April 5, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments
eBay is better than Amazon! >><< Amazon is better than eBay!
If you came to this post looking for a comprehensive head to head analysis of the world’s two biggest marketplaces, then I’m sorry to say that’s not what this is. No, today I want to talk about the phenomena of people always thinking that the grass is greener on the other platform, that everything is better somewhere else! It has reached the point where I don’t know whether to cry or laugh when I read on a regular basis how bad one marketplace is and how good the other one is.
I’m specifically talking about Seller Central forums – for both eBay & Amazon. If you have never read those forums, make sure to check them out:
There’s nothing wrong with these forums, in fact – they’re a great place to learn the ins and outs of selling on both Amazon and eBay. But they can be tricky IF you’re totally new to all of this and are just looking for information, especially IF you visit just one forum and not both.
Because you’ll find lots of negative information there. Horror stories even.
The thing is – most sellers don’t go on forums and don’t post when everything is running smoothly. They do it when things go wrong, when they face problems etc. It’s similar to company reviews online. Just check PayPal’s reviews on Trust Pilot for example:
1.3 Stars out of 10!!!!
It must be the absolute worst company, a total scam and criminal organisation! Who even deals with them???
Well, according to publicly available information, there are approximately 200 million active PayPal accounts in 2017. So how could 200 million people use a service that is rated 1.3 stars out of 10?
Because people mostly leave such reviews when they have problems with the company! I have never left a review for PayPal on Trust Pilot as I have never had any problems with it. Just like millions of other PayPal users.
Why am I talking about this? Well, just so you keep things in perspective when you read Amazon and eBay’s seller forums – most of the stuff discussed there is negative – problems, banned accounts, buyer-scammers, eBay glitches etc. And that’s fine of course but it DOES NOT portray the average, everyday life of a typical user. (more…)
March 22, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 49 Comments
VAT For Amazon Sellers WARNING – Pan-European Fulfilment TRAP!
I’ve written about VAT a number of times on this blog, and with good reason – it’s a topic that causes a lot of confusion for online sellers and if you get it wrong it can really destroy your business. In my opinion, registering for VAT when you don’t need to is the biggest tax mistake an eBay or Amazon seller can make!
But all that has been covered before on my blog, numerous times in fact, so what’s the point of today’s article?
Well today’s post is really a warning about Amazon’s Pan-European fulfilment service – which is a HUGE tax trap under new EU law.
As you all know, when you sell on Amazon you get access to all 5 European marketplaces:
- Amazon UK
- Amazon Germany
- Amazon France
- Amazon Italy
- Amazon Spain
And you can sell to all of these marketplaces with your one seller subscription, which is great! In fact you don’t even need to create multiple listings – you simply create your listings on your home marketplace (Amazon.co.uk for example) and if they’re eligible, they’ll “automatically be re-created in the remaining four marketplaces via Amazon’s ‘build international listings tool’.”
But Amazon have gone one step further and recently a very exciting addition to the Fulfiled by Amazon fulfilment service was introduced, called Pan-European FBA.
The idea behind it is very simple – it allows you to offer your products to all 5 European marketplaces but rather than your stock being stored and shipped from one fulfilment center (as is normally the case) – Amazon will distribute them across ALL 5 countries.
This of course provides a number of important advantages to us as sellers:
Amazon don’t charge you to distribute your stock and you don’t even have to do it yourself. You simple send your FBA items to your local Amazon fulfilment center and Amazon then spreads it around all 5 countries (plus two more) based on expected demand. (more…)
March 1, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments
HOW to Send Stock Directly from China to Amazon Fulfilment Centres (FBA)!
Amazon’s FBA program is becoming more and more popular with marketplace sellers, and that’s really no surprise – it’s a big sales boost and also removes a lot of the work of selling online! It allows you to concentrate on what really matters – branding, promoting, sales, sourcing etc. while outsourcing all the tedious fulfilment tasks such as packing products, printing labels, posting items, processing returns etc.
Now the “normal” way to get set up with FBA is to package and label all your stock and send it to Amazon yourself, who will receive and sort it, but I get a lot of emails from people looking to get started with FBA who want to have their stock sent DIRECTLY from China to Amazon, without them ever having to see or handle their stock.
Now you may be wondering why, because surely that’s risky… and while that is true – if you can manage to arrange it like this, you save money on shipping and also save a lot of time and hassle for yourself.
And that’s exactly what today’s post is all about – sending stock directly from China to Amazon’s fulfilment centers in the UK!
Judging from a lot of the emails I get, many people seem to think this is as easy as simply putting the Amazon fulfilment center address instead of your own home/business address but unfortunately this is NOT the case… there are a lot of things you need to be aware of when sending stock directly to Amazon and you’ll need to use a freight forwarder to help you take care of all of the details (Woodland Global is the company I recommend for this).
So to start off, can you ship stock directly to Amazon from your overseas suppliers? Amazon’s answer to this question is no:
“Sellers with shipments that originate from overseas will need to arrange the import and customs clearance of the shipment, and then arrange for the delivery to our facility. Amazon may not be used as the consignee, importer of record or final address when shipping from overseas.”
What this basically means is that you need to arrange a freight forwarder for your shipment, so that they can clear your delivery through customs and then arrange the domestic shipping to Amazon. This is all fairly obvious, as if you simply posted items directly to Amazon from overseas, they’d be responsible for customers clearance and any import charges, which is of course not something they’re willing to do. (more…)