February 8, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Importing, Exporting, TT, WU, MOQ, FCL, LCL ALL EXPLAINED!

Welcome Back!

Last week we covered General Business terminology and today it’s time for Importing & Shipping!

If you’re new to my blog, this is a 4 part post series in which I’ll cover the most important terms used in the online business world. Each week I cover a specific topic – last week it was General Business terminology, today it’s Importing & Shipping and in up-coming weeks I will also cover eBay & Amazon, as well as eCommerce.

Without further ado – let’s get started!

Importing – when you buy goods and ship them from another country. Quite often we don’t the use word Importing when buying goods from another European Union country because when you buy from another EU country, there is no customs procedure and we don’t have to pay VAT/import duty. But in general, when you buy from a supplier located in another country, this is called Importing.

Exporting – when you sell goods and ship them to another country. Just like with Importing, when you sell to another EU country, we usually don’t use the word Exporting as there will be no customs procedure in place due to the Free Goods Movement Act all EU countries have accepted.

Shipping – simply means sending goods from one place to another. There are various shipping methods available which we’ll cover later on in this post.

Stock – term used to describe products/items for sale.

B2B – Business to Business. This term is used to describe a transaction between two businesses. Many suppliers will state on their websites that they deal with B2B customers ONLY. This means that they won’t sell directly to end customers, in quantities of just 1 unit.

B2C – Business to Consumer. When a company sells directly to Consumers. Basically any business selling online to retail customers follows a B2C business model. This term is not as widely used as B2B as if it’s a normal online store, it’s obvious that it’s B2C. However, B2B businesses on the other hand are usually clearly “labelled” so that consumers who are looking to buy just 1 item know that this is not the place to look.

MOQ – Minimum Order Quantity. This is a very important term you use when communicating with suppliers. It states how many units you need to buy from a supplier to even get a deal. Sometimes you can negotiate MOQs, as covered in my post here.

There can be product MOQs as well as order MOQs. Product MOQ means how many units of that particular product you need to buy and order MOQ means the total order quantity you need to reach to be able to buy goods from that supplier. (more…)

February 3, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 10 Comments

Importing Cosmetics from China is NOT as Easy As It Seems!

Welcome back!

I recently received an email from a blog reader, Arron, who’s looking to invest his £5,000 starting budget into creating a new brand of male cosmetics.

Is that a feasible budget or do you need more money? Or is the cosmetics niche simply too difficult, with too many rules and regulations?

That’s what we’re going to find out in today’s post!

To start, he’s the email I received:

Hi Andrew,

I have become interested in creating a brand around male cosmetics and wanted a bit of advice.

I am looking at importing products from China however, I am aware that the UK/EU have a number of requirements/restrictions in place.

Have you ever worked within the sector before? Do you have any advice on best practice i.e. ensuring the supplier has all the certificates, and that they’re real!

As my buying power is rather small. £5,000 should I look at something “less risky”?

Thanks,
Arron

Hi Arron,

In terms of legal requirements and responsibilities, you’ve chosen one of the hardest niches possible – cosmetics.

Anyone selling cosmetic products in the UK has to comply with EU wide safety regulations – this includes manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers (whether you’re a large limited company or a small sole trader). However, if you yourself manufacture the product or you’re the first person to import them from outside the EU, then you’re deemed to be a responsible person under UK law and greater requirements and responsibilities apply to you.

The EU Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 of the European Parliament is enforced in the UK by the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013 which came into force in July 2013.

The main legal requirements as set out by the Regulations, are that:

  • It is a criminal offence to supply cosmetic products that may cause damage to human health when applied under normal or under reasonably foreseeable means of use.
  • The use of certain substances in cosmetic products is prohibited.
  • The use of certain substances in cosmetic products is restricted.
  • Cosmetic products must comply with detailed labelling requirements.
  • Certain information and records must be maintained by the “responsible person” and available for inspection.

But before we go into these rules in more detail, I want to quickly cover what qualifies as a cosmetic product, as that’s obviously very important. And there is a specific definition as set out by the EC Regulation, so you can’t just say it’s not a cosmetic product and by-pass all the requirements! (more…)

August 16, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 1308 Comments

Alibaba SCAM Exposed! Tips & Tricks for 2017!

alibaba-scam-exposed

Alibaba is a SCAM” – you see this everywhere! And yes, you may get scammed on Alibaba IF you don’t use common sense… just like on ANY OTHER online marketplace.

Really I kinda feel sorry for Alibaba as I know for sure it is not a scam. Alibaba is simply a platform where buyers and sellers meet. Yes, there are of course scammers on Alibaba but that doesn’t mean Alibaba itself is a scam.

With that logic you can then say that eBay, the Yellow Pages and even your local business directory are scams as you can find MANY unscrupulous businesses there too.

The biggest problem this ‘Alibaba scam’ myth creates is that people who are new to importing are too afraid to even start their research process as they have that one line repeating in their heads – Alibaba is a scam, Alibaba is a scam, Alibaba is a scam…. that’s why, with today’s blog post, I want to clear the air once and for all and give you a step by step filtering system you can use to avoid 99% of scams on Alibaba and unlock one of the world’s biggest online marketplaces.

But before we go into the actual verification process; let me quickly remind you that you cannot get any kind of branded items wholesale from mainland China. I’m talking about electronics, DVDs, software, designer clothing, shoes and similar items. If you’re looking for anything branded, China is NOT the place to go as you’ll either get scammed or at best, receive fakes.

What is a BRANDED product?

By branded products I mean products that are manufactured by well known companies, like:

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Nike
  • Sony
  • Segway
  • Etc.

These are brands that are well known to everyone and even though most of their products are manufactured in China, you CAN’T buy them in wholesale from Alibaba and other such similar sites – you simply cannot!

Companies with manufacturing operations in China have very strict distribution policies in place and it’s not like someone can walk out of a Foxconn factory (they do most of Apple’s products) with 10 iPhones in their pockets to sell on Alibaba. It’s not possible to buy iPhones directly from Foxconn, even though they’re the ones who manufacture them.

This is NOT how things work in China!!

All those brands distribute their goods in tightly secured, official channels and you won’t find these products advertised on Alibaba. If you do see ads for such products, there’s a 99%+ chance that it’s a scam! (more…)