Yesterday I caught up with Vicki Widdis who, having registered an account on eBay in 2001, has been an online trader since a year before I first discovered eBay.
I’ve known Vicki for years and even once sold her a random printer cable, but this is the first time I’ve visited her warehouse, even though I’ve been meaning to for some time. This is her story:
Vicki started selling on eBay in 2001 when her twins were 3 as a hobby as something to do. By 2004 she had turned pro, registered as a sole trader and then became VAT registered in 2006 when her 3rd son was born.
She says “I had my son without closing down the eBay adventure and without any customers knowing I even had a baby. In 2010 following the death of my father I set up a limited company (TAOS Trading Ltd) with my husband Rob and we gave up all other forms of income. Since then we have grown from strength to strength building the business slowly without any loans or debts“.
Vicki told me the story of going on holiday with her family in the early days. As well as packing for a family holiday they set off with a ton of stock, a laptop, a mobile for Internet access (which resulted in an unexpectedly large phone bill!) and even a printer. Customers didn’t know the Widdis family were on holiday, but that’s the commitment it takes to grow a business on eBay.
The warehouse is an Alladin’s cave stacked to the brim with all manner of products including chocolate (specialising in dairy free and no added sugar), sweets and liquorice as well as bath bombs, candles, gift sets, toys, stocking fillers, batteries and more.
To give you an idea of the range, TAOS Trading’s hot items at the moment are Scentos Fruit Scented Markers Pens, Milka Assorted White & Milk Chocolate Mini Easter Eggs and Scented Mini Bath Marbles Fizzers
I’m in awe of anyone that can amass over 50,000 feedback, getting a purple shooting star on eBay, and Vicki passed that landmark over a year ago.
It was great to catch up with Vicki, and a huge congratulations to her and her husband Rob for building such a successful family business.