April 15, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 7 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #60

questions-answers-60Welcome back!

So this is it – our last ever weekly Questions & Answers blog post! I already mentioned this briefly in last week’s post and today I’ll give some more info on why I’m ending this series of posts and more importantly – what comes next.

There are three main reasons as to why I’ve decided not to continue with these posts as they are at the moment.

1) Repetitive questions. As we have covered HUNDREDS of questions in these 60 posts, I find that I’m receiving the same questions more and more often and it just doesn’t make sense for me to keep repeating the same things over and over. Instead I could just point you to the previously answered question.

2) Hard to find information. All 60 of these Q&A posts are named in exactly the same way – “Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered” followed by the number. This makes it very difficult to find previously covered topics via my blog search or via Google.

3) More in-depth answers. Many times you ask questions that would require a much deeper response, with me giving more detailed tips and advice. With the current format that’s really not possible as it would take up too much of my time to give detailed answers to every question. Plus it would make these posts extremely LONG.

With all this taken into account, I think it will be better for all parties involved to change the FORMAT of these posts.

So here’s what will happen from now on – you’re still more than welcome to send your questions in! I still WANT them! And I will still answer ALL emails personally as usual BUT the weekly post won’t consist of multiple questions anymore.

Instead, I will do whole posts on ONE of the questions you have sent it! So that I can dig deeper into that topic and give more detailed advice.

This way I can fix all 3 problems I previously mentioned and in my opinion, this will help grow this blog as we move forward, by building a valuable archive of real life problems and topics that you can always refer back to in the future. (more…)

April 8, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #59

questions-answers-59Welcome Back!

It’s time for another Questions & Answers blog post.

This week we had an interesting post comparing prices on eBay and Amazon to test if Amazon’s buyers really are willing to spend more on the same products.

And next week I plan to publish an updated Best Products to Sell on eBay2016 UPDATE! The idea to update some of the most popular posts came to me as I went through my blog’s analytics data and noticed how many people read these posts every day. I think for such posts, The Best Products to Sell on eBay for 2013 being a perfect example, it’ll definitely be worthwhile to keep them up to date with the latest information.

But let’s get back to the subject at hand, today’s Q&A, and here are the questions we’ll be covering:

  • Do you need to register a domain name together with hosting?
  • What time management software do you use Andrew?
  • Do you pay extra taxes when ordering from DigitalRev?
  • How to make money dropshipping if you’re VAT registered?
  • Do you have to cover return shipping costs for eBay orders?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for all of the very helpful information on your website, following your advice I’m finding planning the set-up of my online business a little easier.

I have read your very informative write ups on image hosting and registering domain names, but I would like to clear up a little confusion please.

Would you recommend registering a domain name with a company such as Go Daddy and then using that domain name when signing up to an image host, Host Gator in your example?


Registering a new domain name when you sign up with the image hosting site?

I’m inclined to register my domain name first and use that domain name with Host Gator, therefore using two separate sites. What would you recommend?

Many Thanks,

Hi David,

It doesn’t really matter where you register your domain name – both Go Daddy and Host Gator are big, reputable companies and you can trust your domain registration to either one of them.

The reason why I usually recommend registering domain names with Go Daddy separately is that: (more…)

April 1, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #58

questions-answers-58Welcome Back!

Another week, another Friday and time for our Questions & Answers blog post!

For those of you who are new to these Q&A posts, this is how they work – every Friday (well, almost every Friday) I post answers to questions sent in from my blog readers so that more people can learn from the same mistakes or learn about the same topics.

All you have to do to be featured in these posts is to send in your question(s) via the contact form on this page! I’ll personally reply to all requests within 24 hours, Monday – Friday, and the most interesting questions will be featured in next week’s Q&A blog post.

Today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • Can I list on eBay USA via eBay’s international visibility option?
  • Do you need a registered business to import from China via sea freight?
  • How to automatically send 100-300 eBay invoices a day?
  • Ecommerce VS eBay VS Amazon – which one is best?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your previous help with listing an item on ebay.de – it’s going well!

I wanted to now list the same item on ebay.com but I noticed when you list an item on ebay.co.uk, right before you confirm the listing at the end, it gives you an option to list on ebay.com and ebay.ca for 25p or something like that.

Is this the same thing and should I just take that option? Or should I ignore this and simply list directly on ebay.com?

Thanks Andrew!


Hi Christian,

Yes, this is exactly the same thing as if you had listed directly on ebay.com.

Unfortunately this feature is currently only available for eBay UK, USA & Canada so we can’t use it for European sites at the moment. (more…)

March 18, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #57

questions-answers-57Welcome Back!

It’s been a very productive week in our office, and we’ve tested the new Clicker Press I bought inside out. I wrote a separate blog post earlier this week about my new press, so take a look at that if you missed it. It’s actually a LOT of fun to use and I’ve found myself walking around asking other people to give me some cutting jobs – it turns out some manual work like this is a great way to relax yourself during a long day sitting (standing) in front of the PC.

Some of you may be wondering why I’ve covered so many “in house manufacturing” tactics on my blog recently? Because I’m a huge fan of creating/manufacturing products you can sell, for reasons outlined in my previous posts. Currently I’m considering purchasing a laser cutter machine and a 3D printer and will of course do posts on them if and when I get these new machines in!

But back to our Q&A and today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • How to speed up Turbo Lister when uploading bulk listings?
  • What is a reasonable shipping cost for a SAMPLE from China?
  • Do you need to upgrade to a Business account from day one?
  • Can you buy from China with a personal debit/credit card?
  • What keywords should you use when doing research on Terapeak?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

I have learned a TON through your blog and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to do this.

I use Turbo Lister and have recently changed the way I list items to make my process “faster”. However, I have run into some major time spent uploading the listings and would like to see if you have any advice on how to speed this up?

Here is what I generally do on Turbo Lister:

  • I have templates for various items (clothing, electronics, car parts, toys, etc.) and I open the particular template to create a listing;
  • I use HTML for my item description and add self-hosted images in that section.
  • I save that information, and upload pictures from a file on my PC (after changing from self-hosted back to eBay picture services).

This saves a LOT of time for creating the listing, however the problem now is that 50 listings take about 1 hour to upload to eBay.

I use Picasa web albums for my self-hosted images and use photos from my PC to download to the EPS section.

I can create a listing in Turbo Lister and use self-hosted photos in the description and the image upload and the listing will take just a few seconds to upload.

My question is, is there a way to add more than one self-hosted image in the pictures so that buyers can view all of your images without having to scroll to the description (when using Turbo Lister eBay will only upload the first self-hosted image)? Also, is there a faster way to upload using my current method with files from my PC using EPS?

Thank you so much!

Hi Nguyen,

No, unfortunately (for some weird reason) TL only uploads 1 self-hosted gallery image so you have no choice but to use eBay’s hosted images for your listing’s gallery pictures. This is a Turbo Lister glitch in my opinion, but it’s been like that for many months now so I wouldn’t expect a quick fix! (more…)

March 11, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #56

questions-answers-56Happy Friday!

It has been a busy week for me personally! I finally received my long awaited shipment from the US with my new equipment, something I delved into a bit in last week’s article on poor customer service. I will get everything set up and then do a proper dedicated post on this next week.

machineAlso, last week we FINALLY launched the new SpicyAuctionTemplates.com website! It’s such a good feeling, after long months of hard work, to see how it’s all turned out and the feedback I’ve received so far from my customers is nothing but good, so thanks for your support!

I have plans to re-vamp some further websites this year, to create more mobile friendly versions, so this is hopefully only the beginning! 🙂

Back to our weekly Q&A post and today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • How much should I pay to ship a 100kg package from China?
  • What is the BEST alternative to Turbo Lister?
  • Why is my Chinese supplier charging double for a sample?
  • By how much can you negotiate MOQs?
  • Can you request modifications to existing product?

Let’s get started! (more…)

February 26, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #55

questions-answers-55Welcome Back!

This week on the blog we had a look at how to find out the best selling variation for any product on eBay, and I also had a little rant about the poor experience I had trying to buy an air compressor for my own business.

Next week – SAT 3.0 finally goes live, which will be accompanied by the 5th and final product showcase article covering, you guessed it, SAT!

Here are the questions I will be answering in today’s post:

  • By what percentage will my sales increase from using a PRO template?
  • What’s the best way to learn importing from China?
  • Can you use another person’s eBay & PayPal accounts for a business?
  • How to sell the same product on two eBay sites?
  • Which shipping method is cheapest and easiest?
  • Is it more expensive to use freight forwarders?
  • Do I have to pay VAT & import duty to a Chinese supplier?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

Obviously you do spicy auction templates and I have used templates in the past, though at the moment I don’t currently have one. Now I understand that having a decent looking professional template creates a better experience for buyers as well as giving your business a better image and an overall boost in sales, but what are the statistics behind this? I can’t seem to find this information anywhere, so by having a professional template what increase will there be on my sales and conversion rate?

Kind regards,

Hi Christian,

That’s a good question. Unfortunately there are no such statistics available simply because it’s nearly impossible to test such things on eBay where rankings change constantly.

From my experience working with many different sellers, there’s definitely an increase in conversion rates after upgrading to a custom template with good images and proper formatting. But by what % exactly, that’s hard to say as there hasn’t been any proper testing done.

The overall effect will also depend a lot on what you sell. For example, if you sell industrial machinery parts, your buyers won’t be that concerned about how the listing looks as long as the description is clear and the product is what they’re looking for. On the other hand, with many products that are perceived visually, such as clothing, accessories, phone cases, furniture etc., a professional image can basically make or break your business. (more…)

February 19, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #54

questions-answers-54Welcome back!

Another Friday, another Questions & Answers blog post!

Tomorrow is a BIG day for eBay sellers, as the new performance standards go live on eBay. And earlier this week we had something of an anomaly online – a post about eBay that was positive! Feel free to have a read of it now if you don’t believe me 🙂

Back to our Q&A and today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • How to organise shipping when importing from China to the US?
  • What documents do you need to open an eBay Business account?
  • How to sort out accounts with HMRC on your own?
  • Can I split shipments to avoid paying import tax?

Let’s get started!

Hello Andrew,

My name is Chelsea and my friend and I are looking to start importing from Alibaba.com, with the goal of selling on eBay or Amazon.

We both work from home so see this as a good opportunity to make more income for our families. We have been researching importing from China to the US, but do you have any advice for us as to the best way to do this?

We’ve looked at FedEx but aren’t sure if they’re the best courier to use? We want a company that will take care of all the paperwork for us as far as customs goes.

At the moment we’re just getting started so any advice to point us in the right direction will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Chelsea and Candice

Hi Chelsea and Candice,

Any courier company will do the “paperwork” for you – i.e. clear goods through customs and deliver them to your door. So from that perspective, it doesn’t matter which company you use.

Price does of course matter though, and you really want to spend as little as possible on shipping, provided the service is the same.

What I recommend you do is ask your supplier to get the BEST quote for your order. Usually suppliers work with specific couriers who give them the best possible prices, far lower that what we could ever arrange from our end. So really there’s no point in trying to do this yourself as you’ll just end up paying more. (more…)

February 12, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 3 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #53

questions-answers-53It’s time for our weekly Questions & Answers post!

We’re now into the second week of February, and sales on eBay are slowly starting to pick up again after the usual January lull. I’ve also been very busy putting the final parts together for the big Spicy Auction Templates update, so I’m glad to have made enough time for another of our ever popular Q&A posts. Remember the goal this year is to get as close to the magical century mark as possible!

Today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • Is the shipping cost important for VAT calculations?
  • Is it ok to have an email & phone number in my eBay template?
  • How to start selling on eBay?
  • Why should we sell on eBay instead of Amazon?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

I’ve noticed my suppliers only ever declare the value of the actual items on customs forms, and they never add the shipping cost that I also paid. Will customs calculate VAT based only on this figure or do they check themselves with the courier? Or should I ask my supplier to put the full value on all forms? I’m pretty sure I have underpaid VAT and am now trying to get everything sorted before I become VAT registered.

Kind regards,

Hi Christian,

Yes, customs need to know any shipping charges in order to correctly calculate VAT so you should always ask your supplier to put the correct amount on the customs form, or better yet ask them to attach the full commercial invoice. (more…)

February 5, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #52

questions-answers-52Happy Friday!

So I’m back with this year’s 2nd Questions & Answers blog post.

This week has been all about eBay and the upcoming changes that will be taking effect on
February 20th. Judging from the amount of questions I’ve received, it’s going to be a stressful few
weeks for all of us! But really that’s the norm with eBay, their implementation of changes leaves a
lot to be desired, so it’s understandable that everyone is worried.

Unfortunately there’s nothing much we can do other than wait and see how it all pans out.

But back to our Q&A and today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • Was I scammed? $165 PS4 consoles from Alibaba!
  • What’s the best way to LINK eBay sales with Amazon & Magento?
  • Where I can download a good Blu-ray listing template?
  • Should I increase my price once I’ve reached the top of eBay’s search results?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

So I recently started to try out Alibaba and am still in the process of my first order. The person is located in Nigeria but the items are being posted to me from the UK. So far I have paid $165 but have been told that 5 units were posted to me, rather than just 1… they are now asking for $150 for each unit and $200 for customs fees.

The company is a gold supplier and has been for 8 years and they have sent me some tracking information but I’m very worried about proceeding any further. What do you suggest?


Hi Max,

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you have officially been scammed.

I mean, $165 for a PS4, coming from Nigeria – that is a SCAM! I’m sorry to be blunt but did you really believe that such a deal existed? You will never get pricing even close to that, and I could have told you this was a scam just from the combination of Nigeria and branded consumer electronics. (more…)

January 29, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 7 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #51

questions-answers-51Welcome Back!

And here we are again, with a new year and a new Questions and Answers blog post!

Last year we reached the magical 50th post right before Christmas and I really hope this year you’ll stay active and keep sending in your questions! Who knows – maybe we can reach our 100th post by the end of this year? 🙂

For those of you who are new to my blog – every week (well, almost every week), on Friday, I publish a Questions & Answers blog post. In these posts I answer some of the questions that you – my dear blog readers – have sent in over the last week. This way my help/advice is made public and other people, with similar questions/problems, can also learn from it. So it’s a real win – win situation.

To get involved, all you have to do is contact me via my support desk here and I’ll personally answer your question there (within 24 hours, Mon.-Fri.) AND if the question qualifies (i.e. it’s an interesting topic with no confidential information) I’ll also publish it in next week’s Questions & Answers blog post. SIMPLE!

Okay, without any further ado, today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • Do you have to mention that products are made in China?
  • Do you need a registered company to buy from Alibaba?
  • What’s the best way to reach the top of eBay’s search results?
  • Andrew, when are you going to create a course for Amazon!?
  • Should I put ALL my stock on eBay?
  • Which invoice should I give to the courier for customs clearance?
  • Is it worth importing products from South Africa to sell on eBay?

Let’s get started!

Dear Andrew,

I was reading all your articles regarding branding new products, which looks very interesting and potentially useful. I would like to ask you a few questions regarding the “Made in” label that you see on products. Is it mandatory to have this on the package? Also, if I have an OEM product from China, can I have my brand name and say made in Europe or a specific European country?

It will be of a great help if you could let me know about this.


Hi Thahir,

Yes, it is by law required to put “Made in” info on product packaging. And even if you’re based in Europe, if the goods are manufactured in China, you must show “Made in China” on your product’s packaging. (more…)