February 28, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered (#1)

questions-and-answers-1It’s time to introduce a new weekly feature to my blog – a Q&A session; “Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered”!

Previously, I would make an individual blog post for specific questions you sent in but over the last few months, the number of requests for help has increased tenfold so I thought – why not share some of these questions/problems with other blog readers in one weekly blog post?

So here it is – my new series of posts where I’ll answer your questions and try to share my extended knowledge of eBay, eCommerce and online business in general.

If you have a question you would like me to answer, you can get in touch here.

In today’s post I’ll answer following questions:

  • How to BEST narrow down search results on Alibaba?
  • How to start import products from China for existing business?
  • How to import children clothing from China?
  • Niche OR no Niche? That’s the question!
  • Can I order product from China for personal use?
  • How to increase profit margins while selling on eBay?
  • How to sell information products on eBay?
  • How to receive stock in USA?
  • Is Western Union safe when dealing with suppliers in China?
  • Hands free importing from China?

Please note: I do not edit your questions so there may be a few grammar mistakes here and there, especially in questions sent in from non-native English speakers.

Let’s get started! (more…)

January 24, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 10 Comments

Wholesale Samsung Galaxy Note from China?

Dear Andrew,

I love the page and all the advice. I’m going to invest in your eCommerce Magnates course.

I’ve decided to buy from Ali Express as a tester and just to get a feel for the whole importing business plan. Just a bit of advice needed if you don’t mind.

I’m looking at buying a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N900. Selling for approx $260. The feedback is fantastic on the product and they offer warranty and he is a good communicator etc.

I’m just worried that the product is a fantastic copy of the real deal or whether it would be the same product as I would be buying from the UK. If you understand what I am saying.

I will be buying to sell and obviously wouldn’t want to sell something that isn’t 100% genuine. Basically it all seems too good to be true.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your reply

Yours,
Chris

Hi Chris!

Thanks for your email and question.

You bring up a very important query about wholesale BRANDED (Samsung, Nokia, Apple etc.) mobile phones currently selling on Ali Express and other China-based websites.

Are they the real thing? No, I’m afraid they are not…

Just like with any other branded products, you CAN’T get them in wholesale from Mainland China. These mobile phones in China actually cost MORE than in the UK or USA. The fact that they’re manufactured in China doesn’t mean you can buy them directly from factories there or from a seller on sites like Ali Express. (more…)

November 22, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 12 Comments

Increasing My Profit by Importing from China

Hi Andrew,

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. You’re doing an amazing work and your articles have helped me greatly with starting my own online business. I’m mostly selling fake flowers and fake flower compositions.

Currently I source these products from UK wholesalers that are close to me but by looking at prices on Alibaba, I see that there’s a lot of room for additional profit if I import directly.

So my question is really – where to start and how to get goods delivered to me? Do I have to use sea freight for this kind of product? I guess so as these are quite cheap and bulky items.

I also don’t want to get scammed.

Any advice would be highly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your email and questions.

It’s great to hear that you’ve already started an online business and are doing well! Congrats as that in itself is a big achievement!

If you can make money by re-selling stock bought from UK suppliers, imagine what kind of profits margins you can achieve once you start importing directly from China. You’ll definitely open yourself up to a whole new level of opportunity BUT there are some things you really need to know about the whole importing process.

First of all, make sure your buying power is enough for ordering directly from China. Just go on Alibaba and check what kind of MOQs suppliers are asking for. Manufacturers will always ask for higher MOQs than trading companies. (more…)

October 25, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 7 Comments

Wholesale Insanity/P90X DVDs from China!

Hello Andrew,

I hope my message finds you in good health. I am still not finished watching your EAB DVD on guiding me to start my business. At the moment I am just risking with a few bucks to see how it goes on Ebay.

Anyways, I am contacting you to ask you regarding Insanity DVD. I found some wholesale websites but for some reason I don’t trust them. I read about them when I Googled them and some people have stated that they are a scam.

I am trying to order Insanity in bulk from Popotrade.com or Micmarketplace.com I would like to ask you if you are familiar with these websites and if they are secure? If not, do you know any other wholesaler I can buy Insanity DVDs in bulk. The wholesalers you have listed don’t sale insanity.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks,
Nauman

Hi Nauman,

Thanks for your email and questions.

In two words – STAY AWAY!

Both of the websites you asked about sell FAKE/Chinese copies of Insanity, P90X and other DVDs. They’re simply bootleg copies which are obviously illegal to deal with.

And unfortunately that will be the case with ANY China based online retailer – you can’t get genuine DVDs from such sites, you simply can’t.

How can you tell if a website is based in China? Easy: (more…)

October 4, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 15 Comments

How to compete with Chinese sellers on eBay?

Hi Andrew,

I have found the information on your blog very helpful. Thank you.

I just wanted to ask you, almost every niche I look at, there is someone selling things cheap from China. How do I overcome that?

Kind Regards,
Roshan

Hi Roshan,

Thanks for your question.

When I do market search, I almost always ignore Chinese sellers! YES, I ignore them… as really they’re not actually even your competitors (apart from in a few, very specific niches).

In the mind of most eBay shoppers, a China based seller is associated with:

  • Long shipping times
  • Possible extra taxes
  • Lower product quality
  • Customer support issues
  • Potential problems with returns

You see? They’re really not in the best position to start with and the ONLY real advantage they have over UK sellers is usually PRICE!

Obviously, there are people who go for the lowest price no matter what. But I feel that this trend is slowly dying out on eBay – at least when it comes to China based sellers. Yes, buyers will usually pick the cheapest UK seller BUT when it comes to buying from Chinese sellers, they’ll think twice before hitting that buy now button.

Is it really worth waiting several weeks for this product just to save a few quid?

Will the product be up to the highest standard in terms of quality?

What happens if I don’t like it? Can I send it back? How much will that cost? (more…)

September 6, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

How to Start an eBay Business on a budget!

Hey Everyone!

It’s Friday and from now on – Friday will be our Q&A day!

Every week I receive hundreds of emails from my readers, with questions on various topics – all of which I answer personally. But quite often, these answers would also benefit many people in similar situations so that’s why I’ve decided to start these public Q&A posts.

So if you have a question you’d like a more in-depth answer to, which will be published on this blog, then please get in touch via this contact form.

Ok, here we go…

“Hi Andrew,

I just wanted to ask for your help to see if you could help me…

I really want to start an eBay business but I don’t know anything about it. I have been trying to look for a wholesalers in Manchester but every one has said don’t trust them.

I don’t have a lot of money as I am unemployed and disabled. I am 54yrs old and I have a very young family to take care of so I really can’t afford to through my money away so I just want to start with something cheap to buy and maybe move up to better things when I make some profit.

And I would also like some help getting started on eBay. I have a normal eBay account and sell the odd thing from home but that’s as far as I can go.

I have bought some of Oliver Goehlers stuff but what a load of tosh lol a complete waste of money and I can’t afford to do that again. So could you help with any advice such as wholesalers in Manchester or Liverpool as I live in Wigan in between the two of them.

Cheers,
John”

Hi John,

Thanks for sending me your story and questions.

Your situation is certainly not unique, and I receive many similar emails from people all around the world on a weekly basis.

Okay, so you say you have a “normal eBay account” and already sell some stuff occasionally. That’s a good start (you can’t really say that you don’t know anything about eBay as you’re already doing some selling)! (more…)

September 4, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 13 Comments

Andrew, are you a millionaire?

Let’s start with a brief recap of the history – I started learning about online business when I started selling at the age of 17 or 18 (can’t remember now exactly as I don’t have any records for that time) – so, nearly 12 years ago. As a teenager, with no family business background, I started from nothing, a blank page.

I didn’t have anyone to ask for advice about the best way to get started. Back then blogging, social media and other, easily accessible platforms were non-existent. The only place to go for advice was websites and discussion forums. And if you landed on a bad one, you got bad advice and made bad choices business wise.

Luckily I was stupid enough to start with PTC (paid to click), PTR (paid to read) and other similar programs. Why luckily? Well, because these programs were free to join and the only thing I wasted with them was my time, so no big deal. I just hope no one asks me to reveal how much I earned from them!

At roughly the same time I also started reading about internet marketing and affiliate marketing. I was fascinated by the endless opportunities these money making systems offered but I was simply too young and too dumb to make anything of it. But I give a big thanks to that first experience and introduction into IM, as without it, I don’t think I would have the successful info product company I do today.

Primark Warehouse

My first & last job @ Primark Warehouse

Anyway, back to the year 2003 or so – I landed my first job in a warehouse. That was in summer, after my first year at university (I didn’t go back to it and THANK GOD for that!).

The job was great, I actually enjoyed it very much and the pay was very good too (how much do you really need for partying @ the age of 19?) but all the time I was still thinking about a way to start my own business. I guess I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit as business has been something that’s interested me for as long as I can remember, right from the age of 6 when I made some extra pocket money selling homemade chips to family members!

And seeing all those shop orders and boxes full of products (clothing, shoes, and accessories for Primark shops) really raised my interest in wholesaling, retailing and importing. Particularly importing as seeing all those boxes coming from China, I constantly wondered how much they were buying these items for to be able to sell them in-store for such low prices?

But at that time I had no money for wholesale as I spent all my income on partying and paying bills as I was living on my own. (more…)

March 11, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 423 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…)

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 11, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 16 Comments

Why Leave Positive Feedback for Your Buyers?

“Hi Andrew,

What’s your take on leaving feedback for buyers? Some people recommend doing it after feedback from the buyer has been received, while others do it straight away after payment is received? I’m not sure which method is best and would like to hear your opinion.

Thanks,
Nathan”

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for your question.

It has been several years now since eBay changed the rules so that we (the sellers) can leave nothing but positive feedback for buyers. Since that change I have used just one, single approach – I leave positive feedback for a buyer once payment is received.

Why? There are several reasons:

1) As I said, we can’t leave negative or neutral feedback anyway, so what’s the point in holding off?

2) Once payment is received, the buyer has completed the transaction from his end: he has paid you for the item you sell. Everything else is in your hands.

3) By leaving positive feedback for a buyer you’re giving the impulse to the buyer to do the same in return, thus increasing your chances of getting any feedback at all (it’s no secret that only roughly 50% of buyers leave feedback for sellers).

The last one is the most important in my opinion. When you leave positive feedback you can mention it in the Thank You letter or invoice you send out. This will act as a friendly reminder that the customer should leave you feedback, too.

Opponents of this method will say that when you do this you move all the power to the buyer to play you around if something is wrong with the item etc. But in reality they have the same power if you leave the feedback first, as remember – you can leave nothing but positive feedback for buyers in the first place.

There are idiots on eBay who will leave you negative feedback no matter what – and the fact that you don’t leave feedback first won’t change this. If you receive unfair feedback you can always go through the Feedback Removal process.

So yes – to sum it up, leave positive feedback for buyers once payment has been received and then forget about it.

You don’t have to do this manually: if you’re using Auctiva.com, for example, they have a built-in system that leaves automated feedback for your buyers based on your criteria. The same task can be carried out by Selling Manager Pro and other selling tools.

Thanks,
Andrew