I’ve just got off the phone with Paul Brown who’s currently in Colombia. Paul and his childhood friend Dave Waters founded an eBay business from their university dorm. Their 10 year old business BuySend has grown to be one of the biggest eBay businesses in the world but their ambitions are even bigger.
The early days
After university the business mushroomed, although a couple of container loads of faulty goods caused a major hiccough and put them right back to square one. It was at this point they went back to basics – to buy and offer a large range of products and send them to their customers with fast delivery backed up with amazing customer service. BuySend was born.
Starting with Paul and Dave, first family were employed and then with more employees the business exploded until their relatively new website was launched. Along they way they’ve won a ton of awards and now, ever ambitious, the aim is to turn BuySend.com into a household name.
Software, automation and reinvesting profits
Ever since the guys started BuySend they have reinvested all their profits back into computer systems and infrastructure. This has enabled them to automate as many of the day to day processes as possible, reducing overheads and increasing profits.
Interestingly they were courted by many multichannel software solutions, but Paul says that the knew that to create a hugely successful, and more importantly scalable business they had to build their own software. Although this has cost upwards of a million pounds, ten years on they are now reaping the benefits, holding a huge advantage over their competitors.
BuySend now have a team of eight inhouse software developers and as well as the obvious marketplace and courier integrations they’ve fully automated stock re-purchasing so the buying team is limited to sourcing new product. There’s no need for a larger team manually placing orders for day to day stock purchases.
Expansion to new marketplaces and overseas
Although they first started selling on eBay UK, BuySend quickly integrated with other worldwide eBay platforms such as US and Australia before also launching on worldwide Amazon platforms such as US and Japan. Every month they are now launching on new marketplaces and with every new marketplace comes more sales and more profits. The investment of these profits into further developing their software, combined with increasing their product range ensures that they are continually snowballing towards the goal of making BuySend.com a household name.
Why is Paul in Columbia?
Well they visit every marketplace that they sell on so currently Paul is visiting Mercadolibre and Linio (who we recently interviewed on Tamebay). Paul tells me that whilst it’s not essential, there’s nothing to replace getting on a plane and meeting with the marketplaces in person. It gets attention from the marketplaces and makes an often steep learning curve easier.
The future for BuySend
So what’s the future for BuySend? Now, with the advanced systems they have in place BuySend are aiming to be offering over one million products listed on their website and marketplace channels by the end of 2017. Currently they receive around 100,000 orders per month, however this will increase exponentially as they integrate with more marketplaces and increase our product range over the coming year. Needless to say they have over a million feedback on eBay alone which has earned them the ‘sweaty’ feedback star.
BuySend is an amazing story and one that will be in part recognised by thousands of eBay sellers who started out from their kitchen table, garage or Uni dorm. A huge congratulations to Paul, Dave and their team and we look forward to coming back in a year or so to update their story!