July 5, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments

BREXIT – The Effects of the Vote to Leave the EU!

brexit

I actually put off writing this post for a little while, because I don’t want to introduce any political talk to AndrewMinalto.com – we all know how quickly that can go sour!

However the UK’s vote to leave the European Union has some huge implications on us as importers and online sellers and although there are still a large amount of unanswered questions (it’s only just the beginning really) I think it’s necessary to cover Brexit now and try to assess what it means for us.

Now before I go into detail, I think it’s very important to reiterate that at the moment, it’s incredibly difficult to predict the outcome of Brexit – simply because there are currently a number of unknown factors and it really depends a lot on which of the two main possibilities play out.

And those two possibilities are:

  • Scenario A – the UK negotiates a deal to retain the free movement of goods between the UK and the EU (obviously without accepting the other EU laws).
  • Scenario B – the UK doesn’t remain a trading partner of the EU and therefore there will be customs procedures for all trade between the UK and the EU.

Now I think (well I hope) that most people will agree that Scenario A is by far the more preferable option as having to complete the full customs procedure for all exports to the EU will mean:

  • More paperwork – buying from European suppliers will basically mean same procedure as buying from China.
  • Higher shipping fees – couriers will inevitably raise their shipping prices, which means higher costs and a reduction in margin and profit!
  • Longer shipping times – more paperwork and rules means more delays and an overall longer shipping time. As we all know, shipping time is an incredibly important factor for online buyers and this means it’ll be much harder to compete with local EU sellers.

Now some of you may be thinking – “but wait a minute Andrew – surely this works both ways and it means less UK customers will be buying from EU sellers!?” (more…)

March 7, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 14 Comments

Please HELP – To Go Responsive or Not?

responsive-blogHi Everyone,

I need YOUR help!

For a while now I’ve been thinking about updating the design of my blog, specifically – making it responsive.

If you don’t know what responsive design actually is, it basically means that the design of the blog automatically fits whatever device it’s being used on. So If you’re viewing it on your desktop, it will fit perfectly, but if you then go and view it on your mobile device, it will still fit perfectly (even though you’ve gone from a roughly 20’ screen to a 4-5’ one).

Spicy Auction Templates 3.0, which was just launched last week, utilises a responsive design, so please take a look at that if you want a better idea of what responsive design is and how it works.

Of course the whole idea behind responsive design it to make it easier to browse sites on a mobile device – a market which has grown hugely over the last few years.

And when I look at it in that way, it seems like an obvious choice to switch to a responsive design for my blog…

BUT there’s just something that keeps me from doing this – a nagging feeling that I shouldn’t go responsive. I think that my main worry is that the actual usability and functionality of the blog will be negatively affected.

Also, another very important consideration, many websites look dreadful when viewed on a mobile device – it’s zoomed in on a tiny part of the page, menus are impossible to use, etc. etc. – basically the whole layout is messed up. (more…)

March 3, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

My Product Showcase: Spicy Auction Templates

spicy-auction-templatesHello and welcome back to our next product showcase!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series of posts, as today is the last entry.

So far we’ve covered:

  • Easy Auction Business – my first and best-selling course, all about how to create a profitable eBay business.
  • eCommerce Magnates – the sequel/sister course to EAB. This one shows you step by step how to create, manage, and grow a successful eCommerce store.
  • 60 Day Blueprint – 60 DBP is my flagship personal coaching program. Created for those who have a higher start-up budget and want to get the best mentoring possible.
  • Chat With Andrew – one of my lesser known products, CWA is basically a cut down version of 60 DBP, where you can get my personal consultation, but don’t need to commit to 9 weeks.

And we’re now just left with the final product in my portfolio – SpicyAuctionTemplates.com, better known as SAT.

What is Spicy Auction Templates?

This is probably the main question I receive about SAT – people just want to know exactly what it is.

Put simply, Spicy Auction Templates is a resource/directory with hundreds of pre-made eBay listing templates which any seller can use in their business:

sat-members-areaYou don’t need any technical knowledge to use these templates and you can be up and running with them 5 minutes after joining. You just copy and paste the listing code we provide on to eBay or Turbo Lister or Auctiva or whatever listing tool you prefer, and the template will show up, ready for you to use. It’s as simple and easy as that.

All the SAT materials are available online for immediate download, via a special members-only area, so you get instant access upon joining.

And, to make it even easier for you, you don’t even have to worry about hosting these templates as we take care of that – all SAT templates are hosted on a state of the art server, based in the UK. (more…)

February 29, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Have you forgotten about Google & YouTube?!

google-and-youtubeHello everyone!

It’s Monday, the busiest day for any online business, as we need to process all the orders that came in over the weekend. And answer all the emails too! And that’s actually what today’s blog post is all about.

You know that I always welcome emails & comments from my blog readers – ALWAYS! I have personally replied to every comment left on this blog (thousands!) and the same goes for every email that’s sent to me asking for help. That’s not even considering my customer emails and comments left under videos in EAB video course or in the forum.

And this is all completely fine! I really like to help people out and share my knowledge, and of course it helps to make this blog more of a community rather than just a platform purely for my own opinion.

But as I was going through more than 30 emails that you have sent in over the weekend, once again I realised that some of those emails were simply not needed at all. You could save your time and my time, and most importantly get the answer to your question straight away by…

JUST GOOGLING IT! 🙂

Seriously, sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who uses Google & YouTube to find answers to something I don’t know or to learn a new skill (YES, I don’t know everything and still have to learn new things & skills every day!).

Just to give you a few examples of what I’m referring to. Questions like:

  • How much does eBay’s basic shop cost per month?
  • How fast does DHL deliver from China to UK?
  • Does Turbo Lister work on MAC?
  • How to resize an image in Photoshop?
  • What shipping methods qualify under the FAST & FREE feature on eBay?
  • Can I open more than one eBay account?
  • What is the cut off time for Christmas delivery with Royal Mail?
  • What is the difference between air freight and sea freight?
  • What is PayPal micropayments?

You can get answers to all of these questions simply by doing a Google search. In fact, in many occasions, the results will include a post from MY BLOG that covers that question in detail (for example the Turbo Lister & MAC dilemma or image re-sizing, for which I have multiple extensive guides). (more…)

December 23, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Merry Christmas & Happy NEW YEAR!

merry-christmas

December 17, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Readers’ Contest Winners Announcement!

contest-winnersWelcome Back!

Many Thanks to all the people who entered my yearly reader’s contest! I really appreciate your input and help in growing this blog for 2016! In total I received 50 comments and more than 30 topics/questions to write about next year. So thanks again to EVERYONE who took part in this!

Without further ado, let’s find out the 5 lucky winners who will receive £20 Amazon gift cards AND the ONE (very!) lucky winner who will receive a £50 gift card.

To make this process as objective as possible, I simply made a list of all the people who entered and copied it to random.org’s number generator to mix them up:

LISTThen I clicked the random list generator function to get 5 lucky winners (the 5 people that came at the top of the list): (more…)

December 14, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 107 Comments

£150 of Amazon Gift Cards for My Blog Readers!

amazon-gift-cardHappy days – we’re slowly getting closer and closer to Christmas, which means just one thing – it’s that time of the year where I have my readers only contest which gives YOU the chance to grab £150 worth of Amazon gift cards!

And this year the contest is more important than ever before. Why? Because there are now more than 250 articles/guides published on this blog and it’s becoming extremely difficult for me to come up with new articles to write for you. So I really hope you’ll lend me a hand here and submit lots of content ideas I can then work on in 2016.

So, how does this work and what do you need to do to enter the contest?

Just like the last year, I’m giving away a total of £100 in gift cards to 5 people, so £20 each, and the rules are super simple – all you have to do is leave a comment below this post with at least one topic suggestion for a future blog post. As easy as that! It can be a question or general topic suggestion – pretty much anything that you would like to see me write about on this blog.

PLUS this year there will also be a 6ft gift card to win, worth £50! This one will go to the person with the most interesting and valuable comment.

Here are a few examples to get you going:

  • What is Taobao? (This is actually a topic I already plan to cover early next year, so stay tuned!)
  • What is the best graphics editing software for an eBay business?
  • How to verify a supplier based in India?
  • How much does it cost to start an online shop?
  • A step by step guide to selling on Amazon!
  • Freight forwarders – what are they and how do they work?
  • Best thermal label printers reviewed!
  • And so on!

Even if you can’t come up with such specific questions, you can simply suggest general topics which you would like to learn more about, such as:

  • eBay listing creation
  • Product pictures
  • Email marketing
  • SEO
  • Importing from China
  • Accounting for eBay
  • And so on!

It doesn’t have to be just one topic or one question of course – the more ideas you can give me, the better! As I said, it is becoming very difficult to find topics I haven’t yet covered so your help here is greatly appreciated! I still want to do 2 weekly posts next year (plus our weekly Q&A post) and this means that I need at least 100 topics to write about, so I need your help!! (more…)

November 16, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments

Final Warning: Trademark Scams On The Rise!

trademark-scamsA few months ago I posted an article detailing a common scam attempted when you submit a trademark application with IPO UK. The scam is that you are sent a physical letter via post that is made to look like an invoice from the trademark registration authority:

Alright, I should probably point out that technically (by law) these are not a scam as if you read the small print very carefully you can see that they do mention that the fee you pay is for them to add you to their private directory and that’s it. They don’t actually claim that it has anything to do with your trademark application with IPO UK, which would then make it fraud and illegal.

In my personal opinion, that’s a lot of rubbish and I consider these letters to be a scam 100%. After all, there is no value at all in being registered on their “private database” and the whole formatting of the letter is designed to try and trick people into thinking it’s an official invoice that you need to pay to process your application.

But enough on that, as if you read my previous post you already know my opinion of these “companies”. The question is why am I talking about this again?

Well in the last few weeks I have received a barrage of emails about various variations of this scam that have been attempted on my readers and clients. It seems as if this scam is taking off as it certainly wasn’t at this level before!

So that’s why I want to revisit this topic today and make sure you are aware that you DO NOT have to pay any money to these companies! You gain absolutely no benefit from doing so. (more…)

July 6, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 105 Comments

*** WARNING *** – Trademark SCAMS!!!

trademark-scamsI hope everyone is okay, and not struggling too much with the sudden heat we’ve been having!

Today I wanted to post a quick warning to people who are registering, or are thinking about registering, a trademark. There are many scams attempted around this process and, very recently, one of my 60 Day Blueprint students received what I call “a scamming attempt”:

scam-letter

Basically, here’s what happened – one week after my client submitted a trademark registration application, he received this letter that states that he has to pay 1370 EUR for his application to go through – to a bank account in Poland.

The letter was well formatted, coming from TPP – Trademark & Patent Publications.

If you check the small print and their website, basically they are doing nothing illegal – you pay that fee of 1370 EUR for your trademark to be included in their database. So technically it’s all within the law. (more…)

December 22, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 9 Comments

Readers’ Contest Winners & a Round-Up of 2014!

merry-christmasWelcome Back!

As many of you know, last week I launched our yearly readers’ contest to let YOU decide what kind of topics I will be covering on my blog in 2015. I received more than 50 entries (AMAZING!!!), so thanks very much for being active and letting me know what you want to see covered in this blog. I will make sure to get started on them as soon as I return from holiday in January.

Now it’s time to announce the five lucky people who each won a £20 Amazon gift card.

To make this draw as objective as possible, I simply took all your names and put them into Random.org to mix them up:

contest-listThe first five from the list created are the winners: (more…)