July 3, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 8 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #32

questions-answers-32It’s Friday – which means time for this week’s Q&A post.

As we enter summer, and the days are warmer (should I say – SUPER HOT?) and longer, many people are spending less time on the internet… and as seasoned eBay sellers will know, this can mean a slowdown in sales!

However, these seasonal trends are completely normal, and nothing to worry about at all. Of course for new sellers it can be very frightening to see a sudden drop in sales, and that’s exactly why I wanted to mention this in today’s post – before I get hundreds of emails from worried sellers. Take a look at my previous article if you want to read more about this: Why Are My eBay Sales Going Down!?

But for now, let’s take a look at today’s topics:

  • How to print eBay shipping labels using a Dymo 450 label printer?
  • How to get rid of small clearance stock job lots?
  • Can you buy branded designer clothing directly from the factories?
  • PlayStation SCAMS – how do they work?
  • Can you start an online shop BEFORE first trying out eBay?
  • How to start an eBay business from scratch?
  • Can you transfer selling limits and sales history to a new eBay account?
  • How do you add variations to an existing eBay listing?
  • Is it safe to buy established eBay accounts?

Let’s get started!

Hello Andrew,

As recommended on this blog (which is absolutely excellent by the way!), I have purchased a Dymo LabelWriter 450.

However, I am unsure how to print all the shipping labels in one go. I have found that I can tick the boxes of the items I have sold on eBay, click “print shipping labels” and then select the “address labels” ratio button. However, it seems to be that eBay only allows me to print them on full size pieces of paper, rather than being formatted such that I can print them on the Dymo labels.

Would you be able to explain exactly how you would automate the process of printing shipping labels using a Dymo LabelWriter 450?

Also – I have stock that I am unable to sell, and I was hoping to sell it off in bulk to clear space. I have found that most companies are only interested in buying pallets of stock, but I do not have this much. Surely there is a better option than dumping it?

If you could offer me your guidance on what to do in these two situations, that would be great!

Thanks very much,
Danny

Hi Danny,

I personally use Linnworks.com for order processing and it has built-in support for printing shipping labels on a Dymo printer.

BUT you can also get this working directly on eBay – what you need to do is make sure you set the page size within your browser AND printer settings to the label size you’re using in your Dymo 450. So that in essence you set the whole page size as the exact size of one of your labels. That way you can print these labels correctly from eBay directly.

You can sell such small job lots of liquidation stock directly on eBay – if the price is right and there’s at least some demand for the type of products you have, it should sell. It would be best to list such job lots as an Auction, to get better exposure in search results.

Hi Andrew,

I live in the United Kingdom but frequently go to visit my parents in Bangladesh, which nowadays is a major manufacturer for many of the different designer clothing brands.

I have seen that you can buy these designer clothes directly from the factory at very cheap prices, but I have never done so because I feel that it might be illegal?

As you’re such an expert in these matters, I’d appreciate your opinion.

Thanks,
Mr Rahman

Hi Mr Rahman,

It is indeed ILLEGAL to buy and re-sell such “designer clothes”, as they’re FAKES, not genuine/authorised products.

You can get in serious trouble if you do something like this, so while it may look like easy money, I would strongly recommend you stay away from anything like this.

Hi Andrew,

I recently ordered some items from a company on Alibaba. The company is Singaporean but the items were located in Colorado Springs, America – according to their Alibaba webpage. The items I ordered were Sony PlayStation 4s and I bought two with their buy two get one free promotion.

During the negotiation process, they stated that they will take care of all customs and other expenses (tax, handling fees etc.) and I quote “The delivery will be conducted in a professional manner and every precaution will be taken to avoid any damage to your home. Courier Service: we use reliable shipping company UPS/Fedex/DHL/USPS.” At this point, I felt as though I was dealing with a professional company and overall had a good feeling about my order, though it was the first time I’ve ventured into something like this.

After we reached an agreement, I decided to make the payment through Western Union and he stated that the shipping fee is included in the payment. Then he stated they will use FedEx to deliver my parcel. However there were a lot of typos in the order confirmation, which worried me a bit.

But two days later and I was still waiting for the tracking number when I got an email informing me that there is an increase in the tax and insurance rates so they have sent my order to another courier. Further bad news is that there was a mis-pack with my order and they told me some items meant for another buyer have been included in my shipment. While I had ordered three units (but two get one free) another ten were added. They asked me to pay for 5 of those and the extra 5 would be included for free.

But I refused to pay this and after exchanging about 5-6 emails he finally gave up and accepted my terms – which is that I would only pay for the additional items once I’ve made a profit from this deal.

And at that point I thought that everything had been resolved.

The courier service they used is this one:

http://bestwayworldwide.com/

But is this site even legit?

I have tracked my order which shows it going from the US to Egypt, which isn’t my country for delivery, and there the items have been held by customs. Shouldn’t it reach the destination country before being held by customs?

The funny thing is, when you look at the office locations on that website, there are only two – the US and Egypt.

And of course not long after that, I got an email from the supplier telling me to pay $320 for insurance and tax but at the beginning of our conversation, they said they will take care of all custom’s charges and other expenses!

So am I being scammed or are they just not professional?

Right now I’m in contact with a 3rd year gold supplier from China but the problem lies in the fact that they seem very unprofessional in the email conversation we had. I asked many questions, most of which they didn’t answer. Whereas the current supplier that I’m dealing with right now, who may turn out to be a scammer, gave me the full information in a very professional manner.

At this point, I don’t know who is a scammer and who isn’t anymore?

So I hope you can help me with this.

Thanks
Danny

Hi Danny,

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but this is a pure SCAM! You’ll never see those PS4 consoles or get any of your money back.

You have been scammed 100%.

You should check out my Top 10 Alibaba scams article to learn more about how these scams operate.

The main thing you have to keep in mind that you CAN’T get ANY genuine, branded products from Mainland China. There’s simply no such thing. And “buy 2 get 1 free” in a market as competitive as video game consoles is a clear sign that it’s a scam! No company would ever get an offer like this, even if you were buying millions of pounds worth of stock.

Hi Andrew,

I hope you are doing very well.

I am thinking of purchasing your eCommerce Magnates course but I have a few questions.

I know that on your blog you always talk about the importance of starting an eBay business first?

Can I succeed if I go straight to starting an online store (with lots of hard work and the help of your course)?

And I’m having a really hard time finding a niche product (I have one in mind but I know that the competition is high). So do you think that the eCommerce Magnates course can help me find a good niche (I know that in the EAB you explain how to find profitable products and a profitable niche to work in, so I want to know if I can find that in this course as well)?

French is my first language so sorry for my English which is not that good.

Thank you for your blog. After reading most of your articles it just seems that with hard work and following the right systems that you teach, anyone can be successful on eBay, and this is very encouraging!

Rachel

Hi Rachel,

Yes, it is possible to start a business with an online shop from day one, avoiding eBay/Amazon. My course will help you to achieve this goal.

The only issue is in eCommerce Magnates, I don’t discuss market research/finding the perfect product as I cover that in great detail in EAB. So if you really need help with the niche selection process, you would have to get EAB too.

Hello Andrew,

I would love to start an eBay business but believe it or not I don’t have any junk to sell. Are you able to teach someone how to start an eBay business from scratch? I have also read about these dropshipper programs – how do they work? What are the best products to sell via dropshipping? And can this be done without me having to store any inventory at my place?

Sincerely,
Noam

Hi Noam,

These are quite broad questions – ones that can’t be really answered in an email like this.

What you need to do first is start LEARNING about eBay/online selling – how everything works. As without understanding the basics of how everything works, your chance of success is extremely slim.

My blog is a great starting point as it covers the most important topics on how to start an eBay business:

https://andrewminalto.com/start-ebay-business/

If you want a more detailed, step by step guide, check out my best selling eBay home study course here:

http://www.easyauctionbusiness.com/secret/

Hi Andrew,

I have a question.

I have a privately registered eBay account and I wanted to know if it’s possible to open a new account for my new business, as I don’t want to mix private and business sales or purchases.

So is it possible to start a new “Business Account” but keep and transfer/copy my current sales amount from my current, personal eBay account to the “new” company account.

If this is possible, will other people (buyers) see that these two accounts are connected?

Because that’s not what I would want at all – I prefer for these to remain anonymous and separate from one another.

Basically I just wanted to start afresh on a new eBay account BUT keep the sales history that I built up over the years.

Sincerely,
Anna

Hi Anna,

No, unfortunately there’s no way to “move” your current sales and account history to a new account.

But what you can do is:

1) Simply upgrade your current, established account to a Business account.

2) Open up a new eBay account (Personal one) to use for personal purchases & selling.

It’s completely fine to own multiple eBay accounts so this set-up is 100% okay in eBay’s eyes.

Hi Andrew,

I have a top listing right now that is a tool kit with a case. A competitor is now taking more demand by selling a tool kit only, without the case, and therefore reducing the cost. To counter, I want to start selling the tool kit without the case as well, and match their price. However I also want to add two more kits with cases as similar items.

1) Should I make a variation listing with all 4 items?
2) What should I do with the current top ranked listing, since I can’t edit it into a variation?
3) If I do a variation listing with all 4 types, do I risk cannibalizing some sales? What would you do in my situation to maximize sales?

Thanks,
Jari

Hi Jari,

Yes, your best bet would be to create a listing with 4 variations, to list all 4 related products under one listing. In the long term this will yield the highest sales history and obviously the higher rankings too.

As for your current listing – it depends on how many sales you have for it? If it’s in the hundreds or thousands, I wouldn’t really recommend taking it down but if it’s a relatively new listing, I think you should just start a new listing with 4 variations and take the current listing down. If it’s an established listing, with very good rankings and tons of sales, you may actually want to keep it and create a new listing for the remaining 3 variations.

If you go with the all new option, for all 4 products, you’ll obviously suffer a slight loss in sales, at least initially. But if you follow my guide on how to get the best rankings on eBay you should gain back your search position sooner or later, and will then reap the benefits:

https://andrewminalto.com/top-search-position-on-ebay/

Hope this helps!

Hi Andrew,

I just discovered your website and am going through the Q&A section which I find extremely informative and useful.

But I cannot find anything on a subject that has been bothering me for a long while, hence my email. Is buying an established/unlimited eBay account a good idea to start trading on this platform? Is it legal?

There are at least a few companies specialising in transferring eBay accounts and one can get pretty much any type of eBay account. We have an established online store and at the moment all our sales are coming via our website. We’d love to expand and reach out to a wider number of customers.

We have set up a brand new eBay account but because of the new account limits we will be able to list only a fraction of the products we stock. As an alternative, we are considering investing in one of those established accounts and I would be very grateful if you could share your thoughts on the idea as well as on the companies who sell these accounts.

Best wishes,
Ralf

Hi Ralf,

Basically buying and selling accounts is AGAINST eBay’s rules! So most of these websites that do sell eBay accounts are breaking eBay’s rules and this can get you in serious trouble (a lifetime ban for example).

Technically it is possible to transfer an eBay business account to a new owner BUT only when the whole business is being sold. And this also involves contacting eBay and getting their manual approval for such a sale/move. By whole business I mean – stock, domain name, maybe an online shop and some other assets.

I personally have never purchased eBay accounts and wouldn’t recommend that anyone do so as the risk is simply too high and it could end up with you being banned from eBay altogether.

***

And that brings us to the end of this week’s Q&A post.

As you can see, despite the numerous posts and warnings I’ve made on the subject, there are still people falling prey to online scammers. In Danny’s case, this was one of the most typical scams I’ve heard of – using all the usual tricks in their book, and though they are immediately obvious to seasoned sellers, newbies can and will get caught out!

Please let this be another lesson to you, and if in doubt, contact me and ask for advice BEFORE you place an order.

After all, the whole point of me running this blog is to help as many people as possible, so if there is anything that you would like my advice on – don’t hesitate to ask me via the contact form here.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

All the best,
Andrew

8 Comments
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  1. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks to your guidance I was able to successfully setup an ebay business.
    However, still I’m confused with something.
    In Australia (AusPost) it is usually the shipping cost for a parcel under 500g is ~$7.50.
    But I have noticed so many listings, people ship their products just for ~$2-3. (Item location is also Australia and they use the same posting agent (AusPost))
    I did a search to find out how they just do it. But couldn’t.
    Could you please shed some light on this?

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Dinesh,

      Not sure on the situation in Australia but it could be that sellers are simply taking a loss on P&P fee by subsiding part of it.

      Andrew

  2. Hi Andrew,

    is VAT registration must for a trader to sale outside UK. Can I offer my products in ebay for shipping across EU/worldwide without having VAT registered.

    Regards,
    Nirmal

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, you don’t have to register for VAT just to sell to international customers.

      Andrew

  3. Hi Andrew

    2 questions which might be better answered as part of the next Q&A:

    1. What have you found to have better success; a lower sale price with additional postage or a higher price that includes postage but then gets the Free postage label on ebay

    2. What methods are useful to revive a listing with slow sales, e.g. other sellers are selling 5+ a day of an item compared to my 2+ even with my lower price. And just generally kickstart listings wh’os sales have died down

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks Paul, will include these in future Q&A posts!

      Andrew

  4. Fadi Jabsheh

    Hi Andrew
    I am new to your website and you are doing a great job, my question is what are your thoughts on dropshipping from amazon to ebay ? Does it work ? how can you build a sellers history with drop shipping especially without an ebay store ?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Fadi,

      Yes, this is possible as a short term solution, I even cover this strategy in my Easy Auction Business course.

      But in general, I’m AGAINST dropshipping on eBay, for reasons explained in this article:

      https://andrewminalto.com/dropshipping-business-model/

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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