March 18, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments

BEST UK Based Trade Shows in 2015!

trade-shows-2015I have actually written about trade shows before and I want to bring up the topic again today, because I think it’s such a valuable product sourcing concept, but one that is completely overlooked due to the emphasis of doing everything online.

And of course, that’s understandable really; with forums, blogs, sites like Alibaba, and all the other resources available to us, it’s easy to neglect the importance of offline interaction and the opportunities it presents.

So today I want to go over and introduce you to some of the biggest trade shows in different industries that you can attend.

But let me first point out that I’m going to be concentrating on trade shows held within the UK, as this guide is mainly intended for people in the early stages of creating their business, so a trip to China and its famous Canton Fair might not the best idea if it eats into your budget for stock.

Alright, let’s get to it!

Spring Fair, 1-5 February, NEC Birmingham

Unfortunately the Spring Fair has already taken place this year, but as Europe’s largest home and gift items trade show, it’s definitely something you should add to your calendar and think about attending next year.

I get asked a lot about branded products from big companies and where to find suppliers and here is your answer! Many of the exhibitors (here is a full list) supply products sold by the big high street stores, so if that’s something that interests you, be sure to check it out.

As I said, 2015’s fair has already taken place but if you want some more info (and to plan for next year) here is their site:

http://www.springfair.com/

Autumn Fair, 6-9 September, NEC Birmingham

That brings us onto the next trade show in our list, the Autumn Fair.

Similar to the Spring Fair, expect this one is geared towards festive, “on trend” items that are in high demand at the most important time of the year for sellers, September – December.

There isn’t that much information available about this year’s event, as it’s still a number of months away, but you can head over to their site to get some general info and some facts and figures about previous year’s trade shows:

http://www.autumnfair.com/ (more…)

March 4, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Start Up Funding for New eBay Businesses!

ebay-loansThis is a topic that I’ve shied away from writing about a little bit, mainly because I don’t want to give general financial advice to people without fully knowing their circumstances, finances and plans.

However, I think this is a very important topic and something I need to cover as it really pains me to get emails from people struggling and in debt, all because they financed their online business dream in the wrong way!

So today, I’m going to be going over some of the options for financing a new online business. Let’s get to it!

Firstly, I want to clarify a common misconception about starting an online business which I hear all the time and just don’t agree with and that is “that you don’t really need a start up budget and can create a successful business with practically nothing”.

Unfortunately this is just false!

Of course there are some strategies and business models you can use to get started with a very limited budget BUT these aren’t ideal and you’re very limited in what you can do.

In fact, the main purpose of these low-budget strategies is to build up a proper bank so that you can really launch your business.

So many people think that though you need tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds to start an offline business, you can start an online business on a shoestring budget.

And while of course online businesses are much cheaper to launch than an offline one (that’s one of the great things about the internet – it opens up a lot of opportunities for people) that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still costs involved when you launch a proper online business. Things like:

  • Website Design
  • eBay Store and Template Design
  • Stationery Design
  • Samples
  • First Orders
  • Import Tax & VAT
  • Initial Supplies and Equipment

It all adds up!

Please don’t take this the wrong way and think that I’m saying it’s impossible to start an online business unless you have a big starting budget as that’s obviously not the case. There are many viable methods for starting out without much money (a few of which I’ve covered on this very blog that have been incredibly popular, links at the end of the article if you’d like to check those out) but just understand that these are limited and will mean more time and work from you before you can build them up into a big business. (more…)

February 2, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

To Niche or Not to Niche?

niche-or-no-niche“You need to find a niche.”

You have probably heard this phrase from me many, many times. And you’re sick of hearing it, because finding a profitable niche becomes more and more difficult and problematic as there are probably ten times more online businesses nowadays compared to say 10 years ago.

From the emails I receive from my blog readers I know that finding that perfect niche is one of the most difficult tasks for people who are just starting online. In many cases it’s because people simply struggle to think out of the box and can’t see anything beyond the usual phone accessories, designer clothing and video games.

But do you REALLY need to find a niche to make money on eBay?

That’s what I’m going to try and answer in today’s blog post.

What is a Niche?

For those of you who are new to the whole “selling online” game, let me explain how we use the term “niche”. You can probably find dozens of various definitions online but to put it simply:

“A niche based business is a business selling a specific product or group of products, targeting a specific customer profile”.

It simply means that you don’t sell EVERYTHING (like Amazon) but concentrate on specific product categories (possibly even single products) or customer profiles.

Just to give you some examples of typical niche businesses:

These are all classic examples of niche businesses. These companies sell a specific range of products targeting a specific customer profile. You won’t find video games on Big Dug’s website or designer clothing on CamLab.co.uk (more…)