if Bognor Regis or Skegness or perhaps Little Piddlington on Mud was on that list.

  3. Look at the figures and if you break them down eBay are saying that the average new business seller since 2008 has sold somewhere between 400 to 600 items each at an average price of between £14 to £17 with a total average turnover of around £10500 per seller.

    Now I don’t know about you but that does not make for a viable business in my book so I would question whether these are actual business sellers or simply private sellers who have registered or reregistered as businesses to take advantage of lower fees and/or powerseller status.

    Remember eBay/Paypal are taking around £1500 in fees leaving the seller with £8500 earnt over 2-3 years.

    And how many of these “new” sellers are still in business or have decided to quite eBay.

    Those figures have not been disclosed.

    All in all yet another example of eBay misuse of fee income to produce meaningless bloat.

    Become leaner and meaner eBay and cut your fees.

  4. “Important regional growth centres such as Southampton, Portsmouth, Norwich and Swindon are all under-performing according to eBay data, but no plans have been announced to encourage growth and enterprise in these areas.”

    can’t speak for the other places but Norwich has the highest ebayer to population ratio in the UK…so growth is bound to be low.

    Statistics… horrible word!!, always make me think bullsh@t.

  5. Business start ups normally receive incentives and reliefs.

    eBay are the exact opposite and new eBay business start ups are at a disadvantage. There is no DSR or feedback relief for 12 months and full fees are paid until TRS status is earnt.

    eBay therefore are a very poor example to use for business start ups and I am surprised that Emma Jones appears to be backing eBay with the StartUp crusade.

    The stats above suggest that most new eBay businesses actually don’t last that long or plod along with little actual growth.

    Maybe if eBay granted and guaranteed TRS status for the first 12 months of a new business start up and waived insertion fees and shop fees then eBay could “hand on heart” claim to support new business start ups.

    As it stands right now eBay have a heart of stone.

  6. In that same info from eBay they claim 24000 new business opening up in 2010 represents a 38% increase.

    For the increase to be 38% the original base figure has to be around 63000.

    Now ebay are claiming just 45000 in total since Sept 2008.

    63000 + 24000 = 87000

    Does this mean that around 50% of the new businesses have failed?

    Or are the figures wrong?

  7. To be totally honest, I am looking at trying to find something my Fiancee can do, as long as she makes £100.00 profit a week after Tax and fees/postage then I’d be a happy man!…Currently she’s not working and we have a Wedding to pay for next year!!…Wondering what is out there guys – Gary – Any suggestions???

    Kind Regards



Manchester parcel postbox a hit with local sellers


Royal Mail Dorcan Mail Centre closed due to Coronavirus case

MANCHESTER, UK - APRIL 22: People ride FirstGroup city buses on

New Amazon Manchester Corporate office now open


This is why Manchester is an e-commerce Powerhouse


Online Seller Meet-up, Manchester: 27/9/17

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars