I’m surprised you stumbled upon me… I’m just a typical university undergrad.
Well, my name is Callum (nothing special), I am 18 years old and run a small eBay business whilst studying for a degree in Accounting & Finance at De Montfort University (in Leicester). I’ve started this blog with hope that we are able to share the journey of what it is like to be a university student and run a newly found business at the same time. I’m sure that this will be a roller coaster ride, especially since my latest decision has been to start this blog instead of finishing my two assignments before the Christmas break, but hey, I’m sure you’re procrastinating too (especially if you’re a fellow uni student!)
So, lets get this blog going and growing (along with the business hopefully).
The internet is one of the most powerful tools any businessman can possess. E-Commerce is a new seed in the ever growing garden of the business world, and nearly everyone has the ability to use this tool in a wide variety of ways. My personal, yet short experience within e-commerce has led me to begin this blog with the hope of being able to share the journey of my eBay business with you, and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get involved with business.
Now, you may think that saying i sell stuff on eBay must mean that i’m just selling what most people call ‘rubbish’ or that ‘eBay doesn’t really count as owning a business’. I suppose to an extent that can be true. eBay is used as a platform for many different consumer needs and is a ‘marketplace’ of which people can choose to open a business in, or to simply be a consumer. Not to mention it is a great place for people to get rid of old ‘rubbish’.
“What do you sell?” an endlessly asked question I’ve had throughout the year, and, the one you’re probably asking right now. I would love to be able to say that I sell million pound sports cars and get a good rate of commission, but to let you down softly it is really nothing all too interesting. I essentially sell replacement parts for popular Games consoles and also other items which relates to gaming (boring i know). My favourite way of describing it to people is that “I basically sell pieces of plastic to people that I’ve bought from China” and the common response is “Why would anyone buy that?”. As of now, I’m not entirely sure why some of my items sell so well, maybe in a few blogs time I’ll be able to come up with some sort of explanation.
eBay is to the internet is what the alcohol aisle in Tesco’s is for a student; a place where a lot of money is spent. This is exactly why I chose eBay as my platform; the opportunity for growth is large and consumers are easily accessible. eBay has made running my business a great amount easier, as many important and notable aspects are shown in a comprehensive, yet easy to understand manner. As of now, E_Gamer is setting records for monthly sales (£556.72 in the last 30 days). It is equally as satisfying to see that growth against the market is 39.5% higher compared to the market itself (10%).Such information eases the stresses of running the business as it means that i do not have to research the respective growth trends myself, making it easier to understand E_Gamer’s competitive position.
The thought that £556.72 of sales in 30 days has been generated from my university bedroom is incredibly exciting. Of course there are many other start-ups which are generating more, but to come from an initial investment of £75 in February, to generating over £2500 worth of sales in less than a year is something I am very proud of because it is an idea/challenge/dream that I have put into action. Usually I would brush it aside like with most things i do and not make it happen. Admittedly, the sales figure doesn’t shout amazing things at the moment, but its potential to grow is something that I believe should be looked at most.
This time last year i was sat at home in my bedroom being an excitable 17 year old who just had just passed his driving test (4th December) and was looking forward to getting his first car (oh what a story that was… another time maybe). A year later, I’m crying at the cost of having a car, whilst studying for a degree and learning how to fend for myself at uni, all whilst having a little business on the side called E_Gamer. How times change…
I would have never expected to have anything like this at all (E_Gamer). It has become such a strong driving factor in my life. Some people may say its sad that I am fairly in love with my own business, but in order for a business to succeed, you have to have the drive to make it succeed, and so far I feel a sense of pride and success in what I have achieved so far. However, it is still not enough for me, the business is still small in comparison to some of the larger eBay competitors. But, on the other hand, I am growing at a very fast rate too. To put things into some sort of relative perspective, when i first received my first amount of stock, it would sell once every other day, maybe not even that often. Now, I consistently make at least 3 sales a day on average which means I do a lot more Post Office runs. This figure is creeping up slowly, but this is most likely down to increased spending at Christmas (do some research Callum!). Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see where the business heads in the coming months and whether it begins to decline.
Why do people actually buy my items? The answer, research.
It’s the thing everyone hates doing, especially with all the referencing that needs to be done (if you’re a uni student reading this, I feel your pain). However, when it comes to business and setting up a business, research is one of the fundamentals. You could just jump into the deep end and order a 100 units of something you think will sell, only to have them sit and do nothing (like the A-level me), whilst your mum has a go at you asking you why you’ve got a box full of ‘rubbish’ just sat in your bedroom. Luckily once I was able to prove to my mum that the box of ‘rubbish’ was actually worth something to people, she gave a bit more leeway about leaving boxes full of what I call ‘stock’ in my bedroom.
Since then, those boxes have become bigger and worth more to my customers. I have recently just placed an order of £229 for more stock, my largest order yet. If the business hadn’t have grown and I hadn’t have done some sort of research, I may not have been able to enter the market in the way that I have.
I reckon that’s enough business talk for one blog, and I would like to finish it off with this.
Personally, I could have not have chosen a better time for E_Gamer to grow. As my university life has begun, so has the experience of growing not only a business, but as a person. Writing this blog tonight has been a real eye-opener as to what i can achieve in life and i hope that this venture is another thing i can be proud of (I also hope my blog writing skills can improve).
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed.
My eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/e_gamer