March 24 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Many online marketplaces earning over £1 million, says report

Many online marketplaces earning over million

How a number of e-commerce sellers have become millionaires.

Online marketplaces foster a growing number of e-commerce businesses, and some are finding staggering success.

According to an article in the Guardian, a large number of sellers rake-in turnover in excess of £1 million.

The story reports that over 200,000 businesses have taken to eBay to sell their wares, with around 2000 of these enjoying millionaire turnovers.

It is not as simple as just setting up shop and sitting back while the money rolls in. This becomes obvious when looking at figures from e-commerce business, Not On The High Street.

Of more than 5000 independent businesses on this particular online marketplace, only 11 saw turnover breach the million pound mark in 2014.

To gain an insight into what makes a million pound e-tailer, the Guardian interviewed three of these millionaire e-commerce firms.

Oakdene Designs

The business of a product design student turned entrepreneur started booming in the run up to Christmas, as orders for their personalised gifts started piling up. Ben Grist, founder of the company, believes part of the reason for his brand’s success comes down to offering a wide range of products on Not On The High Street’s website - from wall stickers to prints, mugs, Christmas decorations, signs and more.


Swapping a physical marketplace business for the digital world was no mean feat for Christy Foster, who chose to start selling her baby equipment primarily through eBay 9 years ago. However, now her business has become worth £9 million she employs her sister’s husband to manage the finances.

The key to her success? Focusing on aggressively selling just one or two lines.


With many competitors in the phone industry selling high-tech models for very little, Ravi Daryanani believes he found a niche by going back in time. His business sells easy-to-use phones with big buttons and clear displays on Amazon, who manages the warehousing and customer service side of things.

“We have quite a small shop in King’s Cross,” said Daryanani in the Guardian article.

“Even if we wanted to expand we don’t have the space to do it; we’ve got to the point where we’re bursting. Now we can use their warehouse so what that means is we send our products to them to manage, and pick and pack on our behalf.”

To read the full article click here.

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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