May 29, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #29

questions-answers-29As we do every Friday, it’s time to end the week with a Questions & Answers blog post where I cover the most interesting questions you have sent it over the last week. Next time will be the 30th anniversary edition so keep sending in your questions via the contact form on this page.

Remember, even if your question does not get published, I will still give you a personal reply via email.

Today’s questions are:

  • Is it possible to make money selling info products on eBay?
  • Do purchases count towards the seller transaction count number?
  • What is best way to organise product shipment from China?
  • Can you make money selling brand new video games on eBay?
  • What to do with devalued stock?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

I came across your product via YouTube.

I’ve been marketing online for years and actually started off on eBay selling iPod tutorials when the iPod was first released around 10 years ago and I sold a few altogether. There was also a public domain document doing the rounds about how to run a car on tap water.

I sold a few of those also, but others soon started doing the same thing and it became saturated with different people claiming they actually owned the book and reporting other sellers. I’ve no interest in cars, but noticed I had some success selling car info products, especially to people in the USA.

Recently I’ve thought about coming back to eBay as I have a dating product which is an ebook and video slides.

I watched your presentation with interest and may get your product.

However I think the idea of selling one a day on eBay is a little ambitious?

I use a fulfillment service for some of my products and could probably do the same for eBay after collecting the customer’s address. It’s an idea I am toying with.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Best regards,
Paul

Hi Paul,

eBay really is NOT the best place to sell information products, not anymore, particularly in the dating niche. You could of course sell a few copies here and there but you won’t be able to make a business out of it.

For info products, you want to build a blog and following online – via your own website, social media platforms, YouTube etc. – by giving away lots of free, valuable content to get people in and then offering premium products for sale.

eBay and Amazon really are more suited to physical products, especially nowadays when you can’t send digital products sold on eBay via email but have to send them in a physical format, via regular mail.

Hi Andrew,

Fantastic work on the blogs/forums etc…

Sorry to send you such a time critical question but I really need some help asap – on eBay, is a purchase considered a transaction on a seller’s account?

I’m trying desperately to reach the 400 transaction mark on my eBay account for review reasons but the review is late tonight/tomorrow and I’m wondering if I buy a bunch of stuff, will that count towards the mark?

Thank you in advance for your time and help!

Evan

Hi Evan,

No, of course not – purchases do not count towards your transaction rate as a seller. If that was the case then everyone would simply purchase items on eBay to reach the needed transaction amount for limits, TRS status etc. and that would defeat the whole purpose.

So I’m afraid you’ll have to sell more to reach your target as buying items won’t cut it!

Hi Andrew,

I have been reading your blog with interest and feel you would be able to help answer one of my questions?! I have read a lot about purchasing from sites such as Alibaba etc. and selling on via eBay or other sites as well as possibly via my own website.

However, one thing that doesn’t seem clear to me is the shipping. I would assume that if I make an order with a manufacturer on Alibaba, for example, that they will arrange for it to be transported to port etc.? Is this the case? If so, how do I then arrange for onward shipment via the different options available?

I feel this would make a really interesting blog post and I would appreciate your input to clarify this for me.

Kind regards,
Ben

Hi Ben,

I have already covered this on my blog in several blog posts like:

https://andrewminalto.com/how-to-import-products-from-china/
https://andrewminalto.com/cnf-cif-fob-explained/

And others.

Basically, there are two ways to go about this if you’re using sea freight for your shipment:

1) Let your supplier organise sea freight in China. This way you have to deal with the customs clearance procedure and delivery to your address when your goods arrive in the UK. Mind you, there are various port related costs associated with such shipments so you will be hit with a heavy bill on top of the initial shipping fee.

2) Use a freight forwarder for a Door to Door delivery. This is a much safer and cheaper option as the freight forwarding company will give you a precise quote which covers everything, including all fees and delivery to your address in the UK. The company I recommend for such shipments in the UK is Woodland Global:

http://www.woodland-group.com/division/woodland-global

The same principles will apply when using air freight.

If you’re using a courier delivery service, you don’t have to worry about this procedure at all as the courier company will take care of all of this (for a small fee) and deliver the goods right to your door.

Hello Andrew,

I am an eBay seller, and the majority of my products are video games. I have only been doing this for a few months, and at the moment I have only a very limited range of lines. I find that I am facing 2 main issues at the moment:

1: When I buy any one particular line, either the MOQ is too high or it is not economically viable for me to buy at the MOQ price. I have very limited capital and storage space and ideally need to stock as many different lines as possible, so that I am not stuck with one particular line and I can see what sells and then increase my stock appropriately. Is there a way to buy smaller quantities of each particular game, so as to get as many lines in stock as possible?

2: The video games market is highly competitive. As a new, small-time seller, many suppliers do not seem to be interested in dealing with me. I understand that this likely means I should start with the smaller wholesalers. So far, I only have a single supplier. What would you advise I do to source suppliers that will deal with me? (My typical maximum spend in an order at the time being would have to be ~£500)

One final question… If I have a video game stock that has now devalued such that if I were to price it around the level of the cheapest sellers, I would be selling at a loss. Since the sellers have priced it around this level, I have not had a single sale in approximately two months. This game is three years old so I thought the price might be more stable than that of the new releases. Would you advise that I sell it at a loss now, in case the price continues to worsen, or hang onto it until the cheaper sellers have sold out?

Thank you for reading this message, I appreciate your help.

Danny

Hi Danny,

Thanks for your email.

Brand new video games is such a competitive niche that I would never recommend for anyone to go into this market. The margins are simply too small to make a viable business out of this, plus your buying power will never be on par with the larger sellers who buy and sell thousands or tens of thousands of games per month. So I would recommend you think about your business concept as such. Is it actually viable in the long term? I highly doubt it…

If you really want to stick with video games market, I have two suggestions for you:

  • Start dealing with used games (buy/sell only used games).
  • Start dealing with retro, hard to find games as they carry higher margins than brand new releases.

Lastly, as for your devalued stock – you definitely want to sell it off as quickly as possible as chances are that the price will continue to decrease, if it’s a 3 year old game. This is another disadvantage of dealing with video games – their prices change so quickly that it’s very difficult to manage stock levels and prices to keep your profit margins intact.

Hope this helps Danny!

***

Alright, that’s it for today.

Imagine, it’s June 1st on Monday, which means summer is here! I have some serious projects going on right now so have no plans to spend extensive time sunbathing BUT that also means I will keep publishing regular content on my blog, so no rest for you either!

Enjoy your weekend!

Andrew

2 Comments
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  1. “eBay and Amazon really are more suited to physical products, especially nowadays when you can’t send digital products sold on eBay via email but have to send them in a physical format, via regular mail.”

    Hi Andrew, can I sell a physical product but then send instructions to put together/make best use out of via email or do I need to print and put it in with the package? What’s the ebay rule on this?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Alistair,

      You can definitely do this, yes.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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