We're living on Ebay Street
On face value this sleepy Norfolk street is a world apart from the busy world of international trade. But behind closed doors a growing army of residents - from car restorers to car boot sale enthusiasts - are leaving their mark in the competitive world of online wheeling and dealing.
On face value this sleepy Norfolk street is a world apart from the busy world of international trade.
But behind closed doors a growing army of residents - from car restorers to car boot sale enthusiasts - are leaving their mark in the competitive world of online wheeling and dealing.
Leading auction website eBay today names Luscombe Way in Rackheath as the busiest trading street in the country, racking up 2,000 transactions in the past year.
There are only 48 homes on the road but an incredible 32 households - or two thirds - have caught the bug and are signed up to the site. The unlikely entrepreneurs saw off other neighbourhoods in the country including streets in London, Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Whilst for some online trading is a hobby to clear clutter or feed their hobbies, for others it is a nine-to-five job as they run businesses through the site. A diverse mix of traders include:
t Car-lover James Sadler who spends his days working as an IT professional but in his free time restored clapped-out classics in his garage. He trawls the site in search of the parts he needs to fuel his motoring passion, often buying items from as far afield as Australia and America.
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t Fashionista and mum Tracy Storey who loves the idea that her old clothes will find new homes and enjoys collecting feedback after selling a well-loved item she no longer wants.
t Colin Hall who is self employed and runs part of his business on the site selling Portakabins and storage containers. Since getting the eBay bug, he also buys all manner of items for himself, his most recent purchase being a bottle of aftershave.
t Biker Simon Stevens who turned to eBay after he out-grew his beloved biking leathers. Keen to refresh his look, he sold the old leathers to fund the purchase of new ones and has been hooked ever since.
t Around the corner is the leader of the street's eBay pack, Paula Lowe. She runs the local corner shop and gives eBay lessons to those that need help. She loves rummaging through car boot sales for collectable items to sell online.
Mr Salder, whose latest sale 1976 Volkswagen Golf GTI and is now working on a 1950s Porsche, said: “My day job tends to be pretty desk-bound so I turned to car restoring to maintain my sanity.
“Through eBay I can pick up rare parts all over the world which allows me to carry out projects that might not otherwise be possible.
“I've been trading for about two years and probably sell about two or three cars a year. I don't make a huge amount of money but it is an outlet for my hobby.”
Another Luscombe way trader is HK Yeo. He works as an engineer but sells spare computer parts online. Mr Yeo said he has raised several hundred pounds in spare cash over an 18 month period.
“I only really know my direct neighbours and had no idea so many other people on the street were using the site,” he said. “It seems bizarre that so many people in one area all have the same hobby but I guess it means we have something in common.”
Richard Kanareck, a spokesman for eBay, said: “Brits now buy and sell more on eBay than any other nationality, creating a new wave of cottage industries across the country.
“Although the pavements may be quiet, the go-getter residents of Luscombe Way are now reaching thousands of shoppers every day from their living rooms, bedrooms and home offices.”