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Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #42

October 16, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

questions-answers-42Happy Friday everyone!

Which means it’s time to publish all the questions you have sent in during the past week. Remember, all you have to do to get your question featured in our weekly Questions & Answers blog post series is SUBMIT it via the contact form on this page.

Even if your question isn’t selected for our weekly post, I’ll still send you a personal answer directly.

Today we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • Should you use PayPal instead of Alibaba Trade Assurance?
  • How much tax do you pay on imports from the USA?
  • What is the cheapest shipping method from China?
  • Should you do a factory inspection BEFORE ordering samples?
  • How can you purchase GENUINE licensed goods from China?
  • How to create custom pages for your eBay shop?
  • Is there a tool to get keyword search numbers on eBay?
  • Can you buy and re-sell DVDs on eBay marked as “Not for Rental”?
  • Can you edit LIVE Good ‘Til Cancelled listings?
  • What is best listing format to sell unique, one-off items?
  • How to import goods WITHOUT getting them taxed at customs?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

First I would like to say thanks a lot for your blog, I have gained lots of valuable information from it.

I am getting ready to place an order worth £1000 from my supplier. I have ordered a small quantity from them before with no problems, paying with PayPal, and I wanted to know if it would a good idea to use PayPal again for an order like this or should I use Trade Assurance?

The supplier is legit but the PayPal address doesn’t have the company name (then again all suppliers I have ordered from so far have personal looking or unrelated PayPal addresses for some reason). Apart from that everything about the supplier checks out so what do you think?

Thanks for your time!

Hi Mwamba,

For a £1000 order I would still go with the PayPal option, if your supplier accepts it. PayPal essentially is the safest payment option – and suppliers know this – as if everything goes completely wrong, you can always initiate a charge back with your credit card company and in 99% of cases you would get your money back.

Suppliers know this well so very, very rarely will they try to scam someone using PayPal. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #41

October 8, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

questions-answers-41No, I’m afraid it’s NOT Friday yet! 🙂

Just a slight change this week as I’m taking a small weekend break with my family, so this week’s Questions and Answers post is a bit earlier than usual.

Today we’ll cover the following questions:

  • How to determine a price when selling your eBay business?
  • When is it a good time to open an eBay Shop?
  • Do VAT & import duty apply to imports from the USA?
  • Can you claim import duty back?
  • How much does insurance cost when importing via sea freight?
  • Do you need a registered business to start buying from Alibaba?
  • What to do with broken rental Blu-rays planned for re-sale?
  • Is it okay to buy and re-sell Sky remote controllers on eBay?
  • How to find out which type/design/style of product sells best?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

I have an unusual question.

I have a small eBay business and am wondering, if I want to sell it, how do I determine the selling price?

Based on turnover, profit?

It is nothing huge, but has been bringing in regular revenue every month for 2 years now.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Richard,

First thing you should do is research similar business that have been sold on Flippa.com so you can get a better idea of what kind of price to expect.

eBay businesses in general are very risky sales so you can’t expect much. A normal price would be in the region of 10-12 months’ net profit, best case would be 20-24 months’ net profit. So for example, if you make £1000 net profit per month, the selling price of the business could be anything between £10k-£24k. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #37

September 4, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

questions-answers-37Welcome…. September!

It’s getting darker and colder. With kids back in schools, the roads are slower and days shorter. Is it all doom and gloom though? Not if you’re an online seller, no! As September is the first month after the summer when sales return to normal in most businesses. That is unless you sell sunglasses and weekend trips to Ibiza (I could be wrong on the Ibiza part though!)

This week, on Monday, I covered in detail how to predict sales fluctuations over the up-coming months, right before Xmas kicks in. Now is really a good time to prepare yourself for an increase in sales, due to numerous short term sales like Halloween, Black Friday and of course Christmas itself at the end of the road.

It’s now Friday, which means it’s time for another Questions & Answers post! In this series I answer questions sent in by you – my blog readers, so if you want your questions to be featured in future posts, get in touch with me via the contact form on this page.

Today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • How to simplify the importing from China process?
  • How to register multiple eBay accounts on regional sites?
  • What safety requirements are there when importing children’s clothing from China?
  • Can you protect the design of a product?
  • Can you lose TRS status with one VeRO case?
  • What’s the next step after making money with used goods?

Let’s get started!

Dear Andrew,

I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and I just have to say that it’s brilliant – the information you provide is incredible.

I’m looking to start importing goods from outside the EU, namely China. Up until now I have been making use of UK based suppliers.

I’m pretty clued up when it comes to duty and import VAT. However, after looking on the HMRCs website I have become baffled once more. They talk about using the CHIEF system and filling a SAD form for every import. Is this necessary, what does it all mean and is it as confusing as it sounds?

Thank you in advance and kind regards,

Hi James,

It sounds more difficult than it actually is! 🙂

If you’re just starting out with importing now, with your first deal, I would recommend you use a courier for shipping to minimise your work load. That is of course if the products you source are suitable for courier shipment (small or valuable) as courier is the most expensive shipping method from China. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #36

August 21, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 15 Comments

questions-answers-36Welcome to our 36th Questions & Answers – a weekly blog post where I personally answer questions sent in by my blog readers!

Summer is nearly behind us now as we head into September and everyone gets back to full work. Quarter 4 is the most important of the year for most companies so it’s time to really ramp up your business so you can hit Christmas with a bang. Jeez Andrew, thinking about Christmas already!? I know, I know – I plan things too far in advance! 🙂

Today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • Do you need a registered company to import from China?
  • Why does my eBay account have selling limits?
  • Why do my competitors’ listings get ranked higher on eBay’s search?
  • At what stage are VAT & import duty payable on imported goods?
  • What to do with under-valued imports from China?
  • Is it worth starting a new online clothing shop?
  • How to compete with people who copy what I do?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

I read your recent article and found it very informative and I was hoping you could help me with a quick question – I’ve been in touch with a supplier and they’ve asked for my company name.

Do I need to have a registered company to import from China?

Many Thanks!

Hi James,

No, you don’t have to have a registered company to import products from China, not at all.

The reason why they asked for your company name could just be that they want to know you’re seriously interested in doing business as Chinese suppliers have to deal with many time wasters on a daily basis who ask for prices, samples, and other info but never make an actual order. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #35

August 14, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

questions-answers-35Happy Friday everyone!

It’s time for the latest post in our Questions & Answers series. I can certainly see that the summer holidays are well and truly over for many of you as there are more and more questions being sent in!

Today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • How to not get overcharged by couriers?
  • What is the best way to sell on regional eBay sites?
  • How to get back Top rated seller status?
  • Do you have to pay taxes on refused parcels?
  • Where is the best place to sell 150,000 used books?
  • Is it possible to buy goods from UK based manufacturers directly?
  • At what stage does being VAT registered help your business?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your great article:


I’m importing some products from China to the US, and I’m being quoted vastly different UPS prices for shipping – can you shed any light on this?

The supplier has quoted me $430 for 250 units via UPS and this sounds about right to me. But if I go onto the UPS website and get a quote, the price comes in at $1500.

Some other suppliers are also quoting me in the region of $1700 for UPS, shipping the same package, and some as low as $300.

In your article you are suggesting that shipping via courier is about $5/kg for a 50kg package, which is around $250.

Any idea what’s going on here? Ideally I’d like to handle the UPS side of things myself so I know I’m not being overcharged, but I’m obviously not going to pay $1500.

Many thanks,

Hi John,

$1700 for a 50kg package, wow, that’s really EXTREME!!!

That’s a totally unreasonable quote. In my article I mention that a courier costs about £5 per kg (not $), so it works out about $7-$8. So a quote of around $400 sounds very reasonable to me. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #32

July 3, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 8 Comments

questions-answers-32It’s Friday – which means time for this week’s Q&A post.

As we enter summer, and the days are warmer (should I say – SUPER HOT?) and longer, many people are spending less time on the internet… and as seasoned eBay sellers will know, this can mean a slowdown in sales!

However, these seasonal trends are completely normal, and nothing to worry about at all. Of course for new sellers it can be very frightening to see a sudden drop in sales, and that’s exactly why I wanted to mention this in today’s post – before I get hundreds of emails from worried sellers. Take a look at my previous article if you want to read more about this: Why Are My eBay Sales Going Down!?

But for now, let’s take a look at today’s topics:

  • How to print eBay shipping labels using a Dymo 450 label printer?
  • How to get rid of small clearance stock job lots?
  • Can you buy branded designer clothing directly from the factories?
  • PlayStation SCAMS – how do they work?
  • Can you start an online shop BEFORE first trying out eBay?
  • How to start an eBay business from scratch?
  • Can you transfer selling limits and sales history to a new eBay account?
  • How do you add variations to an existing eBay listing?
  • Is it safe to buy established eBay accounts?

Let’s get started!

Hello Andrew,

As recommended on this blog (which is absolutely excellent by the way!), I have purchased a Dymo LabelWriter 450.

However, I am unsure how to print all the shipping labels in one go. I have found that I can tick the boxes of the items I have sold on eBay, click “print shipping labels” and then select the “address labels” ratio button. However, it seems to be that eBay only allows me to print them on full size pieces of paper, rather than being formatted such that I can print them on the Dymo labels.

Would you be able to explain exactly how you would automate the process of printing shipping labels using a Dymo LabelWriter 450?

Also – I have stock that I am unable to sell, and I was hoping to sell it off in bulk to clear space. I have found that most companies are only interested in buying pallets of stock, but I do not have this much. Surely there is a better option than dumping it?

If you could offer me your guidance on what to do in these two situations, that would be great!

Thanks very much,

Hi Danny,

I personally use Linnworks.com for order processing and it has built-in support for printing shipping labels on a Dymo printer.

BUT you can also get this working directly on eBay – what you need to do is make sure you set the page size within your browser AND printer settings to the label size you’re using in your Dymo 450. So that in essence you set the whole page size as the exact size of one of your labels. That way you can print these labels correctly from eBay directly. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #31

June 12, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

questions-answers-31Welcome back!

Another week has passed and it’s time for this Friday’s Questions & Answers post.

Today we’ll cover the following questions:

  • Can you sell items that look similar to branded ones on eBay?
  • How to avoid getting my eBay account suspended?
  • How to register a business on eBay as a Partnership?
  • How to evaluate the level of competition in a new niche?
  • How to minimise “Item Not Received” cases?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew!

I’ve been reading your website for the past couple of days and love it!

I want to start selling bracelets on eBay, but the ones I’m planning to sell are shown on stinghd.com. My idea was to buy them from China, and they’re basically the same, at least as far as I can tell.

Under the T&Cs of stinghd it talks about how you cannot sell anything that comes close to the design of the items shown on their website, but it doesn’t say these design are actually registered on any intellectual property sites?

I’m a bit confused here and was hoping you could give me your advice…


Hi Kris,

IF they don’t have those designs registered, you shouldn’t face any problems selling replicas made in China, as long as you don’t mention Stinghd’s brand name anywhere on your sales page.

To be sure these designs are not protected, you would have to do a search for the company’s name in USA patent/trade mark/registered design directories. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #29

May 29, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

questions-answers-29As we do every Friday, it’s time to end the week with a Questions & Answers blog post where I cover the most interesting questions you have sent it over the last week. Next time will be the 30th anniversary edition so keep sending in your questions via the contact form on this page.

Remember, even if your question does not get published, I will still give you a personal reply via email.

Today’s questions are:

  • Is it possible to make money selling info products on eBay?
  • Do purchases count towards the seller transaction count number?
  • What is best way to organise product shipment from China?
  • Can you make money selling brand new video games on eBay?
  • What to do with devalued stock?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

I came across your product via YouTube.

I’ve been marketing online for years and actually started off on eBay selling iPod tutorials when the iPod was first released around 10 years ago and I sold a few altogether. There was also a public domain document doing the rounds about how to run a car on tap water.

I sold a few of those also, but others soon started doing the same thing and it became saturated with different people claiming they actually owned the book and reporting other sellers. I’ve no interest in cars, but noticed I had some success selling car info products, especially to people in the USA.

Recently I’ve thought about coming back to eBay as I have a dating product which is an ebook and video slides.

I watched your presentation with interest and may get your product.

However I think the idea of selling one a day on eBay is a little ambitious?

I use a fulfillment service for some of my products and could probably do the same for eBay after collecting the customer’s address. It’s an idea I am toying with.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Best regards,

Hi Paul,

eBay really is NOT the best place to sell information products, not anymore, particularly in the dating niche. You could of course sell a few copies here and there but you won’t be able to make a business out of it.

For info products, you want to build a blog and following online – via your own website, social media platforms, YouTube etc. – by giving away lots of free, valuable content to get people in and then offering premium products for sale. Read More…

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #22

March 20, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

questions-answers-22It’s FRIDAY!!! 🙂

And that means time for another Questions & Answers blog post!

Today we’ll cover the following topics:

  • How to improve DSRs after an incident of bad luck?
  • How to insert product pictures inside an eBay template?
  • How up to date is the Easy Auction Business video course?
  • Is it possible to use Turbo Lister on two computers simultaneously?
  • How to start an eBay business with limited funds?
  • Excessive sea freight charges & how to deal with them!
  • Can you go in to debt when trading on eToro?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

I was after some advice please, when you get a minute, as I have recently had my eBay account restricted because of poor DSRs. The reason for my poor ratings is items didn’t arrive and my customers opened cases against me; what actually happened was when InPost/CityLink went into administration, I had 4 parcels stolen by the couriers! I’ve subsequently had my insurance claims settled in my favor by Parcel2Go.

I refunded my customers within a two week period of the purchase date but because cases had been opened against me it has had this detrimental effect on my ratings. I don’t know what more I could have done? I made the sale and posted the item promptly, using what I thought was a reputable courier.

But eBay will not consider these facts and just say they will send me literature regarding improving my DSRs. I was aiming for TRS previously and still want to but this knock back has left me a bit dejected with the whole eBay experience.


Hi Jamie,

Yes, eBay never accept such reasons or excuses; they basically don’t care what happened or why packages weren’t delivered. And really that’s completely understandable as otherwise sellers would come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they got a negative feedback or low rating. Is their stance right or wrong? Well that’s a different question and inconsequential really – this is just how eBay works and you either play by their rules or don’t use them at all. Read More…

Your Questions Answered: BEST of 1-20!

March 6, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments


Last week we reached the 20th post in our Q&A series, which I am extremely happy about!

I never imagined that this series would be so popular so in celebration of reaching this milestone, today we have a slightly special post – a Q&A BEST OF!

I’ve chosen ten of the most interesting questions from Q&A 1-20 and compiled them below:

  • How to position and sell PREMIUM products on eBay?
  • Importing iPhone cases with Disney characters, is this illegal?
  • Supplier wants an order BEFORE a factory inspection!?
  • How can I create a successful eBay business with a brand new account?
  • What are “grey imports” and can I sell them?
  • How to manage my eBay business when going on holiday?
  • Selling used books on eBay and Amazon – is this still viable?
  • Becoming a slave to my own business!
  • What promo materials should I include with each eBay order?
  • Starting an eBay business with £100k


Hi Andrew,

First of all I would like to thank you for website as it is such a good source of information. I have found some of your articles extremely helpful and the ideas you present have been very easy to implement into my own business, with great results.

I would like to ask your advice, and would really appreciate your help in the beginning of us trying to create a successful business on eBay.

1. As we will be selling European products on eBay, what do you think is the best strategy to enter the market with a product nobody else offers, in terms of brand and quality? There are of course plenty of low quality offerings but our products are 100% Italian or French made and we really want to emphasise the uniqueness of what we’re offering.

2. We’ve done our market research, looks at the sales, products etc. but do you think little extras will make any difference? Things like coloured bubble wrap, thank you stickers etc.? Basically do you think it’s worth investing in packaging to make us stand out from the crowd, even if it doubles the cost?

3. What 3 things you can suggest to invest money into that will put a smile on a customer’s face when he/she receives the product?

Thanks for your questions!

1) You want to make sure that you say it loud and clear – this product is PREMIUM quality, made in Italy and NOTHING on the market compares to it. Point this out in both the listing title and description. Read More…