Tuvalum was born in April 2015 with a very clear objective, to become the leader in Europe in the sale of second-hand bicycles. A challenge that is advancing from strength to strength, especially after the pandemic.
The brand has benefited in 2020 from a growing interest in e-commerce , in which the consumer has rediscovered the second-hand market, which has allowed it to close the year with a growth in volume of 36% by selling 3,100 bicycles .
They have grown by 36% in 2020, could it be said that the coronavirus has benefited them?
About. At first we were very uncertain because we did not know what was going to happen. The market stopped short in March, but as of last summer we did notice an increase in demand. This allowed us to close the year with a turnover of over 4 million euros.
Is it feasible to maintain that growth rate beyond the pandemic?
Yes, in fact, in 2021 we are growing at a rate greater than 100%. Growth is driven especially by our international expansion, we are growing very strongly in Italy and France, almost 200% in the latter. In 2020 we closed with more than 4 million euros in sales.
In March, in full confinement, could you imagine the ‘boom’ that the bicycle sector was going to experience?
Not at all, in fact, what we imagined was that we were possibly going to have to close. When the lockdown arrived, we established several plans to adjust costs. Our main concern was not having to make layoffs.
To do this, we tightened our belts a lot and cut expenses as much as possible without knowing how long we could survive like this. Luckily things started to turn out well for us, we did some action with retail stores that earned us their trust. Then, starting in the summer, the boom for sports began to arrive and we began to grow.
The ‘e-commerce’ has gained a lot of importance in recent months. Did they start with an advantage because they were a digital native brand?
Our advantage is that we knew the digital system more than other operators, who were more focused on offline. Those other operators are now coming to the online system and they are having a hard time understanding the rules of the game. In that sense, we did have a lot of ground gained, but I don’t know whether to call it an advantage.
From the beginning we are digital natives, from minute one. When we rode Tuvalum we realized that the bicycle industry had been anchored in analog practices for more than 40 years, bikes were sold in the same way as 40 years ago and that that had to change.
The sale of new bicycles has been greatly affected by shortage problems. Due to your business model, have you managed to avoid this problem?
On the one hand, yes, because we are 85% focused on the sale of second-hand bicycles, it is our hallmark. But it is true that it is beginning to be noticed that in second hand there is a certain shortage. There are people who want to buy a new bicycle and since they do not give it to them for many months because they do not sell theirs.
Do you also sell new bicycles?
We are focused on second hand, but there are shops that sell new bikes. It is like a kind of Amazon, they open their profile and post their catalog, we want to consolidate ourselves as the Amazon of cycling stores. But our sale is always intended for private clients.
Your main market is Spain, in which other countries are you present?
We have the website translated into more than 15 languages, but technically you can buy with Tuvalum from any European Union country, it is a matter of logistics. Where we have the greatest presence is in Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Portugal.
Among your plans is to continue with internationalization?
Yes, one of our achievements for this year is international growth. In the end, the needs of the market and of cyclists are the same in Spain as in Italy or Germany and our proposal solves those needs regardless of borders. In fact, we are noticing it this year, international growth is being brutal.
They are transforming the business with new services such as the appraisal or the purchase of bicycles.
We have started to do it this year, although we have not yet put it on the website. As I have told you that one of our axes for the coming months is internationalization, the other is the appraisal and purchase of bicycles.
It is a service very similar to that of We buy your car, the user fills in a form, we give him a purchase price in hours and, if he accepts, we sign a sales contract, collect the bicycle, recondition it and put it on sale.
These services, like placing an advertisement in Tuvalum, are free. How are they financed?
Posting an ad in Tuvalum is always free, we charge a commission only if the bike is sold; If the user wins, we win, if the user doesn’t win, we don’t win. In transactions to individuals we charge 50 euros to the seller and we also apply a commission to the buyer, which is variable depending on the type of bicycle and the price at which the review and tuning service enters. We assure you that what you have bought is what you will receive.