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eBay Canada Names Entrepreneur Award-Winners

eBay Canada COO and Director of Product Management Russ Patterson posted the following announcement on the eBay Canada Announcement Board.

Today the winners of our 12th annual eBay Canada Entrepreneur of the Year awards have been announced. For more than a decade, this awards program has been recognizing Canadian eBay sellers who run successful online businesses and contribute to the overall growth of e-commerce in Canada. The seller stories are always incredibly inspiring, and this year’s winners are no exception.

Here are the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year award winners.

Entrepreneur of the Year: 
Yossef Vidal (eBay username: watchvendor) combined his resourcefulness, ability to identify market gaps and strong entrepreneurial spirit to build a successful online business, making him eBay Canada’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year. Determined to start his own business when he was moving back to Canada in 2008, he convinced his employer (an online electronics business) to pay him in inventory for his final months of work. Based out of Montreal, Quebec, he and his wife, Shoshana, started selling cell phones on eBay, but quickly added watches to their inventory after their research showed these were in high demand with limited competition. While the electronics side of the business was slow, Yossef’s watch sales took off instantly – particularly to international buyers – and he and Shoshana quickly expanded their offerings to include name brand jewellery, sunglasses and handbags. A year ago, they successfully reinvigorated their efforts to sell high-end electronics as a result of identifying a gap in the Canadian market they could fill. Yossef and Shoshana pride themselves on giving Canadian customers the opportunity to buy from a domestic company without needing to worry about duty, brokerage, and exchange rates. To date, Yossef and Shoshana have accumulated sales of more than $10 million on eBay.

Omni-Channel Entrepreneur: 
A resident of Etobicoke, Ontario, Nadia Shuaib (eBay username: budget_electronics) started Budget Electronics as a cell phone accessories wholesale business out of her apartment in 2014, primarily selling inventory to local retailers. As a consequence of using eBay’s platform to diversify her sales channels and build a wider consumer base, Nadia’s purchasing power grew and she passed on the savings to customers. As a result, she was able to offer competitive pricing, which in turn helped to continue to grow her sales. Since she began selling on eBay, she has grown her product portfolio by more than ten times and has opened a 3,500 ft2 warehouse that also functions as a bricks-and-mortar store. Nadia has mastered her multi-channel operations, using walk-in customers to keep her abreast of product trends, the eBay platform to gather customer service feedback, and a custom CRM tool to effectively service in-store and online buyers simultaneously. To-date, her online sales have grown on average of more than 1,000 per cent, year-over-year, and she is projecting sales upward of $1 million in 2017. Though her business continues to rapidly grow, she still maintains a personal touch by adding a hand-written note to buyers in every package and routinely traveling to China to inspect goods and meet with suppliers.

Micro-Multinational of the Year: 
In 2011, Adrien Lavoie (eBay username: boardshopw) started his business in the basement of his parents’ house selling skateboard-related merchandise. As part of his growth strategy, he began selling online through eBay and quickly saw success, allowing him to build a 2,100 ft2 bricks and mortar store in Gatineau, Quebec. Two years later, at 24 years old, he won eBay’s Young-Preneur award. Since then, Adrien has evolved his business to focus on sneakers, carrying styles from top brands like Reebok and Adidas that are less readily available in international markets. Selling globally is the key to Adrien’s success: 90 per cent of his sales are from outside of Canada, including the U.S., France, Australia, Germany, the U.K. and Japan. In fact, he regularly ships items to more than 45 countries. To-date, Adrian has sold more than $1 million worth of shoes and apparel on eBay, and his year-over-year sales continue to double.

Along with bragging rights, these three Canadian entrepreneurs will receive a cash prize. Congratulations to Yossef, Nadia and Adrien!

This award program showcases the great entrepreneurial spirit and success that happens on the eBay platform each and every day, and I encourage you to submit your great story next year.

SourceeBay Canada Announcement Board

Note: you can find more information on eoy.ebaypromotion.ca/winners.html.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.