Mansour , founder of GBL

Start

Jun

2009

Founded by Mansour in the UK

Niche Focus

Nov

2018

Castor wheels under GBL brand

Exit

Apr

2021

Sold to SellerX

“The communication with SellerX was great. It was a really open and honest deal, and I never once felt like I was left in the dark. I know I chose the right aggregator.”

Mansour, founder of GBL

Intro

Mansour springboarded his way onto the e-commerce game fresh out of university in 2009. His journey began by buying stock from local warehouses in London and selling online. In the latter part of 2018, he ditched hundreds of products in favour of private labelling— a promising niche, Castor Wheels, under his brand GBL. A couple of years later, he had a massively successful FBA business, turning over £1M in net profit annually. The castor wheels were top sellers in the UK, Europe and Canada with thousands of five-star reviews and profits were increasing exponentially each month. Mansour sold GBL to SellerX in December 2020. Since then, the brand continues to thrive and has even expanded its trades to the US market.

Selling Process

Why did you decide to sell your Amazon FBA business?

Brexit had a huge impact on me. I was doing everything myself, and prior to Brexit, it was going smoothly. I was selling in Canada. I had a custom clearance agent, and 3PL there. They were handling the whole Canada side of things. I had a very good 3PL in the UK, which I’d been using for ten years. They would also handle custom clearance and everything. I used to just import the containers to the UK, ship it to the Amazon UK fulfillment center and then Amazon handled the Europe side of distribution. All very easy. No stress, no headache. Brexit changed all that. It became a huge nightmare to get products from the UK to Europe, even from China to Europe. There were different sorts of challenges with import duties within Europe, huge delays getting stock from UK to EU due to logistic chaos right after Brexit. COVID-19 had also impacted freight rates and production time from china; all these were becoming quite difficult to handle all by myself

Why did you decide to sell to SellerX over other Amazon aggregators?

In early 2020, I listed GBL on Empire Flippers and they gave me a valuation. My business was growing month-on-month, so I decided it would be wrong to sell it yet. Six months later, I approached a broker in the UK, they contacted a lot of aggregators and a lot of them put in an offer. There was an angel investor from Scotland interested too, and I actually accepted his offer. Later, my broker told me there was a mistake in the valuation, and it was considered to be worth over half a million Pounds more, which was huge. So I decided not to sell because Boris Johnson announced another lockdown on the same day. I thought if I sell it now, what am I going to do for the next two, three months in lockdown? I’ll just get bored, so might as well hold on to it for another few months. Philipp (Triebel, SellerX Co-Founder and CEO) kept in contact and emailed me on and off after that. He was interested in buying the business and showed a really genuine interest in my company and the products. I told him I wasn’t ready to sell yet because I wanted to launch in the US. I did a lot of research on what the multiples were for my company. I was confident in what would be a fair price for what I had. A month or so later, I told Philipp the price. He said, “we’ll buy it.” So, I sold to SellerX, even though I was not mentally prepared to sell, but because the offer was fair. The challenges with Brexit were becoming stressful for me too. I didn’t go to any other aggregators then because I put my price on the table and SellerX accepted it. I spoke with other members of the team and they explained how they’d been able to scale the brand. I felt SellerX were the right people to sell to and there was no point talking to anyone else.

What was your favourite part of the selling process?

The communication, to be honest. Philipp (SellerX Co-Founder), and the legal team were always in touch, updating me with what was going on. I never felt I was being left in the dark. There was constant communication. If I had any concerns, someone was reachable to advise me on what to do and how to do it. Never at any point have I thought I chose the wrong aggregator. Phillipp has been really, really helpful.

How has your life changed since selling?

The first thing is the stress that I was experiencing in the three to six months before selling. All that stress has gone. Now, I spend so much time with my family. We started traveling again, going on small trips here and there. I’m focusing on charity projects too and investing in real estate. I’m quite happy with how it’s turning out.

What will you do next?

As an Amazon FBA seller, I always feared I could wake up one day with my account suspended and I would have nothing. My goal was always to flip my business at the right time and invest in real estate, which brings a passive income. This is what I’m doing right now. I’ll probably come back to the e-commerce space later, but I don’t want to rely entirely on Amazon. I’m also doing some charity work back in Pakistan and I want to do that on a much bigger scale.

Would you recommend SellerX?

Yes, definitely. SellerX is a great aggregator.

Our Story

How did you start your Amazon FBA business?

In 2015, I had hundreds of products, but decided to get rid of them all just to concentrate on the castor wheels because I was very happy with them. There were hardly any negative reviews or returns. Then I got to know about private labelling. Before, I was selling everything generically. There was no branding or branded packaging. There was a lot of competition with the other products because they were not branded. Every other person was selling these items and there were price wars and things like that. So, I entirely changed the focus to private labelling and building a brand. That way, there are no price wars. You just work on building a brand and then sell according to what the brand is valued.

In 2018, I focused on rebranding the castor wheels under GBL, with proper packaging and everything. I improved the quality too by looking at the few negative reviews received, and improved the products through manufacturing. Then, I focused on the listing optimization. At that time, I had two or four castor wheel models, but gradually, I added new models and new sizes every few months.

Where did you sell your products?

In the UK, Europe. Later, I started selling in Canada too. I was preparing to scale to the US as well, but decided to sell the business before doing that. SellerX took over and brought the products to the US.

How many hours a week did you work on your Amazon FBA business?

Before Brexit, maybe two hours a week because it was already, I would say, 90% automated. There wasn’t much I had to do. I spent most of my time with my family. I would manage the whole sourcing and logistics, the PPC, and just keep an eye on the day-to-day stuff, but it was all going very well and wasn’t too time-consuming.

What were the biggest challenges as an Amazon FBA seller?

The fear of having my account suspended was always on the back of my mind. But, the main concern for me became Brexit. It had a huge impact on me with the different import duties and delays. Something that used to take a week to arrive was taking months and then there were stocking issues. I didn’t have anyone specifically to help me with it. I didn’t have any professional advisers. My wife helped me make decisions. My parents helped me, but I didn’t have anyone professionally to help me with the financial or the administration side of things.

Products

GBL’s Castor Wheels

GBL’s castor wheels have been a long standing top seller on Amazon in Europe with thousands of five star reviews.

GBL's Castor Wheels

One of the many top sellers with monthly sales upwards of 2,000 units.

GBL's Castor Wheels

Sales of these heavy-duty castor wheels with two breaks, and the rest of the GBL portfolio, have increased since acquisition.

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