A growing number of cash-conscious retailers are turning to the internet in order to sell their businesses.

There has been a steep rise in the number of convenience stores and newsagents for sale on auction sites such as Ebay, as retailers look for cheaper ways to attract buyers in the economic downturn.

Ebay charges an insertion fee of £35 plus an additional £2 for setting a reserve price, meaning that for £37 retailers can advertise their properties to millions of browsers.

Independent retailer Michelle Elliot, of Elliots' Village Newsagents in Worcestershire, said she had decided to sell her store through Ebay because she would reach a much wider audience than using an estate agent. "Selling on Ebay without the use of an estate agent will also mean that I have more room to negotiate on price and will be able to move much faster. It will also mean that I will not have to incur extra costs, and so far I've had a large amount of interest.

"I would definitely recommend it," she added.