Rise of ‘e-pportunists’

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The number of people earning a second income by trading online has doubled in the past year, according to a survey by Collect+.

Over half 59 per cent of online traders surveyed began their web businesses within the last 12 months, suggesting many have turned to the net to supplement their income as real wages fall and the job market remains stagnant.

According to the research, many “e-pportunists” depend on the additional income to make ends meet: almost a quarter (23 per cent) said that they would struggle to pay bills without this additional income. However, for a third of those surveyed, success has meant that they are planning to leave their day job.

Nearly half of respondents, 46 per cent, said they are reliant on mail services to get their goods to customers.

Collect+ chief Mark Lewis, who is the former European director at ebay, said: “I have met with many of these e-pportunists who find an additional income online, for example selling on eBay. But to do this full time, and to make the leap of faith required, you need to know that the support is out there for you to scale your operation. One element that can often be forgotten is how do I get my goods to customers? For many juggling the demands of starting up a business being able to send goods outside of normal working hours is real help.”

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