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How entrepreneurial Brits are making an average of £33,000 a year selling online

London, UK - 12 June 2014: Independent research from CollectPlus has found that Brits are selling goods online through eBay, Amazon, Gumtree, and their own websites to earn themselves a wage, last year making an average of £33,000. People in the North West* are revealed to be the most entrepreneurial with average annual profits from their online selling of £42,192 (1.5 times the average national wage).

Whilst for 44%, selling their wares online started as a hobby, for more than half the money they make is now their primary source of income. Almost three in every five (59%) people that have set up an online business are reliant on the money to make ends meet, with 44% using the profit from their new business to top up their existing income. One in five (20%) began selling online when they were unemployed whilst 11% did so when after being made redundant.

However, not everyone’s motives for setting up a business are financial. 46% started selling online because they wanted their own business and the online marketplace gave them the best opportunity to do that. Nearly a third (30%) were driven to start trading online because they wanted a better work life balance and selling online gave them more flexibility.

Although 88% of online entrepreneurs are busier since setting up their own business, 70% are much happier and 82% even have ambitions to expand their online business over the next 12 months. Some love being their own boss so much that a third (30%) run two or more ventures online through their own website or an online marketplace service such as eBay and Amazon. Plus, it’s not just a great haircut that can do wonders for your self-esteem, 71% of people that have set up their own online business admit to feeling more confident since taking the plunge.


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Case study: A home grown business

Jenny Inglis, 37, is the owner of , which she set up in 2012. She turns children's artwork into cushions and canvasses to make personalised presents. The business has grown into a significant enterprise, with orders coming from far and wide, and Jenny fits running the business around looking after her three children.

Jenny said: “Ditsy Doodles has provided me with a great way to make an income that fits around my lifestyle. As a mother, it’s difficult to find work that fits around childcare.

“I’ve always loved sewing and it gives me great pride and satisfaction to make money from something I’m passionate about. Since I started selling, I’ve learned a lot of new business skills – and it's great to have something outside of looking after the children - I think it has made me much more fulfilled.

“In order to make it financially viable, it's really important to keep costs down. Low cost and convenient postage is essential. For the last few months, I’ve been using CollectPlus, which allows me to purchase the delivery online, print off a label and then take the parcel to a local participating shop. It makes the whole process so convenient.”


*UK’s most entrepreneurial regions based on average monthly earnings

About CollectPlus:

CollectPlus is the largest store-based parcel and delivery service in the UK. Its Send service is great for small retailers, marketplace traders and individuals who own their own businesses as it gives them the flexibility to send orders out as and when best suits them. There are over 5,500 local convenience stores, newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations that offer the CollectPlus service, and there’s a simple way for people to find their nearest store - by entering their postcode on the website.


For further information, please contact the CollectPlus team at the Red Consultancy:

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 025 6500

Notes to editors:


The research was conducted by Opinion Matters and commissioned by CollectPlus.

Data was secured via telephone interviews in October 2013, with the UK sample consisting of 1,000 people in the UK, aged 18 and above, who run an e-commerce site (or sell their items on eBay, Amazon etc), most likely to be their sole income or full time occupation for a hobby or who sell personal items online to make some extra cash (e.g. eBay).


CollectPlus is the largest store-based delivery and returns service giving online shoppers the ability to collect and drop off parcels at their local store. Founded in 2009, it answers a clear need for a modern alternative to the Post Office that is convenient and easy to use.

The success of the innovative model is reflected in the 260 retail brands that CollectPlus provides returns solutions for, with nearly 100 added over the past year.  Click&Collect+, which enables customers to order online and have their items delivered to their local CollectPlus store, is available from a rising number of retailers; from Amazon to Asda and House of Fraser to River Island. This complements the returns offer that CollectPlus provides to retailers, thereby offering a complete delivery and returns service.

With a network of over 5,500 stores open early ‘til late seven days a week; 90% of the UK population already live within a mile of a CollectPlus shop in urban areas and 89% within five miles in rural areas. The store network has grown by over a quarter in the last 12 months and continues to expand.

CollectPlus is a joint venture between PayPoint, the leading retail payment network, and the UK’s leading parcel delivery company, Yodel.

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