August 4, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 605 Comments

Import Duty & VAT Threshold on Imported Goods

import-vat-tresholdToday’s article is about something quite simple, but still hugely important – import duty and VAT on goods bought from outside the EU.

I receive countless emails every week from people asking me about import taxes; how much they are, when do they apply, how to calculate them etc.

And although once you start importing it becomes second nature and incredibly simple, it is something that can be off-putting initially and as a result; some people continue ordering from local wholesalers at much higher prices than they could get importing directly from places like China or the US.

So today I’m going to go over import taxes and give you a guide to use when importing goods to the UK from outside the EU.

First things first; what taxes do you have to pay on imported goods?

In general, you need to pay VAT (Value Added Tax) and import duty.

VAT is a set amount (currently 20%) whereas import duty varies depending on the type of product, with many being duty-free.

Import duty is calculated as a percentage of the customs value of the goods you are importing, which means:

  • The price paid for the goods.
  • The shipping cost.
  • The insurance cost.

As mentioned above, the duty rate depends on the product type and many are actually duty free. I won’t list them all here but some popular duty free products include:

  • Books
  • Computer Software
  • Desktop PCs
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Mobile Phones
  • Video Game Consoles

So as you can see, a number of products actually have a ‘nil’ rate of duty, even when imported from outside the EU. (more…)

May 29, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 14 Comments

World’s Best Wholesale Directories – REVEALED!

best-wholesale-directoriesAs members of my Easy Auction Business video course will know, I think wholesale directories are one of the best ways to find new suppliers, particularly if you are not yet ready to place large import orders from China and are looking for UK, EU or US based wholesale companies.

So in this guide I’ll go over the easiest ways to find directories and of course; reveal the best wholesale directories, which you can start using straight away.

UK Directories

Starting off with UK wholesale directories:

TheWholesaler.co.uk

the-wholesaler-ukHaving been online for more than 14 years now, The Wholesaler UK is the largest UK based wholesale directory. It is completely free to use and contains suppliers in a number of categories, ranging from aromatherapy products to kitchenware to umbrellas… pretty much every niche is covered here!

All suppliers are listed by category and sub-category and their website is very easy to navigate and use so you won’t need to spend hours upon hours going through jumbled lists of suppliers with no order.

And for all of you looking to sell licensed products (Disney etc.) on eBay, which you cannot do legally by importing from China (as I’ve explained many times in various Q&As as well as in this blog post here), check out the dedicated Licensed Products category where you can find legitimate wholesalers selling such items.

All companies featured on TheWholesaler.co.uk are UK based (or at least have a representative and hold their stock in the UK), supply the independent retail trade, and provide verifiable contact details.

eSources.co.uk

esourceseSources is the UK’s fastest growing wholesale trade directory and they now have a huge amount of listed suppliers. As well as UK wholesalers, they also list dropshippers and international suppliers.

eSources’ website is also a bit more in-depth than others, with more search options as well as more specific sub-categories which is definitely needed due to the number of suppliers.

The regular trade buyers account is free and this allows you to contact wholesale suppliers and even list buying requests. There is also a Premium Buyer Membership option which gives you access to additional ‘exclusive’ wholesale sources and websites. This premium membership costs £20 for 1 month but can be as little as £5 a month if taking the annual plan.

eSources also has some worthwhile additional resources, such as a list of UK Auction Houses (nearly 800 at the time of writing!) plus a calendar of UK trade fairs and exhibitions, and lastly, they also have a large number of Trade Articles covering various topics which you should check out. (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…)

October 14, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 83 Comments

Wholesale Disney Character Items from China!

This looks so good, right? Pixar’s Cars 2 truck & car set for just $10 with free shipping from China included.

Or how about The Smurfs? My daughter LOVES Smurfs and will eat up anything that has a Smurf on it! Yes, even this nice looking children’s bedding set with The Smurfs characters on it:

There’s nothing wrong with this, right (other than the eating part I mean)? Everything looks good and you can probably make a nice profit on this item…not so fast! While items with Disney characters, characters from other TV shows or movies, musicians, celebrities etc. are hugely popular on eBay – you need to be VERY careful where you source these products from.

Hint – China is NOT the place to go for such items!

Sites like Ali Express, DH Gate and similar are full of wholesale items that carry some sort of COPYRIGHTED design. It can be:

  • A logo
  • Cartoon character
  • A band / singer image
  • Movie logos / characters (Transformers etc.)
  • And so on

Product like these need to be licensed and can ONLY be purchased from reputable wholesalers in the UK, USA or other countries but NOT from China! Chinese manufacturers simply take these images logos and place them on items WITHOUT paying anything to the licence holder – which is of course illegal. (more…)

April 15, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments

Good Old Trade Shows!

In the age of the internet, B2B websites, forums and Google it’s all too easy to forget that often, some of the old classic business methods are still very effective. I’d say one of these is Trade Shows. It’s a completely overlooked product sourcing concept, especially for online retailers who are too lazy to get out of their office or house to meet actual suppliers face to face.

Many people think that trade shows are not accessible to them, that you need a special invitation and what not. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While there are trade shows that are open only to professionals, most will happily welcome ANY interested people!

Ticket prices are also not as high as some people think and in many cases are even free. Also, some trade shows are open only for professionals on DAY ONE but the general public are welcome on the following days. You can always find this information specifically for a trade show that you’re interested in on the official website.

I think trade shows are still one of the best & easiest ways to find suppliers and while not many new eBay sellers can afford a trip to China’s Canton fair, there are still loads of local options available. Such local trade shows are the perfect place to find wholesalers & new, emerging brands that are looking for exclusive distributors in a region. And this can be very powerful…

If you get in talks with a company that is looking for a distributor in the UK for a new product and you present yourself well and get the contract, it’s a fast track to success! Having exclusive distribution over an in-demand brand opens your door to wholesale opportunities too – then you can start supplying other retailers in the region.

So as you can see, trade shows are not only about meeting wholesalers – you can also build contacts with brand owners directly.

In the UK there are hundreds of trade shows being held each year, and many of them are business oriented. You can find a comprehensive list and calendar here: (more…)

March 18, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 842 Comments

How to Import Products from China!

Many of you will choose to import goods from abroad (outside the European Union). If and when you do, it’s essential to fully understand how importing works; what extra costs are involved, time frames for delivery etc.

For many new traders, Importing sounds like a nightmare to go through. But in fact, it’s not that complicated at all IF you know the basics behind the importing process – payment, shipping, taxes and customs. In this blog post I’ll try to cover most of the important aspects of importing from China and other countries outside the EU.

What does “importing” mean?

In general, importing means that you’re buying goods from a supplier outside your country. However, in my examples I won’t be counting European Union countries as goods can be freely moved across the EU without paying extra import duty or VAT. For most of you, China and the United States will be the top two countries to import from, so let’s cover them in detail.

Shipping Methods

Shipping costs will make up a substantial percentage of your total product cost, so it’s important to keep them as low as possible at all times. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger your order, the lower ‘per item’ shipping costs you’ll face. There’s no point in importing one pair of unbranded shoes from China as the shipping costs will be far more than the cost of the product itself. Volume is the key to success when building your eBay business around an “Importing from China” product sourcing concept. But that doesn’t mean you have to start off with full container loads either!

Here are the 4 most popular shipping methods you can use to import goods from China:

1) Regular Post. This means normal, regular China Post which can take up to 6 weeks to arrive. No online tracking is provided. It can be used for parcels under 2kg. Usually, you will only use regular post for samples and again ONLY if time is not that important and you can afford to wait a few weeks for a package to arrive. China Post is not the most reliable system so be prepared for lost/stolen packages.

If at all possible, I try to avoid using China Mail for any shipments as the delivery time is simply too long.

If your supplier is located in Hong Kong, you can use HK Airmail which is way more reliable, comes with a tracking number and usually arrives within 5-10 days. (more…)