The global e-commerce phenomenon
From their new headquarters at Stockport Exchange, musicMagpie founders, Steve Oliver and Walter Gleeson, discuss their thriving business and future ambitions.
The entrepreneurial duo started their £100m musicMagpie empire in Steve’s garage in Hazel Grove, Stockport
“It’s a little known fact, but we are the world’s biggest seller on both eBay and Amazon Marketplace in terms of the number of transactions,” says musicMagpie co-Founder and Group CEO, Steve Oliver. “Recently we were the first ever seller to hit five million positive feedbacks. No-one has sold more than us globally on either of those platforms and we are extremely proud of that fact, which is testament to the hard work of all our colleagues over the years.”
musicMagpie, now located to a new office building at Stockport Exchange, is a global e-commerce phenomenon. Born at the start of the global recession in 2007, Steve and his business partner, Walter Gleeson, banked on the idea that people would use a quick and easy service that buys and sells a whole range of items including CDs, DVDs, games and, more recently, books, as well as consumer electronics such as phones, games consoles and tablets. The growth of the business over the last decade has been nothing short of phenomenal, with annual turnover growing from £500,000 in the first year of trading to in excess of £100million today.
After years working in the music business, the entrepreneurial duo set up their musicMagpie empire in Steve’s garage in Hazel Grove, Stockport. That space was to quickly prove too small as customers flocked to them from all over the world. To date they have sold to over 200 different countries including North Korea and Vatican City. Luckily, the commercial property infrastructure of Stockport is strong enough to support success stories like musicMagpie, allowing them to grow and maintain their position in the market whilst employing a loyal and hardworking workforce.
“I’m looking out of our new office window and straight onto the gates of Stockport train station,” says Steve. “We’re 10 minutes from Manchester by train, and the road and air links are ideal for national and international travel. In 2014, we expanded our business to open an American musicMagpie model in Atlanta, Georgia, which we branded Decluttr, so accessibility is crucial.” The future is looking even brighter for musicMagpie as the business constantly evolves into new markets for the recycling and reselling of goods.
“We’re proving time and again that with smart research there are new product markets we can move into all the time,” says Steve. “Lego is a recent addition to the product categories, which has been hugely successful, but who’s to say where we might go next… white goods, musical instruments, sporting equipment, even kids stuff that they’ve outgrown. We now have over four million registered customers and a Trust Pilot score of 9.1, which reflects the trust that people have in our brand.
“We talk to our customers all the time to find out how we might service their needs in the future, especially now we can sell to people directly in the musicMagpie shop. We are not a business that’s ever short of opportunities; we just need to prioritise wisely and continue to grow our business rapidly from our new fantastic Head Office facility.”