It’s getting darker and colder. With kids back in schools, the roads are slower and days shorter. Is it all doom and gloom though? Not if you’re an online seller, no! As September is the first month after the summer when sales return to normal in most businesses. That is unless you sell sunglasses and weekend trips to Ibiza (I could be wrong on the Ibiza part though!)
This week, on Monday, I covered in detail how to predict sales fluctuations over the up-coming months, right before Xmas kicks in. Now is really a good time to prepare yourself for an increase in sales, due to numerous short term sales like Halloween, Black Friday and of course Christmas itself at the end of the road.
It’s now Friday, which means it’s time for another Questions & Answers post! In this series I answer questions sent in by you – my blog readers, so if you want your questions to be featured in future posts, get in touch with me via the contact form on this page.
Today we’ll be covering the following questions:
- How to simplify the importing from China process?
- How to register multiple eBay accounts on regional sites?
- What safety requirements are there when importing children’s clothing from China?
- Can you protect the design of a product?
- Can you lose TRS status with one VeRO case?
- What’s the next step after making money with used goods?
Let’s get started!
I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and I just have to say that it’s brilliant – the information you provide is incredible.
I’m looking to start importing goods from outside the EU, namely China. Up until now I have been making use of UK based suppliers.
I’m pretty clued up when it comes to duty and import VAT. However, after looking on the HMRCs website I have become baffled once more. They talk about using the CHIEF system and filling a SAD form for every import. Is this necessary, what does it all mean and is it as confusing as it sounds?
Thank you in advance and kind regards,
It sounds more difficult than it actually is! 🙂
If you’re just starting out with importing now, with your first deal, I would recommend you use a courier for shipping to minimise your work load. That is of course if the products you source are suitable for courier shipment (small or valuable) as courier is the most expensive shipping method from China.
When you do use a courier company (like DHL, UPS, FedEx etc.), they will do the customs clearance procedure and simply send you an invoice for the taxes you need to pay + a small processing fee. And that’s it, no need to do anything else – just pay the invoice.
If you plan on using air freight or sea freight, then you’ll want to use a freight forwarding company who will also take care of the customs clearance procedure for you.
So in effect, whichever method you choose, you don’t really even get involved with any of that. You simply pay a small fee, to either a courier or freight forwarding company, and they will take care of the entire process for you.
I have been selling on eBay.com for the past 5 years and since 90% of my customers are American I wanted to open additional accounts to sell to other countries, such as eBay.co.uk and eBay.es for example. But every time I have tried to do this, I just ended up opening another account on eBay.com, even if I did it while on another regional eBay site.
Is it something I’m doing wrong and can you let me know what that is? Or is this only possible for people that are actually from that country? I.e. can only Spanish people open an account on eBay.es?
Thanks for your time!
The reason why you ended up registering multiple accounts on eBay.com is probably because it re-directed you to the eBay.com registration form each time you tried it, based on your location (IP address).
The truth is that you DON’T need to open special/separate eBay accounts on regional sites. You can simply login with your eBay.com user details on ANY eBay site you want. And then you can sell/list directly from that region/site.
You can also do this by simply using Turbo Lister, which allows direct listing to eBay’s regional sites from your one account.
Great article on your blog, it was very informative.
My partner and I are thinking of starting to import baby clothes from China, such as baby grows and bibs etc. I was wondering how to ensure that the clothes are safe for babies i.e. in terms of rashes, allergies etc. The last thing we want is to cause harm to any babies by selling clothes from China.
Also I was wondering if you had any advice for getting our own designs onto the clothes as we are wanting to start our own brand and build it up from there. I’m guessing we would send them our designs and get samples from different companies and pick the best ones but just looking for any additional advice you might have.
Also how would we go about copywriting our company designs and logos?
We are expecting our first baby at New Year so I have four months of free time to get this started and take it from there.
Thanks for any advice!
Yes, there are safety regulations in place for this and you’ll want to make sure the supplier you’re dealing with has conformity certificates for the UK/EU market. You can read more about these requirements here:
As well as on Trading Standard’s website here:
You can do your own designs, yes, but it will require very large MOQs – often even 1000 pieces per design/size so this may not be something you want to do in the beginning.
As for protecting your logo and designs, all the info you need is on this website:
Once you have a logo done, you can register it as a trade mark. You can also protect your custom designed pieces with a design patent but you’ll have to read more about how this all works on the IPO website as I can’t cover it in detail in this short answer.
Hope this helps!
I have a question I would like to ask you: One of my items got removed by the company whose product I was selling, due to it unfortunately being a counterfeit. This is fine of course, but does it affect my road to becoming a TRS in any way?
Also I have 3 more items listed which are also products of that company but eBay didn’t remove them. Should I go ahead and remove those as well, or is it okay to leave them as they are?
Thank you for your answer in advance,
No, one such warning won’t affect your road to TRS.
But I would remove the other items too, in case they also get taken down by eBay. With multiple such removals your account could be in real trouble, yes, and you could lose your TRS because of it.
But one warning won’t affect it.
I was wondering if I could ask you for a bit of advice?
Back in June I came across your guide about how to make some money on eBay by buying and selling second hand goods such as games (you used Fifa as an example) and by following that I have managed to make £200 profit in a month and a half from buying and selling iPads and iPhones.
I now have £300 and I am looking to progress in my (very small) business venture and I was hoping you could tell me which of your guides would be best suited to me.
I work a full time job with numerous hours/weekends of overtime and I have 2 young children that occupy lots of my time, so I would be able to spend around an hour an evening on my ‘project’, I have no issues with taking days/weeks/months setting things up as long as in the long run I can hopefully start something successful. I also have no problems with paying for one of your online courses as long as it’s suited to me.
Any help/advice you could give me would be massively appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your email.
It’s great to hear that you put in to practice what I taught in that guide and have already made some profit – well done! 🙂
I would recommend you get my ultimate eBay training course called Easy Auction Business:
It covers various eBay business models so I’m sure you’ll find one that suits you and your timetable. Even with a £300 budget you can actually start importing from China, buy from UK/US wholesalers or continue with the used goods model, just on a more professional scale.
The price for the course is only £67, which is a one-time fee and includes free access to Spicy Auction Templates and all future updates.
Hope this helps & let me know if you have any further questions.
Ok, that’s it for today.
I actually chose to end today’s Q&A on Matthew for a reason, as I think it really goes to show what you can achieve if you take action!
Simply by using a business model that you can start with no money at all, Mathew has tripled his initial budget, in less than 2 months. To me that is a real achievement and with that attitude, coupled with the knowledge he’ll have from EAB, I look forward to hearing more success stories from Matthew.
So if you’re stuck in “information gathering mode”, use this story as a small bit of motivation and get started! When you look back in a month’s time, you’ll be glad you took action.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Until next time!