I’m Andrew – the author of all the posts you’ll find here, as well as the most active blog commenter on planet Earth! 🙂 Yes, I have personally replied to more than 10,000 comments on this blog, and I’m actually very proud of that.
AndrewMinalto.com is the platform where I share my thoughts, experiences, ideas, and strategies with other like-minded people – people who either have a business selling physical products or are planning to launch one. My main focus right now is topics all to do with selling on Amazon but I also cover Importing from China, Branding, eCommerce and everything in between. If you take a look at the Start Here page, you’ll find links to EVERY post I have ever published on this blog.
But who I am?
Well, I would call myself a classic entrepreneur – a person who knew from a very young age that I would one day be a businessman, as simple as that. It’s all in the genes, as Gary Vaynerchuk says – you either have what it takes or you don’t. You can of course learn many skills but essentially, without that entrepreneurial spirit within you, you’ll find it very difficult to stay focused on what needs to be done, to work late nights, ignore parties, and be patient and happy while doing all of this.
In that sense I’m really lucky as I was born this way. I was the kid who started to make money from a very young age – my first venture was cooking chips and selling them to my family, including my older brother and little sister. Later on I was publishing and selling a newspaper at school, a few years later I became the school radio person, making money on the weekends as a DJ. And in between there was lots and lots of small ventures, money making opportunities and SELLING involved!
So I very quickly got used to the idea that everything is in my hands alone – if I want to buy something new for myself, I have to earn that money. My parents didn’t gave us (3 kids) much money at all, so I just came up with ideas on how to earn it on my own. It really wasn’t that hard to be honest as for a young boy like me – a dream come true was getting a PlayStation console so I didn’t need any more motivation.
My school years were fine, apart from the fact that some people made fun of me (because I was overweight, more on that later). Luckily I was also born smart and I didn’t study much and didn’t really do my homework but I was naturally talented and a quick learner so my grades were always good and my parents happy.
In high school things started to change as I still wasn’t doing any homework but the stuff they teach at high school is so much more complex that you can’t really figure it out on your own, unless you’re a genius. And sadly I wasn’t a genius, just somewhat smart. But somehow I managed to finish high school just fine, even though my business ventures already took most of my free time and weekends. I just wasn’t really into the whole education system – I preferred to make money instead. And meet girls of course.
Fast forward to age 18 – I knew that I wanted to study business (at least I thought I knew) so I chose a degree in Business Management at university. Well, that didn’t turn out too well – I quickly realised that what they teach is boring, old fashioned stuff, mostly theory that won’t help me in any way. So I said to myself fuck this and quit in my 3rd semester – basically saving myself A LOT of money in student loan repayments.
I know that many business owners won’t agree with me BUT I have never regretted that I didn’t get my degree, EVER! And I have no plans on getting one anytime soon! Especially nowadays when all the education I need is at my fingertips – ONLINE.
Anyway, back to my story, I knew that I needed a temporary job so that I could start building funds for a business. So I got one! For nearly 4 years I was working as an order picker in Primark’s warehouse. At that time it was managed by DSV (formerly DFDS) – one of the world’s largest logistics companies and it was actually quite a good job for the first 2-3 years. The pay was good, with a great guaranteed yearly increase in my contract. But obviously that was not my dream job. A JOB as such was not in my plans at all! I worked there to earn money so I could then invest in my business.
Basically I spent 4 years or so studying! Yes, spending all my evenings, weekends, and holidays researching various business models online. Starting from Betfair trading (which I was actually quite good at, but it was too boring for me), MLM, Lottery Syndicates (anyone remember those?), online biz opps, lead generation and what not! I literally spent thousands of pounds on various online courses, systems, and business opportunities. I basically spent all the money I made at my job on various business ideas.
But the whole time I knew that there had to be something more solid/real out there and that’s when I realised that I want to deal with physical products – sell real things to real people. I think this was around 2005-2006, I can’t remember exactly (believe it or not – I have terrible long term memory) but it was eBay’s GOLDEN era! The rules were so relaxed and competition was very small in many categories – basically anyone who understood some business basics could make good money on eBay. And I did just that.
At that time you were even able to sell FAKE DVD box sets on eBay and be fine. I remember that I sold 100 Baby Einstein DVD box sets which I imported from China. It did sound too good to be true to me as I was importing them for £10 and selling for £40 so I quickly realised that they were not genuine products. But there were people who sold tens of thousands of these fake DVD box sets of all the popular TV series.
It was also the perfect time for retail arbitrage – I remember how I sold hundreds of Sony Mini DV tapes on eBay, dropshipped from Amazon with no problems whatsoever, no complaints, no late delivery failures and none of all those other rules we have on eBay nowadays.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that I did quit my job of course – one day I just walked into my supervisor’s office (Joe, I hope you’re well!) and said I’m done. And that was it. 2 weeks later I was gone. It was the first and hopefully last job in my life.
So I was building various businesses on eBay and making good money and I also started teaching other people how it all works. It was TheWholesaleForums where that all started – a place where I posted more than 20,000 posts over several years, helping other people out with eBay, eCommerce and importing questions.
In 2007 I also created my very first eBay info product – Easy Auction Business (EAB). Back then it was a physical course on a CD. The course quickly become very popular and over the next 10 years it helped thousands of people all around the world start their own eBay businesses.
In those same years I significantly expanded into various other niches on eBay, and also started selling on my own websites and even offline. I created and sold websites/brands while all the time publishing material on this blog to share everything I know with others.
Fast forward to year 2017 – a major turning point for myself and my businesses. First of all, I turned 33 and realised that some things need to be fixed in my personal life – I’m referring to my lifelong problems with weight/eating issues. Not many people know that my weight at the age of 18 was already 100kg and a few years later it peaked at 110kg. I have struggled with this all my life, trying diets, exercising etc. BUT this year I finally put an end to it.
I basically decided that I want to fix this problem once and for all so I quit drinking, started going to the gym at least 4-5 times a week, and stuck with clean eating as much as possible (my belief is in Paleo/Primal diet principles).
And I’m happy to report that now I’m in the BEST shape I have ever been in my life! I can lift, I can run, I can walk – whatever! A 10km run at 6AM in the morning? No problem! I do feel great and I know that this will play a huge role in my success over the next decade as the energy levels you have when you’re healthy is amazing!
Business wise – I quit selling on eBay completely and am now focusing on growing my brands on Amazon, eCommerce and in the B&M space.
I’m actually working on my early retirement scenario – with my current brands I plan on reaching total financial freedom by the age of 40. I could do it quicker but I really want to grow the yearly sales numbers of my current companies as high as possible to increase the exit multiplier. And honestly I’m not ready to quit just yet! I like what I do and I’m confident I’ll continue building and running businesses even when I’m 40 and beyond.
So, while I’m working on my goals, I’m happy to share my story and insights with you! Almost every week I publish a post on my blog and you’ll find updates from me on my Facebook page even more often. We live in the golden era of Amazon and that’s what I’m concentrating on most on my blog right now – how to sell physical products on Amazon’s marketplace.
I know that in 10 years’ time the situation will be completely different but right now Amazon is THE BEST and quickest way for anyone to start making money online, build a real business and quit their day job! I didn’t witness such massive potential even back in the days when eBay was picking up. So this really is a unique, maybe once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us!
If you want more personalised guidance and training from me, check out my Amazon Sharks program, which in my opinion is THE BEST investment you can make in your online business as you’ll learn step by step the process of building a highly profitable Amazon business and how to avoid all the usual mistakes people make AND also get personal support from me! It’s basically a guaranteed plan to succeed! Learn more about it on AmazonSharks.com
Ok, that’s about it – a quick overview of my life so far. There are lots of smaller pieces I haven’t covered of course but I hope this gives you a better picture of who I am and what I do. As I treat my customers and blog readers as one big family – I’m always open to communication and try to help others out as much as possible, even though my time is very limited.
Speaking of family – I’ve been happily married for more than 12 years to my dear wife Una and we have 2 kids – Oliver and Charlotte. I’m so blessed to have had a partner like Una for all these years as she has been my best friend and support!
We have actually started and sold businesses together and in the early days we packed orders from our bedroom late at night and even now – we actually work together in one of the businesses I talk about in the Amazon Sharks course.
There’s also Robby in our family and he is 10 and too fat for sure. But we love him more than ever!
Well, thanks for reading my story! Just so you know – I’m always open to communication and helping other people out – so if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me here. Or you can simply send me a message on Facebook.
And no matter how busy I am – I will always answer ALL comments on this blog!!! I do not outsource it as I don’t think it’s really possible to outsource my experience and the knowledge I have accumulated over all these years. So don’t be afraid of sending me a message or leaving a comment – I always try to reply within 24 hours, Monday to Friday. Sometimes even on Saturdays as hey – if you love what you do, there’s no such thing as a work day, right?
I actually wanted to use this moment to publicly give a big thanks to Gary Vee – a person who has inspired me massively over the years and he was the one who said that he hates weekends and he can’t wait to come back to the office on Monday to do what he loves doing most – be himself. So if you’re looking for a little motivational boost, check out Gary’s YouTube channel!
I want to end this story by wishing you the same one day – so that you can’t wait for the weekend to end so you can get back into business early Monday morning! Love what you do and you’ll never work a single day in your life.