An unprecedented list of the richest sellers on eBay in the UK was recently published and, more interestingly, a Nigerian tops the list.
According to the report, there are over 200,000 UK businesses selling on eBay.co.uk, plus millions of private sellers, generating an estimated £6 billion of sales in the UK every year. On average, individual sellers on eBay UK reportedly make an average of nearly £4 million a year. But Mr. Chinedu ‘Ken’ Emechebe, a 37 year-old father of 2, is definitely above that average.
ITV UK reports that Emechebe has an annual turnover of £15 million selling mobile phone accessories with username universalgadgets01 on eBay.co.uk. For some perspective, at non-black market conversion rates, that amounts to about N4.6 billion a year.
Emechebe does not ‘chop’ it alone though. He employs around 45 people, whom he obviously has to pay, to help run his online store on eBay. You also have to factor in the standard of living in the UK (especially London where Emechebe and his family lives), operating costs and of course, the inevitable UK taxes, among other things. Still, raking in almost N5 billion a year before taxes, from selling stuff online, is quite a feat. Almost unfathomable to someone living in Nigeria. Says Emechebe:
I think the great thing about eBay is just from day one the ease of selling on eBay makes it great for small businesses.
On eBay everything is set up for you. Yes you pay your fees, but you would have to pay for advertising costs if you went on Google.
eBay sets you up, it has millions of people who come on to the website every day, and all these people who are on there are looking for products and deals.
– Chinedu ‘Ken’ Emechebe
Emechebe has been selling on eBay since 2008 and he now makes monthly sales of around 2500 items a day, amounting to monthly turnover of about £1,477,644.63. He started his company in the spare room of his two-bed London flat. Since then he has been “forced” to relocate three more times due to his growing company, and now works out of a 1,200 sq ft warehouse.
Lest I forget, here is the top 10 list of monthly sales:
- universalgadgets01 (Mr. Emechebe) – Electronics and gadgets – £1,477,644.63
- 2) Babz – Electronics and consumables – £1,427,534.13
- 3) estocks – Entertainment and electronics – £995,558.10
- 4) thinkprice – Everything – £633,881.03
- 5) bargain-bonanza – Everything – £549,845.31
- 6) worldofbooks08 – Books – £547,916.04
- 7) lmelctrical – Electrical – £539,310.72
- 8) p.fjones – Car parts and spars – £279,666.84
- 9) angling–warehouse – Fishing and outdoors – £251,525.26
- 10) aceparts–uk – Car parts and spares – £209,132.98
Looking at the list, I can’t help but be reminded just how small the online retail market in Nigeria is compared to more developed part of the world like the UK. But it also means there is plenty room for growth, especially considering the millions of Nigerians that are yet to get on the internet (according to the NCC, over 100 million of them). It would be interesting however to know how much 3rd-party merchants currently make on average selling items on Konga and Jumia in Nigeria. Just for comparison.