March 25, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 40 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 - 840 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…)

March 7, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 35 Comments

Image Hosting Explained – A Step by Step Guide!

One of the first things you want to sort out when you start selling on eBay is Image Hosting.

While eBay offers to host your product pictures on their server, it comes at an extra cost plus eBay’s image hosting won’t give you the features and flexibility your own hosting account will give you.

Any serious eBay seller should use their own hosting account instead of eBay’s service, because:

1) Your own hosting account will save you tons of money in eBay fees;

2) Your own hosting account will give you more control over your images;

3) Your own hosting account will also give you a professional email address and the ability to create a blog or website.

What is a hosting account in the first place?

To put it simply, it’s a server space you rent out for an agreed period of time. Your own hosting account means that you can upload product pictures and even videos and other graphics and show them online via your eBay listings. Look at it as your own virtual hard disk drive that’s connected to the Internet.

Now, there is an alternative to your own hosting account – free online file sharing sites that allow you to upload product images for free, such as Photobucket.com. But it’s only free till you reach their free account bandwidth limit; after that you will have to upgrade to a Pro account and pay a monthly fee.

Photobucket and similar free accounts are meant for personal use, hence their limit on the storage space and bandwidth on free accounts. Very often on eBay I see this:

This means a person has been using a free Photobucket account and exceeded their bandwidth limit. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me this doesn’t look very professional at all. Imagine one day all your product pictures on eBay turn into these Photobucket warning banners – not good, right? Besides that, Photobucket won’t give you an email address, not to mention the opportunity to build a blog or website.

(more…)

March 4, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 290 Comments

The Biggest Tax Mistake An eBay Seller Can Make!

…is to register for VAT (Value Added Tax). Yes, registering as a VAT payer when you don’t have to is the single biggest VAT related mistake you can make as an eBay seller. Why? Because by doing that, you become less competitive on eBay’s marketplace where the majority of sellers are not VAT registered.

I know this may initially all sound too complicated and confusing so let’s cover the VAT registration process in detail, and both the advantages and disadvantages of becoming VAT registered.

The whole VAT system is quite complicated, with many exceptions and special rules. I won’t go into minute detail on every aspect of VAT now but if you want, you can read all the information about it on the HMRC website.

I’ll keep this blog post simple and straight to the point – so that you, as an eBay seller, get a clear idea on what VAT is and when you should apply for it.

VAT Rate Explained

The current standard VAT rate in the UK is 20% (as of 4th January 2011). There’s also a reduced rate of 5% applied to some specific goods and services (eg children’s car seats) and zero rated goods & services, such as children’s clothes. We’ll go into more detail on these exceptions in a minute.

The VAT rate is not fixed across all European Union countries so if your business is based outside of the UK, you will want to check your local authority’s website to find out the VAT rate in your country. For example in Ireland, the standard VAT rate is currently 23%, while in Luxemburg it’s just 15%.

When Should You Register for VAT?

You should register for VAT ONLY when you reach the “VAT threshold” and registration becomes mandatory, which currently stands at £77 000. The VAT threshold simply indicates the maximum turnover a business can have had over the last 12 months and still remain / work VAT free. (more…)

February 28, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

My Monthly Round-Up: February 2013

Welcome to the first ever AndrewMinalto.com Monthly Round-Up Post covering February 2013!

February was my first month actively producing and publishing content for this blog. As I previously announced, this year I’ll be focussing my efforts on the blog to make it the ultimate one-stop resource for eBay and eCommerce sellers!

It was a spectacular month in my personal life, too. My son, Oliver, was born on February 13th making me a happy daddy for the second time! Also, my daughter Charlotte celebrated her 3rd birthday on February 19th, so this has been a very productive month for me by any standard!

(more…)

February 25, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 17 Comments

What Products to Sell on eBay When Starting Out?

Hi Andrew,

Reading your bog with great interest – loads of valuable information here! I have already followed your used goods business guide and made my first 40 pounds in profit! I will stick with used goods for now, but in the future I want to start selling brand new goods, maybe phone cases or something similar – small & cheap, just to build some experience.

My question is this – how to know what type of products and what versions (colours, styles, sizes etc.) should I start with if I’m on a limited budget? For example, take mobile phone cases – there are hundreds of different mobile phones out there, then there are plastic, leather, clear, metallic and other cases. From what I understand, to import from China, I’ll have to buy a decent quantity (probably hundreds per item) so won’t be able to start with all styles/models.

Hope this makes sense, Andrew.

Looking forward to your reply.

Richard.

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your question. It’s a good one and highlights a typical problem many new eBay sellers face – the hard choice of picking the right products to start with when limited buying power doesn’t allow you to start with dozens or hundreds of products.

There are 2 ways to go with this:

1) After doing some research and seeing what sells best, go the RISK TAKER way and start selling products that are different from the current offers on eBay. This approach involves some risk as it could well turn out that people don’t want to buy these ‘different’ products, styles or colours.

2) Start with products that already sell well on eBay! With this concept, the risk is minimal as you know that these particular products already sell well on eBay and if you source the same products and create superb listings, you too should be able to make sales and take some % of the overall market. This concept is more newbie friendly, especially suitable for people who are just starting out and want to gain some experience. There’s nothing worse than having loads of dead stock you can’t move!

But this doesn’t mean that the first approach can’t work, not at all! If you have good business sense, some experience and you spot a new product or modification of a current product that you think will become a best seller, consider the risk and order a trial amount. Once again, some risk is involved so it’s not recommended for newbie traders. (more…)

February 21, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 32 Comments

Complete Warehousing Guide for eBay Sellers!

One of the first things you face when starting an eBay business is where and how to store the goods you plan to sell. Most people don’t have access to a warehouse, so they have to set up their own goods storage system. In this blog post I’ll try to cover the warehouse set up options available to small-time online traders.

If you don’t want to store and dispatch goods on your own, you can always take a look at fulfilment houses and the services they offer.

But in most cases, when you are just starting out and want to save every penny, having a storage system in-house is the best way to go.

The best, most suitable set up will depend on what type of goods you’re selling.

For small items (like jewellery, craft supplies and similar), these would be the most suitable options:

1) Linbins – one of the most popular and oldest ways to store small items. Linbins are affordable, come in a variety of sizes and can be stacked on top of each other or attached to special wall panels to create gigantic storage units. The downside of Linbins is that they don’t close so expect dust to get onto products in the long run. You can protect your products from getting dirty by placing them in plastic bags first.

Linbins from Plastor.co.uk

2) Storage bins with cabinets – these will be more expensive, but they close fully so no dust problem here. These storage bins are very durable but the downside is the cost – they’re really quite expensive.

Storage Bins from from Plastor.co.uk

(more…)