April 18, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 17 Comments

TransferWise.com – A Simplified PayPal for Business Banking?

  1. Quicker international bank transfers!
  2. Better currency exchange rates!
  3. Lower fees than any bank can offer!

Sounds terrific, right? Well, it is! Welcome to the 21st century of banking via TransferWise.com!

No, it’s not actually a bank and doesn’t offer super profitable deposits or loans. But they do specialise in one thing, and it’s something that we business owners face on a regular basis – international bank transfers.

If you buy stock for your eBay business from abroad, quite often you’ll need to make international money transfers. Now that’s ok if your supplier is happy to take card payments or PayPal but quite often the only way to pay is by sending a wire transfer via your bank.

So that means either visiting your local branch OR sending the payment through online banking, paying a small fortune in fees while receiving the worst exchange rate imaginable. If we’re talking about a payment of a few thousand pounds or more, then you lose out – big time.

And even with PayPal or a credit card, when you’re paying in a different currency than your base account, chances are the exchange rate you’re getting is far from the best. Plus most companies will charge extra if you pay via PayPal or credit card as they have to cover the payment fees at their end. (more…)

April 15, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments

Good Old Trade Shows!

In the age of the internet, B2B websites, forums and Google it’s all too easy to forget that often, some of the old classic business methods are still very effective. I’d say one of these is Trade Shows. It’s a completely overlooked product sourcing concept, especially for online retailers who are too lazy to get out of their office or house to meet actual suppliers face to face.

Many people think that trade shows are not accessible to them, that you need a special invitation and what not. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While there are trade shows that are open only to professionals, most will happily welcome ANY interested people!

Ticket prices are also not as high as some people think and in many cases are even free. Also, some trade shows are open only for professionals on DAY ONE but the general public are welcome on the following days. You can always find this information specifically for a trade show that you’re interested in on the official website.

I think trade shows are still one of the best & easiest ways to find suppliers and while not many new eBay sellers can afford a trip to China’s Canton fair, there are still loads of local options available. Such local trade shows are the perfect place to find wholesalers & new, emerging brands that are looking for exclusive distributors in a region. And this can be very powerful…

If you get in talks with a company that is looking for a distributor in the UK for a new product and you present yourself well and get the contract, it’s a fast track to success! Having exclusive distribution over an in-demand brand opens your door to wholesale opportunities too – then you can start supplying other retailers in the region.

So as you can see, trade shows are not only about meeting wholesalers – you can also build contacts with brand owners directly.

In the UK there are hundreds of trade shows being held each year, and many of them are business oriented. You can find a comprehensive list and calendar here: (more…)

April 11, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 90 Comments

From an Auction to Buy It Now – with ONE Click!

One of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your eBay Shop and Buy It Now listings is by using auctions. This is possible mainly because of the increased search positions given to auction style listings.

For example, if you list two identical items, one in an auction style and the other one as a BIN listing, both listings for 7 days, chances are that the auction will get more views than the (otherwise identical) BIN listing. This is because during the last few hours / minutes before it ends, eBay boosts auction listings much higher in search results (and this makes sense as people who like to bid would rather see auctions ending soon when they search for items).

And by knowing this little eBay ‘secret’ you can boost traffic to your shop and BIN listings, here’s how:

1) Have all your BIN listings in place for the items you sell (with your target prices set as the BIN prices).

2) Run auction style listings for the same items &

3) Include a Buy It Now button in these listings that links to your corresponding BIN listings.

Here’s how a real life example looks:

By doing this, you generate extra traffic (and therefore sales!) to your BIN listings as there are many people out there (I’m one of them) who don’t like to bid on items and instead always go with a Buy It Now option. (more…)

April 8, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments

Royal Mail Alternative – Fulfillment Houses!

The concept of using Fulfilment Houses for an eCommerce business may not be new BUT after the Royal Mail price update on 2nd April this year, using a Fulfilment House may be the ONLY way to survive for many small time eBay sellers.

My Hermes is already a good alternative to Royal Mail and cheaper in many price ranges but what if you still want to offer TRUE Courier delivery service for your customers?

Royal Mail’s new prices for packages are not competitive at all. For many eBay traders this can be a business killer especially in Autumn, when new TRS requirements kick in asking you to provide at least one FREE shipping option.

That’s why this is a perfect time to look for Royal Mail alternatives. I have briefly covered the concept of Fulfilment Houses in one of my previous blog posts but today, I invited Scott McGinley (scott.mcginley@dalepak.ltd.uk) from Dalepak Ltd., to share his story and explain what benefits small time eBay traders can expect from services provided by Dalepak Ltd.:

Scott McGinley, Dalepak Ltd.

At the end of 2012 I left play.com to join Dalepak Logistics, one of things I noticed when at play was that Merchants have thriving businesses but their Supply Chain and Logistics can hinder growth, I also saw that with the services and costs that companies like Amazon enjoy that the smaller business was struggling to compete broadly and were being confined to mostly a Niche market. (more…)

March 28, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

My Monthly Round-Up: March 2013

Welcome to my 2nd Monthly round-up post, covering the most important news from AndrewMinalto.com in March 2013!

March was yet another highly productive month for me and I’m very happy that I managed to continue publishing 2 weekly blog posts despite my on-going work on the upcoming eCommerce Magnates video course.

Plus we, the whole family, all got a nasty virus a few weeks ago that led to me being less pro-active than usual, lol, but still – I continued working, just on a slower scale. Thankfully though, everything is now all ok!

I wanted to take this opportunity to say a Big Thanks to everyone who sent me warm wishes on the birth of my son, Oliver. Thank you, your support truly means a lot to me! To give something back, here is a pic that should make you smile for a while:

Like it? I thought so! And here’s another one:

(more…)

March 25, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 38 Comments

My TOP 10 eBay Productivity Tools!

Do you WORK online or do you have an online BUSINESS?

As there’s a difference, a huge one in fact.

Over the years, I have been contacted by hundreds, probably thousands of eBay business owners seeking advice on how to improve their business, listings and so on. And almost in all cases the main thing I notice is that eBay sellers work very hard! Maybe even too hard…

Most people who sell on eBay are individuals who don’t have employees and therefore spend all their days doing everything on their own! I’m talking about such tasks as:

  • Research
  • Product sourcing
  • Creating listings
  • Order processing
  • Order packaging / dispatching + returns
  • Customer support
  • Feedback
  • and so on!

And they have to, right? As all small time traders are faced with these tasks when doing business on eBay. Yes, correct.

The problem is that most people spend TOO MUCH time on these tasks! They work crazy hours just to get everything done and even then, in many cases they earn less than minimum wage!

I’m sure one of the reasons you started your own business was to get out of the rat race and crazy hours you were working before and now you’re stuck doing the same thing, just in your own business and not someone else’s? So what’s the solution?

First and foremost – you need to start automating as many tasks and processes in your business as possible.

Yes, this means learning & USING new tools and software.

Yes, this means investing some money in those new tools and software.

Yes, this means that you should finally start working SMARTER and not HARDER!

This will be your first step towards having an online BUSINESS instead of having an online JOB! (more…)

March 21, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 99 Comments

My eToro Trading Strategy – Update for 2013

 

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I have a NEW – 2016 UPDATE for eToro Trading!!! Click on the Link BELOW:

eToro REVIEW for 2016 + My Results & Update!

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I have been getting many requests from my blog readers to write this post, so here it is – my overview of trading on eToro over the past 12 months using my rather simple eToro Trading System!

The Results

This is for the period from March 2012 – February 2013 (included) – the last 12 months.

I started with a £10k deposit at the end of 2011. Currently my bank account stands at £20k+. This was achieved in the space of around 14 months.

Is it a good profit to have on a passive investment? You bet it is! I’m very happy and even actually surprised that I managed to keep my head well above water at the end of the year considering I made two stupid mistakes which I will cover later in this post.

When I first started trading on eToro my idea was to make 10% profit (+/-) each month. In reality that turned out to be mission impossible. I know, I know – greedy me! But over the last year spent following traders and seeing how good traders can go down the drain in a matter of just a few days, I realised that whatever I do, I won’t be able to predict such situations and un-copy in time, just before disaster strikes.

A 10% monthly yield would mean a 313% yearly yield (remember, monthly results would accumulate so it’s not just 120%). My result is 80.5%, which is roughly 25% of my initial goal. If we look at my eToro trading experience from this point of view, I have failed miserably. But then again, I’m more realistic now than I was a year ago.

If you ask me today, I’d say that by following my eToro trading system, you can achieve a 30%-100% yearly gain, probably 100% being a very lucky case. Even with 80% I consider myself very lucky. Realistically, 30%-60% is probably what you’re looking at.

Is it good or bad ROI? Depends on how you look at it – I could probably make way more by investing that money in stock and selling on eBay, but that would require way more time and effort on my part. eToro trading is all about passive income – I really don’t spend more than 1-2 hours a week on this, just enough to monitor current traders, cancel bad ones and spot rising stars. So it’s not really comparable. (more…)

March 18, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 836 Comments

How to Import Products from China!

Many of you will choose to import goods from abroad (outside the European Union). If and when you do, it’s essential to fully understand how importing works; what extra costs are involved, time frames for delivery etc.

For many new traders, Importing sounds like a nightmare to go through. But in fact, it’s not that complicated at all IF you know the basics behind the importing process – payment, shipping, taxes and customs. In this blog post I’ll try to cover most of the important aspects of importing from China and other countries outside the EU.

What does “importing” mean?

In general, importing means that you’re buying goods from a supplier outside your country. However, in my examples I won’t be counting European Union countries as goods can be freely moved across the EU without paying extra import duty or VAT. For most of you, China and the United States will be the top two countries to import from, so let’s cover them in detail.

Shipping Methods

Shipping costs will make up a substantial percentage of your total product cost, so it’s important to keep them as low as possible at all times. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger your order, the lower ‘per item’ shipping costs you’ll face. There’s no point in importing one pair of unbranded shoes from China as the shipping costs will be far more than the cost of the product itself. Volume is the key to success when building your eBay business around an “Importing from China” product sourcing concept. But that doesn’t mean you have to start off with full container loads either!

Here are the 4 most popular shipping methods you can use to import goods from China:

1) Regular Post. This means normal, regular China Post which can take up to 6 weeks to arrive. No online tracking is provided. It can be used for parcels under 2kg. Usually, you will only use regular post for samples and again ONLY if time is not that important and you can afford to wait a few weeks for a package to arrive. China Post is not the most reliable system so be prepared for lost/stolen packages.

If at all possible, I try to avoid using China Mail for any shipments as the delivery time is simply too long.

If your supplier is located in Hong Kong, you can use HK Airmail which is way more reliable, comes with a tracking number and usually arrives within 5-10 days. (more…)

March 14, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Secrets Behind a £100k a Year eBay Business!

[leadplayer_vid id=”5141E947F18B7″]

Video Transcript:

Meet Adrian – proud owner of The Ink Squid – one of the UK’s leading specialised companies for compatible ink cartridges and toners. Winner of the BIBAs Lancashire Business Award for eBusiness of the Year.

Just like you, Adrian was eager to start his own eBay business, and after using the Easy Auction Business system, he has now built a £250k a year online business, employs two staff members, has an office and warehouse, a full-time online business, a happy family and a fulfilled life.

The Ink Squid business continues to grow and now dispatches more than 2,000 orders each month for eBay, Amazon and website customers. eBay business alone makes for more than £100k a year worth of sales.

How did he do it?

By following a simple, six-step formula. The exact same formula I’ll share with you in this video. But before we move onto the actual steps, let me introduce myself:

I’m Andrew – author of the UK’s best-selling eBay video course called the Easy Auction Business! Entrepreneur, blogger and owner of dozens of websites, several trademarks, brand names, the world’s largest eBay templates directory – the Spicy Auction Templates, featuring more than 750 eBay templates! A business coach and active The Wholesale Forums member and moderator.

I’ll get straight to the point – there will be no fluff or empty talk in this video! I don’t want to bore you with basic instructions on how to open a PayPal account or list an item on eBay! I’m sure you can find that information elsewhere. Probably in some fancy eBay home study programme which is nothing more than a rephrasing of eBay’s help section.

Today I’m going to share with you the business model that is responsible for making me thousands of pounds in profit each month. The same strategy Adrian used to build his £250k a year Ink Squid business. (more…)

March 11, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 425 Comments

Can you Have Multiple eBay & PayPal Accounts?

Hi Andrew,

I have a dilemma about multiple eBay and PayPal accounts. Wherever I go (forums/blogs) I get mixed responses and it’s still not clear to me what I can or can’t do.

Ideally I would love to work in 3 separate niches on eBay and use separate accounts for each – so that I can have a dedicated shop and template for each niche. Can this be done? Or do I risk losing my accounts if eBay finds out?

Your advice would be highly appreciated.

Thanks,
Nicola

Hi Nicola,

This question frequently comes up and for some reason, people are still confused. It’s probably because for years eBay and PayPal were very unclear about the exact rules governing multiple accounts. But nowadays, in 2013, it’s actually all very simple and straightforward.

Multiple eBay Accounts

On eBay you can have as many accounts as you want. eBay itself confirms this on the Help Page here. All you need to open a new eBay account is a separate email address. You can safely use the same name, address and contact information. All you need is a separate e-mail account.

Why would you need 2 or more eBay accounts? There are several possible reasons:

1) To sell in multiple niches.

2) To keep private sales and purchases separate from business transactions.

3) To use one account for buying and another one for selling when working with a used goods concept.

These are the most typical situations where you would need to have multiple eBay accounts and eBay is totally cool with that.

What you should be aware of though, is that all these accounts will be interlinked by eBay and that’s bad news. In practice this means that if one of your accounts get suspended/banned, the others will be closed shortly afterwards because from eBay’s point of view you will have become too much of a risk as a seller. (more…)