Thousands expected to register their own business on eBay this January

eBay has crunched its data, and is seeing a surge in new business registrations this month. While January has historically been the most popular month to start a business, the platform is seeing a 30 per cent bump in business registrations as aspiring entrepreneurs increasingly seek to diversify their income or become their own boss.

Online marketplace eBay is braced for a 30 per cent surge in new business registrations this month. January is the most popular time to start-up online, according to new figures released by the marketplace.

eBay, which has operated for over 20 years in the UK, also announced that 75,000 businesses have started up via its mobile app alone in the UK over the past three years, indicating small businesses owners are getting evermore tech savvy.

The top ten most successful new businesses that registered on eBay UK last year are now turning over nearly a combined £6 million through their eBay stores. This is an average of £600,000 per online business in its first year.

Related: The essential guide to setting up a business on eBay

Petrol heads power an army of new businesses

The new car market in the UK dipped in 2018, potentially partially fuelled by a legion of startups in the eBay Car Parts and Accessories industry, as drivers sought to repair their older models rather than buying a new vehicle.

Over a third (35 per cent) of the top 20 new sellers on eBay over the past three years operate in the Cars and Car Accessories category, where buyers can purchase niche parts for specific car models. Home and Garden and Physical Media (such as vinyl) are the other most popular categories for most successful new firms.

Car parts also dominate the top ten most popular products sold by new eBay businesses:


  1. Rear Light Assemblies
  2. Wall Decals & Stickers
  3. Headlight Assemblies
  4. Wing Mirrors & Accessories
  5. Doors & Door Parts
  6. CDs
  7. Seat Covers & Cushions
  8. DVDs & Blu-rays
  9. Window Motors, Winders & Parts
  10. Wings & Quarter Panels

A nation of ‘Sandwich Startups’

The peak time of the day for launching a business on eBay is between 12-4pm, as aspiring entrepreneurs resolve to escape the office humdrum for the independence of running a business during lunch. Many have found success in making the switch.

Speaking about the figures, Rob Hattrell, vice president of eBay in the UK says, ‘2017 was a fantastic year for our sellers, many of whom saw export growth, with countries like Australia, the US and France the lead destinations for UK goods on eBay.

‘2018 looks set to be even better with start-ups launching in droves this January – providing even more choice for savvy shoppers looking to find a unique product online.

‘We are optimistic about the future for online retail, which is increasingly a story of changing customer demands and the nimble businesses that are able to adapt at pace.’

Many new January businesses start out part time as a way of testing out an idea or earning some extra income.

One such successful January entrepreneur is 22-year-old Jignesh Pabari, founder of vehicle paint business Intermix Supplies Ltd, based in Southall, London. Having left school at 15 and worked as a trainee in other trade businesses, Jignesh took the plunge to set up his own business in January 2016 by investing some savings in paint supplies and registering on eBay.

Two years later, he’s turned over around hundreds of thousands of pounds and is now planning to grow his business by expanding his product ranges and employing staff.

Jignesh Pabari, founder of Intermix Supplies Ltd, which sells car paint says, ‘There was no ‘lightbulb’ moment where I said I’d start a business, but the 2016 New Year felt like the right time to make the jump into starting my car paint firm. I’d always wanted to build my own company and always kept a casual eye out for gaps in the market.

‘I noticed that consumers were increasingly repainting their cars, and re-colouring their vehicles to spruce up older models. In many ways, this trend inspired the decision to launch Intermix Supplies Ltd on eBay in early 2016.

‘It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since then. Through a combination of online sales on eBay and physical sales to local tradespeople, I’ve gradually been able to build up a reputation for good quality, reliable service and am seeing returning and referral customers, both online and in the physical shop. The key for the eBay shop is providing the same service for online customers as those who come through my doors.

‘I couldn’t have made it this far without the support of my girlfriend, Sejal. She’s been with me every step of the way, from supporting me as a start-up to mucking in operationally as the business has grown – she’s been fantastic.

‘In 2018, the aim is to grow the business in new markets. By providing a wider range of products and building a team to manage demand, I can continue on an upward trajectory.’

About eBay

The original disruptor of the e-commerce world, eBay has come of age – but it’s still shaking up traditional retail with a global marketplace that welcomes big brands, empowers entrepreneurs and serves 23.5 million customers a month in the UK alone.

eBay was the first online marketplace. Today, it’s a household name. A regular feature in lists of best loved brands, it connects millions of buyers and sellers, helping customers to find the item they’re looking for from its 1.1 billion listings.

With buyers in 190 markets, trade is fast. The UK website sells a car part every second, and searches for must-have items, like 2017’s fidget spinner, regularly top fifty searches a second.

This incredible interest directly benefits the small businesses who trade on eBay, giving them access to an audience once unthinkable for a small shop on the high street.

eBay fast facts:

  • eBay has 168 million active buyers around the world.
  • eBay serves 23 million Brits a month.
  • Princess Charlotte is currently the most influential Royal when it comes to buying behaviour on – inspiring searches for her outfit every time she appears
  • 88 per cent of the items for sale on eBay are now offered at a fixed price and 81 per cent are brand new.
  • All sellers on eBay benefit from one of the most popular mobile apps in the market – downloaded more than 380 million times and counting – along with a ready-made web presence that is fast, mobile and secure.
  • eBay has helped many thousands of small businesses to succeed. Small British firms regularly rank in the top five grossing sellers on’s biggest trading days like Black Friday, and over a thousand British sellers who started with a shop on eBay are now running million pound businesses, providing jobs to people in their communities.
  • The marketplace created one of the first-ever mobile apps, and today over 60 per cent of international buyers shop online through their mobile device, putting the products of small businesses directly into the hands of consumers whenever they want to shop.

Further reading on starting your business on eBay

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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