Family start-up goes back to the future as eBay comes calling

Richard Dunne, OnePatch chief-executive and co-founder

A MULTI-national start-up that helps online sellers manage their orders and inventory across multiple sites has partnered with eBay, after being approached by the ecommerce giant.

Glasgow-based OnePatch was launched two years ago by web developer brothers Richard and Brendan Dunne after a customer asked if they could help stop him ‘overselling.’

This usually happens when products sell out on one site but still show as available on another.

The brothers went on to develop software that allows online sellers to manage their orders, products, inventory, customers and shipping across multiple marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy and the seller’s own website.

eBay, which has 1.7 billion listings and 185 million buyers on its marketplace, spotted OnePatch last October, and asked if the company would join its ‘Partner Growth Initiative’, with the aim of improving the selling experience for the 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses trading on the platform.

“eBay is a worldwide brand and one of the biggest marketplaces in the world,” says OnePatch chief executive and co-founder Richard Dunne. “So it’s amazing for OnePatch firstly to be found and respected by eBay for what we do. And secondly for them to ask us to help them improve the eBay experience for sellers and buyers.

“Brendan and I originally started selling on eBay 14 years ago – which was our first online selling activity. So, to come around full circle again is really cool. We both have lots of experience with eBay, both as sellers ourselves and then working with eBay SMEs through our web development business.”

A key attraction of the OnePatch product is its ability to automate the whole process of setting up and running and online shop.

“If you have a website with, say, 5,000 products on it, we can automate the process of taking them from your website and putting them directly onto eBay within a couple of clicks,” Richard explains. “So you don’t have to do a lot of work to achieve that. And for eBay, it’s a way to help sellers get more products onto their platform.”

Andy Richardson, head of business development at eBay UK, said: “eBay aims to provide a platform for our 300,000 small businesses to succeed and grow online. To help eBay entrepreneurs across the country tap into the opportunities of online selling, we need to continually collaborate with innovative technology partners that help bring simplicity and convenience to the process of setting up and running an eBay business. OnePatch is one of those companies. The software it provides will help our sellers streamline their operations and ultimately improve the buying experience for the 29 million customers who shop on eBay UK.”

OnePatch as offices in the UK, Indian, Ireland and plans for further overseas expansion with a current work force of 20 employees.

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, the Dunne brothers got into computing and online selling through their father, Eamonn Dunne, who built up Ireland’s biggest recycling businesses in the 1990s. As well as paper and plastic, he amassed a warehouse full of old computers and IT kit.

“He used to let us play around with them, and we’d often take them apart to see how they worked,” Richard says. “We learned a lot that way. That’s also how we got into eBay, selling used computer parts, laptops, PCs, and spare parts as well.”

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