Seller Spotlight | Gameology

Humble beginnings: How gameology went from their garage to board game giant

As a small hobby seller on eBay in 2016, Frank Zou noticed the board games industry was growing. Following his instincts, him and his business partners, John Khamtanh and Bao Tran, began to invest time and resource into the category, and by 2017 they were moving the business out of the garage and into a 600m2 warehouse. Soon after they upgraded once more to a warehouse six times bigger, where they currently operate. Now Gameology is the number one board game retailer in Australia.

Frank notes the opportunity in eBay’s position in the market as a key reason for choosing the platform as a starting point. With the traffic, demand and conversion made available by simply listing on site he was able to make the time to generate new business ideas and scale his venture.

“It’s a very easy process for someone who doesn’t have a background in ecommerce - you’re able to set up a store in half a day and just start selling.”

Strategically focusing on being price competitive, by late 2016 Gameology had already made over $2 million in sales on eBay. Even in the early stages when the business wasn’t as profitable, employing this approach meant that they were able to build their customer base and use this growth to reduce postage and invest in inventory management. Maintaining this traffic and interest allowed them to later look at refining their processes and customer experience, continuously improving and scaling the business.

eBay Plus has played a significant role in providing exposure for Gameology, Frank acknowledging the advantage of being able to provide reduced shipping costs so as to encourage customers to purchase. Furthermore, he recognises the importance of guaranteed fast delivery as buyers are often time sensitive when considering postage lead times. By being able to meet buyer expectations in shipping and retail standards their visibility in search is strengthened, resulting in greater profitability.

Looking back on the success of the business and what has led to where they currently stand, Frank’s piece of advice to other sellers is to utilise all of the functions and features that eBay provides. His guidance aligns with the experiences of other marketplace sellers, with our recent Global Marketplace Index report indicating that 87% of Australian small business owners agree that marketplaces provide tools and support they need to succeed.

Aside from this he highlights the advantages created by researching and observing the market to see what categories are growing and are on their way to becoming more competitive, circling back on the luck that he had by entering into the board game market after seeing the opportunity for growth.