December 4, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #48

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questions-answers-48Welcome Back!

We’re now right in the most super crazy, super busy time of the year! I guess it’s all good with Christmas just around the corner but for me and other business owners, this means long, long work hours and very little free time for rest.

With all that, I’m still managing to find some time for your weekly blog posts. This Monday we started with a quick post about niche size followed up by a very interesting and valuable guide on becoming your own manufacturer.

As it’s Friday, we have our weekly Questions & Answers post! There are just two left this year (49th & 50th) so if you want your question to be featured, send it in via my Helpdesk here.

Today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • Can you use HostGator in the UK?
  • Do couriers cover taxes for imports from China?
  • Do you have to pay any taxes for shipments within the EU?
  • Do you have to pay import taxes when buying from Ali Express?
  • What is the best way to process 300 eBay orders a day?
  • How to deal with unfair eBay feedback?

Let’s get started!

Dear Andrew,

Please can you advise me if I can use HostGator, as I live in England?

Also, can you design your own website and email address through HostGator?

Do people from eBay have access to your website? If so does that mean it needs to be kept up to date with what’s for sale so that people can contact me to try and place orders direct and not through eBay?

Thank you

Kind regards,

Hi Jess,

Yes, of course you can use HostGator if you live in England (it doesn’t really matter where you live as it works worldwide).

Yes, you can create/set-up email addresses via HostGator but for a website/online shop you’ll need to use special shopping cart software (not HostGator). Please read my guides on shopping carts for more information:

Your website/online shop would be a standalone property – not related to eBay. You can of course market it to your eBay customers but in essence – you will have to work on generating traffic/visitors to your online shop OUTSIDE of eBay, if you want to make it worthwhile.

Morning Andrew,

Apologies if you have already answered this question, but I’m working my way through the EAB course and was wondering if DHL, TNT or other couriers cover Import Duty and VAT costs just like freight forwarding companies do?

Many thanks and regards,

Hi Kelvin,

By “cover” do you mean whether they will take care of the customs clearance procedure for you?

Yes, they will do this and send you an invoice for the VAT/import duty, as well as the small processing fee you need to pay. Depending on the courier company & the total value of the shipment, they will either ask for this invoice to be paid prior to delivery, right on delivery, or after delivery has been made. Some couriers are very slow with this and it’s not uncommon to receive an invoice several weeks after you have received your shipment.

Hi Andrew

I have visited your blog and find it incredibly helpful and I now have a question to ask you on a similar topic to what you cover.

My brother, who lives in Italy, is going to send me a mobile phone (with an approximate price of 500 Euros) which he bought for me from a local retailer. My question is do I need to pay any VAT when I receive the parcel sent by him? He already paid the VAT when he bought it, so it’s clear that this item has already had its VAT paid in the EU and therefore I shouldn’t be charged it again. Please clarify my doubts.

Kind Regards,

Hi Muhammad,

Yes, you have nothing to worry about!

If you buy/send goods within the EU, you don’t have to pay VAT or import duty.

These taxes ONLY apply to shipments coming from OUTSIDE the European Union (USA, China etc.).

Hi Andrew,

When purchasing what is called a ‘lot’ from AliExpress, for example a lot might be 120 items with free delivery to the UK, do I have to worry about import duty / VAT when the items arrive in the UK?


Hi JK,

It depends completely on the total order value – it really doesn’t matter how many items are in the shipment – only what you paid for it.

There are value limits set by law which regulates whether or not you’ll pay import duty and VAT. You can read more about this here:

Lastly, many Chinese suppliers under-value shipments so that they don’t get taxed by customs BUT as a business you DON’T want this to happen as it means you won’t be able to properly book these imports. So always remind the seller that you would like the FULL order value to be shown on the customs declaration form.

Hi Andrew,

We’ve been following you for several years now, ever since we started up a business with the help of EAB. We now have a business processing 200-300 orders daily, which is great!

We currently use integrated labels since they allow us to peel off the address and still have all the order details on the paper, which is vital for a business selling multiple different lines.

However we’ve been running into a few issues recently with paper quality and this has led me to rethink our order processing.

What do you advise for people selling in bulk?

Since we have a Citizen label printer I am thinking of printing labels only through that and then the invoices as normal on plain paper. Problem here is that we’d have to manually pair up each address and invoice which is time consuming to say the least.


Hi James,

Integrated labels are actually one of the best ways to bulk process orders on eBay. If you say that you have run into paper issues with these integrated labels, maybe you should simply change supplier? There are now many companies that offer these for sale.

If you want to go for the separate invoice + label route, the best way to automate this is by using Linnworks:

With Linnworks you can print in bulk all the shipping labels, invoices, and packaging lists – and you can have order IDs AND even barcodes printed on so you can sort them quickly and easily. You can then go one step further and enable barcode scanning mode where each label/invoice needs to be scanned before the order is considered complete. This way you can’t even mix up invoices with wrong shipping labels as the system will tell you that it’s not the same order.

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

eBay policy states that a buyer may not use a second account to purchase an item from a seller if that seller has already added one of the buyer’s accounts to his blocked accounts list. Well I added a buyer’s account to my blocked accounts list in October and two days later he purchased an item from me with a second account. I reported this immediately online and also called eBay customer service the following day.

The customer service rep said that the buyer had violated eBay’s policy and walked me through cancelling the order and issuing a full refund. Nearly six weeks later the buyer left a negative rating and negative feedback for me. I was told by an eBay feedback specialist that even though the purchase was made in violation of policy, the feedback itself did not violate their feedback policy and could not be removed. Do you know of any appeals process that could remove the rating and feedback, or anyone at eBay I could speak to who could have the rating and feedback removed?

Thank you,

Hi Brian,

Unfortunately the only advice I can give you here is to call them again and speak to a different customer service rep, as maybe they will see the situation in a different light (this is more common than you’d think). Unfortunately there is no official appeal process or anything like that, so that’s your only option really.


Okay, that’s it for today!

Next week is the last week for regular blog posts. After that we’ll have our yearly readers’ contest with amazing prizes up for grabs as well as a yearly round-up post with some insights into what awaits us next year. So stay tuned!

Have a great weekend everyone!


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