By Cara Sulieman
SCOTS tycoon Duncan Bannatyne has been topping up his multi-million fortune by selling his old stuff on eBay.
The star of Dragon’s Den said it was a great way to get rid of stuff you didn’t need, commenting that people “pay you fifty quid and take it away.”
The businessman, who has recently released a book on managing money, said that the auction site had solved a few problems for him in the past, as well as bringing in the cash.
He said: “My biggest eBay success was when I bought a hotel in Hastings with a huge conservatory on it. The conservatory had to go but my project manager told me it would cost £10,000 to have it taken away.
Ice cream van
“I told him not to be silly. We put it on eBay, it went for five grand and the buyer dismantled it and took it away. I was £15,000 better off.
“I’ve sold old machinery on eBay which we couldn’t get rid of any other way. I’ve even sold an old piano but I haven’t bought anything other than a few books.”
Duncan’s first business was started thanks to an impulse purchase at an auction when he was in his late twenties.
He said: “Everything changed at 29 when I met a girl, decided to have a family and get married. I started to think about money.”
Visiting car auctions, the entrepreneur used to buy and sell the vehicles to make a profit.
On one occasion he made a spur of the moment decision to buy an ice cream truck, found a supplier in the local Yellow Pages and started his first business.
Although he is a multi-millionaire, the Scot is still frugal, and thinks that a general disregard for money is part of the problem that caused the credit crunch.
He said: “We’ve started to abuse money. Forty years ago when I started working I’d get paid in a little brown envelope with a pay slip that told you how much you’d been paid, how much tax there was.
“Abuse of money”
“You had hard cash in your hands and you spent that cash. When it ran out on Thursday night you knew you couldn’t go out again because you had no money.
“Now we spend so much on credit cards we don’t care how much we spend. The bill will come in, some time.
“Abuse of money is what helped cause the credit crunch. If we still had that cash and understood it, the credit crunch wouldn’t have been as vicious as it was.
I’m not saying we should go back to cash. But maybe once a month we should sit down and look at our finances, look at bank statements, think about money.”