Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered (#4)

questions-answers-4It’s time for another Q&A session. I have received tons of questions from you over the last two weeks and have picked out the ones I think would be most beneficial for others or those that are simply the most interesting in nature.

Today we’ll cover:

  • Where to find electronic suppliers in China?
  • When to upgrade from a Personal account to Business Account on eBay?
  • What’s the difference between Alibaba and Ali Express?
  • Does your program work in the US?
  • How come so many eBay sellers can offer free shipping?
  • How to start an eBay business from scratch?
  • How to pay VAT and import duty for imports from China?
  • Is this a profitable product to start with?
  • What’s the difference between the different training programs you offer?

If you have a question you would like me to answer in future Q&As, get in touch with me here.

Please note: I do not edit or alter your questions in any way as I want them to remain authentic and exactly how they were sent to me, so please excuse any small grammar or spelling mistakes.

Let’s get started! [Read more...]


Public Liability Insurance – What For?

insurance-for-ebayInsurance – it’s an important consideration for every business, but do you really need it if you’re selling online? After all, it’s not like you have a shop or office where customers come… in fact you may not deal face to face at all. So in that case – public liability insurance, which is something that most traditional businesses have, would be a useless and unnecessary expense, right?

Well, not quite… there are still many reasons why you may need business insurance, even if you only operate online.

When you sell items online, such as electronics, clothing, cosmetics, hair-care products etc. (anything really!), you are legally responsible for any damage or injury caused by those products.

Let’s say you sell specially made birthday cupcakes online and one day one of your buyers blames you for food poisoning… or you sell unbranded mobile phone chargers and someone says their house fire was caused by your faulty product… what then? How will you cover the legal fees defending yourself, never mind any potential compensation you have to pay?

This is even more important for sole traders as covered in this blog post, a sole trader is personally responsible for all business liabilities. So it’s not even a matter of your business going bust, you yourself can be bankrupted by a claim like this!

So suddenly insurance doesn’t seem like such a frivolous waste, but rather something that you need to cover you in case of such an occurrence.

But the problem is, as I mentioned earlier, this is not something that would be covered under public liability insurance – so what type of insurance do you need? After all, the only thing worse that having no insurance is paying for something that won’t even cover you when you need it!

So let’s quickly run through a few of the different types of business insurance available and go over what exactly they cover. [Read more...]


The Ultimate Guide to Shipping for eBay Sellers!

ebay-shipping-guideBy now everyone should be aware of just how important shipping is when selling online, especially on eBay. Delivery is one of the most important aspects in buyers’ eyes and this is shown by the fact that two out the four detailed seller ratings are shipping related (dispatch time plus postage & packaging cost)!

And as well as being so important to your buyer’s experience, shipping can also have a huge effect on your margins and profit. I see so many eBay sellers charging stupidly high prices for shipping and it’s just so inefficient and wasteful – they’re losing countless customers and leaving money on the table all because they’re unaware of the best ways to ship their items.

Well not anymore, in this guide – I will go through all aspects of shipping on eBay and will reveal all the best tips and tricks I’ve learnt through my years of experience that will allow you to ship your items cheaper and faster – leaving your customers ecstatic and more money in your pocket!

So let’s get started.

eBay’s Selling Policy on Postage and Related Charges

The first thing we need to cover is eBay’s rules regarding shipping and what exactly you’re actually allowed to charge for as eBay are very strict on shipping charges and want everything to be completely transparent for buyers.

It is against eBay’s rules to provide unclear or misleading delivery information or to charge unreasonable fees for postage and related services.

This means you have to clearly specify the actual postage cost (i.e. the final P&P charged) plus the cost of packaging materials. If you offer any additional services to a buyer, such as proof of postage, recorded delivery, signature confirmation etc., you can only charge what they actually cost.

So if for example your base postage method is Royal Mail 2nd Class but you offer the choice to upgrade to 1st Class – you can only charge the additional cost to you and NOT anything extra. [Read more...]


How to Increase & Lift eBay Selling Limits?

ebay-selling-limitsSo after much deliberation, planning and procrastination, you’ve finally decided to start your own eBay business… Great, but there’s just one problem – selling limits.

What are selling limits and how do they affect you?

Well on eBay there are limits in place for new sellers. These limits can be:

  • Account-based,
  • Category-based,
  • Item-based.

They were introduced to protect buyers from unscrupulous sellers/scammers.

In general these limits will only affect new accounts with less than 90 days selling history but depending on the items you sell and your DSRs and feedback level, you may have specific restrictions/limits placed on your account. ‘Dangerous’ items that are very high value (mobile phones, tablets etc.) or have a lot of fakes being sold (designer clothing, handbags) are usually what eBay scrutinise the most.

How do these limits work?

According to eBay themselves, you have a limit on “sold items, gross merchandise volume, and active items for sale”. Basically that means the number of items sold, the total value of items sold, and the number of current listings.

Account-based Allowances

Account-based allowances are based on your general activity and account status.

Generally the account-based allowances are for new sellers and it is usually set at 10 items per month/£650 in sales – whichever comes first.

However that is not guaranteed and can vary depending on your specific circumstances but it is mainly based on how old your account is, what you sell, and how well you do in your seller performance standards – i.e. your feedback levels and DSR ratings.

This is a very important part of having the new account limits increased/removed as really that’s the whole point – eBay want to see evidence that you’re a reliable and genuine seller who will provide a high level of service to buyers. So you need to meet eBay’s minimum detailed seller ratings requirements and then you can ask eBay to increase your limits. [Read more...]


The ULTIMATE Guide to Product Branding!

branding-guidePeople who have followed me for some time will know that I’m a huge fan of branding – making my own products unique and using specific packaging and bundling techniques to really stand out from the crowd and allow me to charge premium prices for the products I sell.

In today’s blog post I want to go into detail on how you can do same – take a simple, un-branded product and turn it into a money making machine! Without further ado, let’s get started!

What is this concept all about?

The idea is very simple – you take an un-branded product and using your own brand/packaging, turn it into a unique product you can then sell on eBay, Amazon, your own online shop or any other distribution channel (including wholesale).

What is an un-branded product?

By un-branded I simply mean a product that has no brand on it – no logos/company names on the product itself or its packaging. Usually these products will come un-packaged or packaged in plain boxes or clear bags.

What are the advantages of branding these products?

There are several important advantages to creating your own branded products versus selling un-branded ones:

1) Product uniqueness. By having your own brand printed on the product/packaging you essentially create a UNIQUE offer in the marketplace. It doesn’t matter that other people may be selling the exact same product – due to the brand and packaging yours is unique.

Take bottled water for example – it’s water!!!! But you’ll find at least 10 different brands of bottled water in your local supermarket (with various price tags). And essentially what these companies are selling is the BRAND value, i.e. the perception of what that brand is worth, as at the end of the day water is just water.

branded-vs-un-branded-waterWe can use this paradox of people’s perception towards a brand/product packaging and use it to our advantage. This works in almost any niche and with any product, if a proper branding strategy is applied.

eBay is a super competitive marketplace and often hundreds of sellers list exactly the same product. It’s not easy to compete with such listings apart from using the lowest price strategy, which as we all know, can’t be the base of a sustainable, long term business (shift hundreds of packages a day to make minimum wage?).

So by creating your own branded products, you practically almost eliminate your competition, as NO ONE will have the exact same product offer as you – which is very powerful. [Read more...]


Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered (#3)

questions-answers-3Hello & Welcome!

It’s Friday again which means time for another of our weekly Questions & Answers session. Thanks for all the questions you have sent in this week. I can’t publish them all as that would take too much time but I have tried to pick out the best and most interesting ones to share with everyone else.

Today we’ll cover:

  • Can I Import copyrighted iPhone cases from China?
  • Can I use FileZilla WITHOUT owning a hosting account?
  • Can I import from China being an individual, not a company?
  • Is Western Union a safe payment method?
  • Company refuses inspection before I send money to them!?
  • How to minimize the risk of getting your PayPal and eBay accounts banned?

If you have a question you would like me to answer in future Q&As, get in touch with me here.

Please note: I do not edit or alter your questions in any way as I want them to remain authentic and exactly how they were sent to me, so please excuse any small grammar or spelling mistakes.

Let’s get started! [Read more...]


How to Write PERFECT eBay Listing Titles!

ebay-listing-titlesYou hate writing, I know.

But there’s no way to build a successful eBay business without it –after all you need to write product titles and descriptions. Well, you can always outsource these tasks IF you’re comfortable spending the money required but even then – I strongly recommend learning how to write good listing titles and descriptions BEFORE you start outsourcing! Otherwise you won’t be able to give precise instructions to your writer and will end up with mediocre results.

In today’s blog post I want to talk specifically about how to write good titles for your eBay listings!

By good I mean a title that:

  • Gives you the highest possible position in search results;
  • Effectively pre-sells your product;
  • Makes your listing stand out from the crowd!

You may be thinking – what’s so special about listing titles, they’re simple and easy, right? Well, listing titles may seem easy but the question remains why the majority on eBay seem as if they’ve been written by a 3 year old?

bad-listing-titleAnd it’s not just the visual of these poorly written listing titles; they also affect search positions and click-through rates! So they don’t just look bad, listing titles directly affect your sales! In essence, the listing title and gallery image are the MOST important things in your listings as they determine whether or not a person will click through to read the rest of your description.

So let’s learn how to write a prefect eBay listing title for maximum click-through rates and the best position in search results! [Read more...]


Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered (#2)

questions-answers-2Another week has gone by and that means another round of eBay and eCommerce Q&As, where I answer the top questions from my readers this week.

In today’s post I’ll answer following questions:

  • How much money I need to start importing from China?
  • Does Easy Auction Business works in Australia?
  • How to position & sell PREMIUM quality products on eBay?
  • Branded packaging – is it worth the hassle?
  • 3 Ways to increase your customer satisfaction on eBay!
  • Is VAT being charged on both branded and un-branded goods?
  • Can I ship goods directly to customers from China?

If you have a question you would like me to answer, you can get in touch here.

Please note: I do not edit your questions so there may be a few grammar mistakes here and there, especially in questions sent in from non-native English speakers.

Let’s get started! [Read more...]


The POWER of FREE Gifts on eBay!

free-gifts-on-ebayWho doesn’t like to receive a free gift? Exactly! Everyone likes free gifts – be it a free soft drink at your local restaurant or free delivery from an online shop – FREE SELLS!

It has been proven over and over that adding a small incentive to an offer (like a free gift) increases conversion rates, in some cases DRAMATICALLY!
There have been numerous studies done on this and some have even revealed that customers occasionally buy a product SOLELY due to the free gift! So it doesn’t just influence their decision, it can completely shape it. Free gifts WORK, there’s no question about that.

And eBay is no different – it’s a marketplace where all the same classic marketing rules apply. So why not take advantage of this free gift concept and apply it to your eBay business?

First of all – is this okay with eBay? Yes, absolutely! eBay allows free gifts to be offered in listings as long as:

  • The offer is not misleading in any way;
  • They’re not on eBay’s prohibited items list;
  • They’re offered to ALL buyers.

The last one means that you can’t advertise a free gift to every 3rd customer for example – that would basically mean you’re running a raffle, which is against eBay’s rules. Plus it could potentially be misleading and would most likely cause feedback problems too as some customers won’t read the small print and expect that gift with their order.

So as long as you’re giving away an item that’s not prohibited, in a transparent way and to ALL buyers, you’re perfectly fine executing this strategy on eBay. [Read more...]


Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered (#1)

questions-and-answers-1It’s time to introduce a new weekly feature to my blog – a Q&A session; “Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered”!

Previously, I would make an individual blog post for specific questions you sent in but over the last few months, the number of requests for help has increased tenfold so I thought – why not share some of these questions/problems with other blog readers in one weekly blog post?

So here it is – my new series of posts where I’ll answer your questions and try to share my extended knowledge of eBay, eCommerce and online business in general.

If you have a question you would like me to answer, you can get in touch here.

In today’s post I’ll answer following questions:

  • How to BEST narrow down search results on Alibaba?
  • How to start import products from China for existing business?
  • How to import children clothing from China?
  • Niche OR no Niche? That’s the question!
  • Can I order product from China for personal use?
  • How to increase profit margins while selling on eBay?
  • How to sell information products on eBay?
  • How to receive stock in USA?
  • Is Western Union safe when dealing with suppliers in China?
  • Hands free importing from China?

Please note: I do not edit your questions so there may be a few grammar mistakes here and there, especially in questions sent in from non-native English speakers.

Let’s get started! [Read more...]

Who Wants a £100k a Year eBay Business?Show Me How!