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The business

Direct Plants was established in 1986 & started selling on eBay from 2006. Direct Plants proudly won the eBay for Business Awards 2019 for the eBay's Specialist Seller Award. A unique, family owned and ran online plant and tree nursery, set in rural Norfolk selling high quality plants and trees - delivered direct to your door. Direct Plants Ltd boasts one of the largest ranges of plants and trees on eBay. Direct Plants strongly believe in offering the best possible service and quality, all products are hand selected and packed into professional bespoke packaging by the team of highly trained staff. 

How it started

Thirty years ago, Pat O’Brien and his wife Linda, helped by their son, Shaun, set up a small plant nursery and a shop selling plants and fish.

When the UK recession hit, money was tight, and the shop had to close due to overhead costs. The family continued selling their plants at car boot sales, until Shaun had the idea to start selling their stock on eBay. It all started with a few listings. Shaun and wife Karina would package up the plants in their living room and dispatch them. Gradually the orders started rolling in. This encouraged the couple to increase their stock and to build a small shed on their nursery to work from, employing two more staff members in the process.

The business blossomed.

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2006 Joined eBay

100%+ Average sales increase

£3m Turnover projected between March 2020 - March 2021

Direct Plants
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What the seller says...

“We have been blown away by the support from the British public since the start of the pandemic. Our customers have continued to put their trust into our small business, enabling the brand to grow and gain more exposure, trust, and recognition.  In the Spring, we were experiencing phenomenal sales growth, to the point that we had to make the difficult decision to pause incoming orders to ensure we maintained our high level of quality service and fast deliveries. We have seen just how much our business can achieve in the last six months and have re-invested to continue to create a more efficient workplace and operation, allowing us scope for future potential growth. Overall, we strive to continue to maintain the balance between growing rapidly but not losing our  "small business feel.”

For people starting their own online business I would advise them to make sure that they have all the pieces of their puzzle set out, from suppliers and staff to logistics. I would also emphasise the importance of top-quality customer service, just like you would expect from a bricks and mortar outlet, despite there being no face-to-face interaction.”

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