It started out as a hobby that brought in some extra pocket money in April, 2009. But six months later, Karee was so busy with the Glitterstore, that she had to close down her financial business which was no longer even doing well.
Kareem who runs an online store, Glitterstore had her own business working as as mortgage adviser. Her daughter who dancing at that time needed some glitters which was very scarce. So, Kareem thought, “I could buy some of these and resell them online.”
She says, “We have our own website now but at the time we were just selling through eBay. But we have stayed online and sell worldwide.
“My daughter’s now about to turn 18. She’s still very much involved – she will look in and tell me the products her age group uses as well. My son, who is 21, does the photography while he goes through university.
“We turn over just under £500,000 a year now. In the first year, if we’d turned over £25,000 it would have been quite good.”
Here’s an outline of what Kareen did, and what you can do too:
1. Learn new skills
We have got a Business Gateway (a service offering free business support in Scotland) in Dumbarton. I went on different courses – I already knew how to run a business but I didn’t know anything about ecommerce.
2. Make a business plan
At the start, the eBay business was expected to be a sideline. But within a few months we had done a business plan. It said: “Here’s where we want to go.”
3. Remember the costs
I see people selling products where I know how much they cost, and they are selling them for less. People look at the top line, not the bottom line. They forget PayPal and eBay have fees.
4. Build a great reputation
We built our business based on service, not price. We send out products immediately, as we have got the stock here. And with our industry if you go too low it looks like it is not a genuine product.
5. Take professional pictures
We have a photography studio and we do most of our photography ourselves. It is copyrighted because quite a lot of the guys come along and think: “I’ll have that.” eBay are looking for good pictures.
6. Stay ahead of the curve
A lot of our market are UV festival goers. That dictates a lot of what we do. One product came from the US to plump up the lips. We have the official product rather than the fakes flooding the market.