“Any money that I make, I make for myself,” is how eBay’s 14-year-old entrepreneur, Tommy Howard, founder of Dog in a Box describes his life after joining the marketplace as a seller.
Tommy Howard, an eBay children’s toyseller is an exception as an underage merchant who runs his own business on the marketplace. eBay’s user agreement states that users can’t use eBay’s services including trading on the platform “if you’re under 18.”
Tommy has been selling on eBay for two years, joining eBay when he was only 12 years. He’s store boasts more than 1,000 products in stock, selling an average of 10 items per day and shipping to customers in more than 70 countries. Last year, his rebranded eBay store ‘Dog in a Box,’ coined after his pet Shih Tzu, brought in £6,000 in profit during the first year.
From contacting manufacturers to liaising with wholesalers, Tommy does it all. On a typical day, he has only 30 minutes when he arrives home from school at 4pm to pack and label his products before jumping on his bicycle to meet the local postman at the town mailbox, half a mile away.
“I’ve always wanted to start my own business and have something that I owned myself and that allowed me to have confidence and pride in,” said Tommy. “And I quite like the whole warehousing and logistics side of things and the fact that any money that I make, I make for myself.”
– Tommy Howard, founder, Dog in a Box