March 10, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 10 Comments

SHOCKING – Package Seized and Destroyed by Royal Mail!

Hello and welcome back to another Friday and another Reader’s Question post!

Today I’m going to be looking at an email I received from Affan, who had his Royal Mail delivery seized and destroyed for breaching dangerous goods transport regulations, which in this case meant the package contained batteries.

Here’s the email I received:

Hello Andrew,

I have a problem and I wanted to request some guidance from you. I have recently started selling phone batteries and received an email from Royal Mail (the only shipping company I use) that I have attached for you to see.

Previously I thought that sending batteries was only prohibited internationally but I’m now assuming that Royal Mail doesn’t carry them domestically either? Do you know anything about this issue Andrew? What are my options and are there any alternate shipping options for domestic as well as EU sales?

Many thanks and best wishes,

Affan

And here is a screenshot of the letter so that you can see exactly what Royal Mail sent to Affan:

For those of you that can’t be bothered to read the letter in full (I know I know, it’s Friday after all!) here are the most important snippets from the final paragraph:

“Having opened your parcel and examined the goods more closely, we determined that the items contained within it did breach dangerous goods transport regulations. We have therefore disposed of your parcel accordingly.”

Now, first things first – by now I assume and hope that all online sellers are aware of the dangers involved when posting batteries, which are prone to shorting, overheating and potentially catching fire… it’s something that’s received a lot of media attention over recent years and in 2013 regulations were put into place to control the shipment of batteries.

However this was mainly aimed at international air shipments but since then further rules have been introduced by the International Air Transport Association, or IATA for short, with their Dangerous Goods Regulations, which regulates the shipment and transport of “dangerous goods” (pretty obvious really!). (more…)

February 22, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Shopping Cart, Conversions, Merchants, Chargebacks – ALL EXPLAINED!

Welcome Back!

Today we have the 4th and final post in my online business terminology series – eCommerce.

In the 3 previous weeks we’ve covered:

By eCommerce terminology I mean terms used when you have your own website/online shop and shopping cart.

While many of these terms may seem very basic for experienced online traders I’m sure that newbies will find my explanations valuable, especially if you haven’t started an online shop and just planning on doing so in the near future (if you have just purchased my eCommerce Magnates course for example).

So without further ado, let’s get started with the most common eCommerce terms that every online seller should know about!

Shopping Cart – this is the software that you use to build & manage your online shop. Without a shopping cart you really can’t build a fully functional online shop. A shopping cart will provide your store front design (your website/product pages etc.) as well as your back-end admin infrastructure where you manage all settings, process orders and do many more tasks.

There are two major types of shopping carts:

  • Hosted carts (like Big Commerce) where your shop is hosted on the shopping cart company’s servers.
  • Self hosted carts (like Open Cart) where you host the shop on your own server space.

I strongly recommend that you use a hosted cart instead of a self hosted one, especially if you’re new to all this. With self hosted carts there is a lot of extra work involved and they are in general more complicated and buggy compared to hosted carts.

Payment Processor – company that provides payment processing facilities. By payment processing I mean the process when customers enter their credit card details into your checkout page and then their card gets charged.

Merchant Account – financial institution where the money you charge customers is held and then transferred to your bank account. There are many companies that offer both Merchant Accounts and Payment processing solutions in one place to make the whole set-up and managing of transactions even easier (a classic example would be PayPal – offering your payment processor and merchant account services in one place). (more…)

January 30, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

10 ways to IMPRESS your eBay, 
Amazon & eCommerce Customers!

Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend and are looking forward to a productive week ahead!

Today I want to talk about strategies on how to impress your customers. And by impress I really mean make them feel AMAZING before, during and after their purchase. This topic was actually suggested in December’s Readers’ Contest, so many thanks to the person who came up with this idea!

I’m not re-inventing the wheel here obviously – all the strategies I’m going to talk about are mostly common sense BUT the problem is that the majority of you aren’t implementing them! And I don’t take credit for these ideas either – the list is created based on my personal experience and most of them are borrowed from well-known companies, companies who have already figured it out! All you have to do is copy what they do or at least borrow some ideas to impress your customers!

Ok then, let’s get started with my TOP 10 ways to impress your customers!

1. The sales channel

It all starts with the product listing – be it eBay, Amazon or your own online store. All the things I have talked about hundreds of times need to be perfect! This includes:

  • Professional product images (super important)
  • Accurate and detailed descriptions
  • Precise and customer friendly payment, shipping, returns and contact details

These 3 things you absolutely MUST get right! You want your customers to be impressed the moment they land on your product page – with all the information in place so that they simply can’t find a reason not to order from you.

The checkout process also matters. On eBay & Amazon this is already taken care of for us and buyers generally have a very good shopping experience (a very fast one too as people don’t have to enter any address details etc.) but if you run an online shop, make sure you: (more…)