In 2004 keen biker, Helen Walbey saw an opportunity to build a business around her passion and started recycling scooter and motorbike parts from her garage in Aberdare.
She individually tested, refurbished and cleaned the parts to sell on eBay and quickly realised that she had more repeat business once she put photography at the heart of her sales strategy. Since those early years, she has built up more than 13,000 satisfied customers on eBay and in the last 12 months has significantly increased revenue, taken on two new staff, and offers increased hours to the part-time workforce.
“Bikers love viewing detailed images of the products they’re buying; they’re really keen on what we do with the salvage and we wanted to make something of that,” explained Helen. So when a change of workshop premises in 2014 created an opportunity to upgrade from a dial-up internet connection to superfast broadband, she started delivering videos of staff demonstrating different salvage bikes for the YouTube channel.
“We’ve taken customer engagement to the next level, which is important as 98% of our sales come from eBay and we’re keen to keep our 99.78% positive feedback rating so we continue growing.”
Superfast speeds have made us more efficient and flexible
Moving across to fibre broadband has brought far more dividends than extending customer engagement and reach. They have reduced the time it takes to upload product photos to eBay by days every month and, by introducing wireless-connected tablets into the stock room, they have been able to speed up the process of cataloging and locating required items.
Furthermore, the reliability of the superfast broadband connection has had as much of a positive impact on the business as upload speeds. The firm can now take card payments over the phone and in person, rather than just relying on PayPal, which means they provide more flexibility for customers and save on transaction fees. There are other benefits too, with staff being able to access online training courses in a range of different areas.
“We can provide a better quality service to customers”
Since upgrading, Recycle Scooters has also invested in new solid state hard drive computers. After just one week they witnessed an increase in efficiency as the high capacity machines delivered significantly faster processing speeds and increased storage capacity. Photos, and particularly videos, now take a lot less time to upload, leading Recycle Scooters & Bikes to look at creating a series of online tutorials, designed to help customers carry out both routine scooter maintenance and make repairs using parts sold by the business.
“The new hardware, coupled with our superfast broadband connection, has allowed us to distinguish ourselves from competitors by providing customers with a better-quality service,” says Helen. “The ability to provide detailed images and information on all our products offers peace of mind when making a purchase, while our videos mean that people can watch and hear the machines that we’ve salvaged, which provides an additional level of confidence in the quality of what they are buying.”
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