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…)

September 25, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments

Droptec – The UK’s #1 Solution for Dropshipping?

droptec-reviewThose of you who have been reading my blog for a while will already know that I am not a huge fan of the whole dropshipping business model (you can read my thoughts on it here if you haven’t already – Dropshipping – The Ideal Business Model?).

But despite its drawbacks, I still get COUNTLESS messages every week about dropshipping, mainly from people looking for that perfect dropshipping company.

And really that’s understandable; the whole idea of dropshipping is so tempting – particularly for newbie sellers and while it is NOT anywhere near as easy as people think, it can sometimes be profitable – IF you work directly with a manufacturer or find a terrific dropshipping company.

So with that in mind, today I want to review one company in particular as I’ve had a few questions come in asking me about them.

The company is called Droptec.net and they are an all-in-one stock management and dropshipping company.

Okay, so first things first, let’s find out exactly what Droptec is and what they do as from their site, droptec.net, it’s all a bit unclear.

Stock Manager

stock-managerDroptec is not an actual supplier and doesn’t seem to hold any stock themselves. They only supply Inventory Software and Data Feeds and all orders have to go through the actual supplier.

So how it works is that you pay a one-off license fee to use the stock manager and then a monthly subscription based on how many suppliers you’re using within the software.

It’s not very easy to find on their site, but from contacting them I found the cost is £147 initially and then £5 per supplier per month after that BUT the first 12 months’ subscription is included in the initial £147 fee.

Basically that means – £149 for year 1 and then £60 per year per supplier after that for their Software Only package. (more…)