Derby crowned eBay capital

Derby County FC might be propping up the Premiership, but the city’s bedroom entrepreneurs have been crowned eBay champions.With London not even figuring in the top 10, quite why more people are opening eBay accounts in Derby and neighbouring East Midlands’ cities Nottingham and Leicester remains unclear.Assuming it’s not the dourness of the football driving them to it, a safer bet is that the locals have clocked on to what’s undoubtedly the world’s largest marketplace.Almost 180,000 people are making a living buying and selling goods on the site, eBay claimed this week. It also announced sales volume now exceeds £2bn. Wow, that’s more than WH Smith’s turnover and the combined wealth of entrepreneurial knights Stelios and Dyson.With 20m users and 10m items listed it’s not hard to see why eBay is a boon for would-be entrepreneurs and bargain hunters alike. But a quick word of warning if you’re looking to join the gold rush: big brother might be watching.HM Revenues and Customs has been monitoring over fears of a ‘black economy’ while eBay itself is coming under increased pressure to ensure users adhere to new distance selling legislation.And with so much competition just how will you make your auction or shop stand out? I’m tempted to caution that selling on eBay can be a bit like opening a shop in the middle of Sherwood forest (nobody’s likely to just pass by and drop in), but then again the locals in that neck of the woods don’t seem put off.Are you an eBay entrepreneur? Is it time those of us outside the East Midlands took it seriously as a business revenue stream?

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