THE growing popularity of online auctions has led to an emerging market for Mail Boxes Etc in Colchester.

The parcel delivery and print company, run by Steven Sleigh, is part of a national contract with auction houses, shipping antiques and valuables across the world. The deal with 150 Mail Boxes Etc sites has come about because people are able to take part in auctions live from the comfort of their homes.

Mr Sleigh said: “As broadband has got quicker, people can bid as the auction is going on.

“The popularity of auctions has generated opportunities for companies like us to offer a support service.

“Now if people are to bid in an auction and win they can go on a website that links the auction houses together.

“We work with about nine in Essex and Suffolk, collecting and shipping their items worldwide.” The rise of the internet has led to Mail Boxes Etc adding to its traditional delivery and printing services.

Mr Sleigh said: “Now we have full professional graphic design and website services, and can look after ‘virtual companies’ based at home or without their own business mailing address.

“We still do the traditional printing of brochures, posters and letterheads, but we have become a one-stop shop for businesses.”