New businesses joining eBay UK surge 335% in June as Brits continue to turn to entrepreneurialism despite lockdown easing

Press Release

  • June saw the biggest year-on-year spike in new businesses joining eBay UK during lockdown, up 335% compared with June 2019
  • Westminster, Islington, and Manchester top the list for the most eBay businesses created in lockdown
  • The most popular product categories for new lockdown start-ups include Fashion, Cycling, Fitness, DIY and Skincare
  • eBay UK has today opened entries for this year’s eBay for Business Awards, offering eBay entrepreneurs the chance to win up to £20,000 to invest in their business

Wednesday 29th July 2020, London – New data fromeBay UK reveals June saw the biggest year-on-year spike in new businesses joining the platform, up 335%, as the trend of setting up a lockdown start-up became more mainstream. 

The number of new start-ups joining eBay UK grew consistently each month during lockdown, with the number of new businesses joining the platform in June almost 40% greater than in April when the impact of lockdown was first felt[1].

Despite the recent easing of lockdown in the UK, the data highlights a new trend – “the rise of the lockdown start-up” – with many Brits using the increase in downtime and being furloughed from their usual employment to create new business ventures or to turn their side hustles into full-time jobs.

Over the course of lockdown, eBay UK experienced a 256% rise in the number of new eBay start-ups compared with the same period last year.

Henry Cawley, 23 from Norfolk, started his business UK Components on eBay in lockdown, while his university degree was on hold, he said:“In March my university life was put on pause because of Coronavirus. I had so much more free time, which helped me focus on developing my business idea. Three months ago, in the height of the pandemic, I took the plunge and opened an eBay business. That decision has massively paid off! I sell components for 3D printers and every month my sales are growing between 40-50%, and there’s no sign of it slowing down any time soon. For a young entrepreneur like me, eBay has been the perfect place to start my business, allowing me to reach millions of customers in such a short space of time without needing to invest in a website or store. When I do go back to Uni in September, I plan to keep selling on eBay to fund my schooling and make this my full-time job after graduation.”

Steve Capon, from Brighton, launched his product Matey Measure on eBay during lockdown, he said: “I’m a builder of over 30 years, but in lockdown I started up an eBay business to sell my new invention – a special tape measure aid – inspired by my day to day job. I set up Matey Measure on eBay and suddenly my products were flying off the shelves with customers leaving really positive reviews. I used eBay as the primary place to sell my product to make it easy and simple for customers to purchase wherever they are. I’m now getting interest from international buyers and have sold Matey Measure in countries like USA, Japan, New Zealand and Australia! It’s been so successful that I’m considering giving up my job to focus my efforts solely on my business and inventions.”

The data also uncovers the areas across the UK with the greatest entrepreneurial spirit during lockdown, with seven out of ten of the locations for the most eBay businesses created in London:

1.     City of London and Westminster – 3,346

2.     Islington South – 1,002

3.     Central Manchester– 949

4.     Holborn and St Pancras – 929

5.     South Aberdeen– 893

6.     Poplar and Limehouse – 847

7.     Ladywood, Birmingham – 638

8.     Bethnal Green and Bow – 635

9.     Bermondsey and Old Southwark – 619

10.  Vauxhall – 580


Rob Hattrell, VP of eBay UK said: “The boom in new businesses joining eBay in lockdown proves that when faced with a crisis, Brits see opportunity. The UK is a nation of entrepreneurs and this data shows that a global pandemic hasn’t dampened that spirit, but instead has spawned the rise of ‘the lockdown start-up’. I’m thrilled to see so many small businesses, start-ups and even side-hustlers take to eBay to sell, grow and even export internationally during this challenging time.”


The most popular product categories for new lockdown start-ups reflected overall consumer spending trends during the period, including a rise the number of Brits cycling, getting in shape, and taking on home DIY projects as well as recreating spa and salon experiences from home.


  1. Men’s Clothing
  2. Women’s Clothing
  3. Speciality Fashion
  4. Cycling
  5. Cars & Parts
  6. Mobile Phone Accessories
  7. Fitness, Running & Yoga
  8. Swimming Pools & Hot Tubs
  9. DIY Materials
  10. Facial Skin Care


The data comes as eBay UK announces thelaunch of its fourth annual nationwide eBay for Business Awards. The competition aims to find and celebrate the most successful, innovative, and inspiring entrepreneurs from the platform’s 300,000-strong community of small businesses. 10 winners will be selected, and entrants will have the opportunity to win up to £20,000.  

Entrants should submit their entry on the eBay for Business awards website




Notes to editors 


eBay Small Businesses:


Henry Cawley, UK Components

Henry is a 23-year-old engineering student from Norfolk, studying at the University of Bath. In March his degree was put on hold due to the pandemic, which led him to develop his own business on eBay, selling 3D printer components. Three months into the lockdown, UK Components was launched. I just started as a way to make a bit of money, while uni was paused. Now, his business has turned over £4,000 in just three months and his sales are increasing by 40-50% month on month. Henry is currently operating his business from his mum’s kitchen in Norfolk, but he hopes to return to Bath for his final year of university in September. He has no plans to stop expanding his business and his aim is that after graduation UK Components will become his full-time job.


Steve Capon, Matey Measure

From Brighton, Steve is a builder part-time. But in lockdown, he started up an eBay business to sell his new invention – a special tape measure aid – inspired by his day to day job. He set up Matey Measure on eBay in lockdown, while work was slower. Then suddenly his products were flying off the shelves with customers leaving really positive reviews which created more of a buzz around the product, and led to even more sales. Now Steve has sold his invention to buyers across the world in countries like Japan, New Zealand and Australia. He has also been able to give up his part-time job as a builder and focus his efforts solely on his business and inventions full-time.




eBay UK counted new businesses joining eBay during lockdown as the number of new businesses which registered on eBay UK and listed items to sell between 27 March – 23 July 2020.


eBay for Business Awards Competition Terms:

The eBay for Business Awards Competition is open from 09:00:00 July 27, 2020 and will end on 11:59:59 August 24, 2020 BST. Entrants must be aged 18 or over, be registered on prior to entry and not have a below standard account. For full terms and conditions visit


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[1] 39% growth in the number of new businesses joining eBay UK in June 2020 vs April 2020