April 1, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments

Your eBay & eCommerce Questions Answered #58

questions-answers-58Welcome Back!

Another week, another Friday and time for our Questions & Answers blog post!

For those of you who are new to these Q&A posts, this is how they work – every Friday (well, almost every Friday) I post answers to questions sent in from my blog readers so that more people can learn from the same mistakes or learn about the same topics.

All you have to do to be featured in these posts is to send in your question(s) via the contact form on this page! I’ll personally reply to all requests within 24 hours, Monday – Friday, and the most interesting questions will be featured in next week’s Q&A blog post.

Today we’ll be covering the following questions:

  • Can I list on eBay USA via eBay’s international visibility option?
  • Do you need a registered business to import from China via sea freight?
  • How to automatically send 100-300 eBay invoices a day?
  • Ecommerce VS eBay VS Amazon – which one is best?

Let’s get started!

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your previous help with listing an item on ebay.de – it’s going well!

I wanted to now list the same item on ebay.com but I noticed when you list an item on ebay.co.uk, right before you confirm the listing at the end, it gives you an option to list on ebay.com and ebay.ca for 25p or something like that.

Is this the same thing and should I just take that option? Or should I ignore this and simply list directly on ebay.com?

Thanks Andrew!

Regards,
Christian

Hi Christian,

Yes, this is exactly the same thing as if you had listed directly on ebay.com.

Unfortunately this feature is currently only available for eBay UK, USA & Canada so we can’t use it for European sites at the moment.

But for the three countries that this feature is available for, this is a very good way to increase international visibility. You can read more about this feature here:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/globalexposure.html

Dear Andrew,

This is Metehan. I’ve been following your blog for a while and you’ve saved me a lot of time and money with your advice!

I would like to ask you a small question if you don’t mind?

I live in the UK and want to import some goods from China – I have found a supplier and am ready to place an order with delivery via sea freight. However I have never bought goods like this before, and am a bit unsure about how it all works. Also, I don’t yet have a National Insurance number or any record with HMRC, will this be a problem when I make an order and my goods arrive in the UK?

Thank you very much indeed for the help and support you give us.

Many Thanks & Best Regards
Metehan

Hi Metehan,

If this is your first import via sea freight, I highly recommend using a freight forwarding company that can offer you a “Door to Door” service. What this means is that they will pick up your shipment in China, deliver it to the UK (via sea), clear goods through customs and deliver it all to your door. This way you’re covered for the whole shipping process and won’t have any nasty cost surprises either.

If you just go for a sea freight quote provided by your supplier, you’ll be hit with a variety of additional costs when your goods arrive in the UK. So just keep things simple and use a freight forwarder instead.

The company I recommend is Woodland Global:

http://www.woodland-group.com

Hello dear Andrew,

I want to know if there is a tool or an app for sending invoices automatically by email to my buyers, as it is incredibly difficult to process this for 100-300 daily orders.

Regards,
Sof

Hi Sof,

You can easily automate this process using Linnworks:

http://www.linnworks.com

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your advice and blog posts, they are all extremely helpful.

I have been following the blog of a US based ecommerce business owner who gives great advice on creating an on-line store as a way of being involved in ecommerce. I can see the benefits of this, particularly to avoid eBay’s fees and the changing algorithms but what are your thoughts on this?

I am currently building my ecommerce knowledge and selling decent amounts of a product which is a niche within a niche if you like but I would like to expand my sales and increase turnover and obviously profit. I’m also looking to diversify in to new product ranges but like everyone, I am still researching what will work for me.

So, may I ask, would you recommend an online store or should I just stick to eBay and Amazon?

Thanks again,
Richie

Hi Richie,

I have always said that you should work on all 3 platforms – eBay, Amazon and your own online shop. That is until your online shop comfortably outsells eBay/Amazon and you can move away from those two platforms completely (if you want to of course).

An online shop has many advantages over marketplaces like eBay as you don’t have to pay fees, don’t have to worry about silly rules etc. etc. BUT it only works if you know how to generate traffic to your shop. As I understand you have already mastered this and have an online shop with steady sales coming in? So the best advice I can give you is probably to just continue working on your shop in order to grow it to the next level.

If this shop is in a very small niche, which limits your growth potential, you can think about starting another shop, in a different niche.

But leaving this all aside, if you see that you can make additional sales on eBay/Amazon with your current product range, why not use these channels too? I mean – getting all that extra exposure to your product can only generate more sales. And if you work in a niche with repeat sales, eBay & Amazon are a great way to get those first time customers in, and then – divert them to your online shop for future purchases.

***

That’s it for today – short & sweet!

Don’t be lazy and send in more questions for next week’s post! All you have to do is get in touch with me via the contact form on this page.

All the best,
Andrew

5 Comments
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  1. Hi Andrew I had my best week of sales on ebay a few weeks ago and then had to go away for work and so put my shop on holiday and have had virtually nil sales since – so does putting your shop on holiday destroy your search rankings on ebay?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sharon,

      yes, unfortunately it does affect your listing search positions.

      But don’t panic just yet – wait out few weeks and see how it goes. IF no improvement, better to just end your current listings and start from scratch.

      Andrew

      1. Thank you Andrew – another lesson learnt the hard way! I was just starting to really get going!

  2. Hi Andrew I’ve just reached the all important 100 sales on ebay – can you re-cap the benefits of becoming a business seller in order to get the power seller status? I think that’s all I need.
    Another question – I had my best week of sales a few weeks ago and then had to go away for work and so put my shop on holiday and have had virtually nil sales since – so does putting your shop on holiday destroy your search rankings on ebay?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sharon,

      Without Business account you can’t get Top rated seller status, so you really want to upgrade.

      TRS also gives you discount on final value fees.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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