eBay Recognizes Canadian Excellence in eCommerce

New Fashion-preneur and International-preneur of the Year recipients announced alongside coveted Entrepreneur of the Year Award

TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - eBay Canada is pleased to announce that Jean-Francois Lapointe of Gatineau, Quebec is the 2012 recipient of eBay Canada's Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which honours Canadian entrepreneurs who run successful online businesses and contribute to the overall growth of eCommerce in Canada.

Selling more than $1 million bicycle parts each year, Lapointe started his online store BDH Bikes in 2006 after purchasing his father's bicycle shop. Since launching on eBay, he has racked up sales of $6 million, and now employs five full-time eCommerce personnel.

In addition to the highly coveted Entrepreneur of the Year Award, eBay Canada is delighted to recognize winners in two new categories for 2012: Fashion-preneur and International-preneur of the Year.

Tina Kastana of Ste-Rose, Quebec takes home the inaugural crown for eBay's Fashion-preneur. She set herself apart from thousands of eBay fashion sellers by catering to both high-end and vintage buyers, offering incentives like free shipping worldwide and customer loyalty coupons.

Bernd Eisele of Williams Lake, British Columbia receives the honour of being eBay's first  International-preneur. A model airplane engine retailer, Eisele grew up building and flying model airplanes powered by Cox engines, and decided to revive his passion for Cox products after discovering a niche-market opportunity. His eBay business took off, attracting model airplane enthusiasts from around the world. Today, he sells more than $200,000 in Cox engines and parts a year.

"Entrepreneurs are the engines of Canada's economy," said Andrea Stairs, country manager of eBay Canada. "Each year, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards uncover stories of Canadian sellers who have harnessed the power of the Internet to capitalize on business opportunities, both in Canada and around the world. This year's winners have built successful online businesses by understanding their market, and satisfying their customers' needs time and again."

Almost 200 eBay sellers entered this year's competition. Along with bragging rights and promotion of their eBay business to more than two million online buyers, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner will receive $3,000, and the Fashion-preneur and International-preneur of the Year will each receive $2,000.

Congratulations to the 2012 Winners!

eBay Canada's 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year: Jean-Francois Lapointe, Gatineau, QC (eBay ID: bdhbikestore)

After purchasing his father's bicycle business in 2006, Jean-Francois Lapointe recognized the opportunity to sell online and offset slowdowns experienced during Quebec's cold winter months. Jean-Francois started by specializing in bike suspensions, a very niche market in the cycling industry, and was so successful that he managed to pay his father back in less than four years. Today, BDH Bikes is a $6 million business, selling mid to high-end bicycle components to a growing community of bike enthusiasts around the world. Jean-Francois proudly states that he is now the largest online bike parts and accessories reseller in Canada, proving that it's possible to take a local, seasonal business and turn it into a global, year-round enterprise.

eBay Canada's 2012 Fashion-preneur of the Year: Tina Kastana, Ste-Rose, QC (eBay ID: fashionalacarte_com)

With a personal interest in fashion and online retail, Tina started on eBay by selling the clothes she purchased while employed as mystery shopper. Tina was so impressed by the response that she reinvested the money to buy more clothes, and Fashion A La Carte was born. Tina has set herself apart from thousands of eBay fashion sellers by catering to both high-end and vintage buyers, and offering buyer incentives like free shipping worldwide, and coupons to promote return business. In addition to 10 years of fashion retail experience, Tina attributes her success to always knowing the top trends and hottest designers, and delivering eBay shoppers a variety of stylish finds.

eBay Canada's 2012 International-preneur of the Year: Bernd Eisele, Williams Lake, BC (eBay ID: xenalook)

Bernd Eisele turned to eBay full-time after his motor vehicle arbitrage business was impacted by the recent economic downturn. Looking to find a niche market, and one that did not compete solely on price-point, Bernd decided to revive his childhood hobby of building and flying model airplanes. Against the objections of friends and family around him, Bernd and his partner Xena sought out miniature gas model engines and soon collected enough inventory to build a store. Bernd receives an overwhelming response from buyers around the world, who share his passion for model airplanes. In fact, approximately 50 per cent of sales transactions take place beyond the borders of North America, in countries such as Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia and United Kingdom.

For more information, visit: www.ebay.ca/entrepreneurs

About eBay Canada

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce platform and payments leader connecting millions of buyers and sellers. We do so through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, which allows users to buy and sell in nearly every country on earth; through PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive digital payments; and through GSI, which facilitates ecommerce, multichannel retailing and digital marketing for global enterprises. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. In Canada, eBay was visited by more than 7.8 million Canadians in June 2012 (comScore Media Metrix).

SOURCE eBay Canada

Image with caption: "Jean-Francois Lapointe of Gatineau Quebec is eBay Canada's 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year. Selling more than $1 million bicycle parts each year, Lapointe started his online store BDH Bikes in 2006 after purchasing his father's bicycle shop. Since launching on eBay, he has racked up sales of $6 million, and now employs five full-time eCommerce personnel. (ebay ID: bdhbikestore) (CNW Group/eBay Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121001_C2975_PHOTO_EN_18685.jpg

Image with caption: "Tina Kastana of Ste-Rose, Quebec takes home the inaugural crown for eBay Canada's Fashion-preneur. She set herself apart from thousands of eBay fashion sellers by catering to both high-end and vintage buyers, offering incentives like free shipping worldwide and customer loyalty coupons. (ebay ID: fashionalacarte_com) (CNW Group/eBay Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121001_C2975_PHOTO_EN_18687.jpg

Image with caption: "Bernd Eisele of Williams Lake, British Columbia is eBay Canada's first International-preneur. A model airplane engine retailer, Eisele grew up building and flying model airplanes powered by Cox engines, and decided to revive his passion for Cox products after discovering a niche-market opportunity. His eBay business now attracts model airplane enthusiasts from around the world. (ebay ID: xenalook) (CNW Group/eBay Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121001_C2975_PHOTO_EN_18683.jpg



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