With the Christmas fast approaching and lockdown restrictions in every one of the four UK nations, new research released today from eBay has found that when it comes to buying presents, we’re shopping small so today we celebrate the eBay for Business Award Winners 2020, many of which are small businesses.
Nearly half of us in the UK are choosing to buy their presents from independent retailers this year while over half are aiming to continue to shop small moving forward in 2021.
“These award-winning small but mighty businesses are a testament to the wealth of entrepreneurial talent right across Britain and we are privileged to have them trade on our platform. Everything means more if you’re small. The ups and downs mean more to them and they put more heart and soul into every sale. When you buy from a small business, you buy from real people and we’ve been blown away by the incredible stories of resilience, tenacity and courage. As more small businesses join eBay, it is also fantastic to see the appetite to shop and support small across the UK also increase.”
– Murray Lambell, General Manager, eBay UK
eBay recently revealed that the number of new businesses joining the platform surged 335% in June, representing the biggest year-on-year spike in new businesses joining eBay UK since the pandemic began. There are now 300,000 small businesses on eBay.
eBay for Business Award Winners 2020
The Resilience Award Winner
The Resilience Award Winner
Twin sisters, Charlotte and Lydia set up their business to create and sell unique and tailor-made hair accessories.
During lockdown they developed a collection of rainbow hair accessories, with 20% of sales from the range being automatically donated to NHS Charities Together. They also created a range of button headbands with doctors and nurses wearing masks in mind.
The Young Upstart Winner
Sam started selling pens from his loft whilst at university studying engineering.
What initially started as a hobby is now a full time business and Sam makes, refurbishes and sells pens from his large home office in his parent’s back garden having graduated from university.
The Lockdown Start-up Award Winner
When James and Natalie’s (35 and 38) baby Isaac was admitted to hospital for an operation, James had to remain at home while his wife stayed in hospital with Isaac.
To keep himself busy he decided to turn his garage into a workshop and sell a variety of furniture. After his wife and son returned safely from hospital, James moved into a workshop with a shop front in Stockport, and since then has employed three workers.
The Eco-Warrior Award Winner
Before beginning her eco business, Carol worked in further education, supporting deaf students. When she was made redundant, Carol’s passion for reducing use of single use plastics drove her to perfecting my beeswax wraps.
Starting from her kitchen, Carol simultaneously nursed her father until he passed away from lymphoma in April 2020, whilst still being able to manage the business with the support of her then-husband.
The Be Your Own Boss Award Winner
Patricia moved to the UK in 2015, from Uganda where she lived and worked in a corporate role. Soon after joining her husband in the UK, Patricia’s son James was born.
Patricia decided she had to create a virtual store so she could work from home and look after her son, and that’s when she created OP CHIC BOUTIQUE. At OP CHIC BOUTIQUE, Patricia buys and sells high end vintage and selected clothing from the high street to her customers, pairing them with accessories.
The IRL to URL Award Winner
Pennyworths, a perfect sweet shop, began 11 years ago in Truro, Cornwall as a high street business by Jennie Crowhurst and her husband. COVID-19 was a crossroads for them. Trading on the high street has become harder over the years and the shop lease was due for renewal this year.
When the immediate need to move on their Easter stock during lockdown arose, they opened an eBay shop and it proved to Jennie that there is still viable business there, even if that business model looks different to how it did in 2009.
The Community Hero Winner
Emmaus Hertfordshire is a social enterprise shop which gives homeless people the tools they need to get their lives back on track.
Existing initially in the form of a physical shop, after passing their £1million turnover target, they turned to eBay to diversify and the eBay store was born in 2019.
The Family Business Award Winner
In 2005, whilst their 3 sons were younger, Rachel’s husband, Billy’s hobby, racing stock cars created quite a hole in their family finances. The couple then started to source small engineered parts in bulk and sell them on eBay, in order to help subsidise his racing expenses.
Since then they’ve upsized to larger premises, have a small showroom and employ a small team including all 3 sons.
The Innovation Award Winner
Powershed’s research has shown that shopping for a shed can be overwhelming with the customer having to look through 100s of sheds and options and find it difficult to know which to choose. Jack spotted his gap in the market and wanted something simple to choose and quick to deliver, taking inspiration from the mattress industry Jack developed a modular garden shed, which can fit on a pallet.
The company was built up from a small personal investment by Jack and Simon and in June 2019 they were awarded a £6000 government grant because they were creating jobs and have since been growing their business.
From Little to Large Award Winner
Plumbworld started trading in 1999, selling bathroom taps, accessories and consumables online, giving consumers a chance to save money when it came to buying bathroom goods.
In 2004 they opened their eBay shop to assist the inbound warehouse team. By the end of July 2017 the eBay store turned over £100k in a single month. New software and a new hire saw them turning over £1.2m a month by July 2019, a huge 1067% growth in less than a couple of years and there is no sign of it stopping.
The Specialist Award Winner
David worked in Car Marketing and Sales for 30 years and restored several cars to show standard over the years. While restoring cars, he would struggle to find good quality parts and this is where his business idea emerged from.
David started his business from home on the side of his job, but has now taken the job full time, selling on eBay, which means he can spend more time with his family. Classic Trim is unique as it specialises in one make of vehicle – unlike other suppliers who supply parts for a variety of makes and models.