Cas Paton, founder and CEO of OnBuy.com, talks about the brand new, British online marketplace.

OnBuy.com is a brand new, British online marketplace which launched to sellers in November 2016, with a consumer marketing push planned for early 2017. A British rival to Amazon, it sets itself apart from other online marketplaces by having zero selling fees. The OnBuy concept has been developed over several years by Cas Paton, an e-commerce entrepreneur.


Cas has extensive experience in the field of e-commerce and has valuable contacts across a range of industries. He has thoroughly researched the market and found that there is a desire from traders for a British marketplace that supports and nurtures its sellers and consumers who are disillusioned with the competition and looking for alternatives.

Here Cas tells us more about the business.

I came up with the idea when... In 2012 I started the idea of OnBuy.com. The idea started not from an “Amazon rival” perspective, but rather a way to list all of our (at the time) client products in a central location, and grew from there. The idea is constantly evolving and we already have plans to deliver OnBuy across Europe and beyond by the end of 2017.

The biggest challenge is... Our biggest challenge is having the consumer think to check OnBuy.com before they buy from rival marketplaces. We are investing a significant amount of time and resources on marketing of OnBuy to consumers, to make them aware that, because OnBuy doesn’t charge selling fees, consumers can save money by shopping on OnBuy.

The average day is spent... Leading from the front, supporting my management team. Each of our six teams work together to ensure that we are satisfying customers, attracting sellers, seeking partners and continually growing. I spend time working with our outreach team liaising with key sellers, as well as thinking of our next moves and planning the roadmap for our growth.

The team consists of... six core departments at OnBuy; marketing/PR, seller support, seller interest/outreach, customer service, web development and product development.

Our/my favourite quote... “What if they’re wrong” (the slogan with a fish swimming one way while all of the others, another)

I am where I am today because... I won’t take no for an answer! I won’t stop pushing just because the task is daunting.

The best advice I've been given... I have two; 1. To sleep on an important decision, and 2. Remember that people are motivated by different rewards.

In five years I’d like to be... Stabilising and starting to consider our next move.

The thing no-one ever tells you about running your own business online... That when you calculate how much you need to invest, and you add 30-40 per cent more, you still need to treble it! There is always more you can do.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... Making quick decisions can lead to very expensive rectifications. It’s better to take time, sleep on it and get your ducks in a row.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date... Launching OnBuy.com was a milestone after an investment of over £500,000 in software, in addition to staffing for 24 months, we are now in a position to start and grow. That’s very rewarding.

December 2016