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GOLD! [AMA] Importing & wholesaling for resale on eBay.

Bstpwnll

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Most of the products imported from China (Aliexpress, Alibaba, etc.) have a market base, and several vendors already sell a given product between ebay, amazon etc.
When you do your research and notice that, how is your reaction ?

Do you try to have everytime the lower price ?
In your experience , Amazon do ads for every single products you re selling? Or, as i suppose, do just ads for bestselling products?
 

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zenstoic

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Very informational and inspirational threads. Learned a lot. Thanks @Ecom man . A few questions here.

1. I just started the product researching process across Aliexpress, eBay and Amazon. To find the "good" products, wonder how do you balance the product popularity/demand, profit and existing competition? If it is highly demand, there must be lots of existing competitors out there and the margin maybe low or high depend on product type. If looking for less competitor, most likely the product is less demand unless it is a super niche (most unlikely). Also for a given type of products, do you think the popularity in Aliexpress is consistent with eBay or not? Should I refer to both two platforms to identify demand or only eBay?

2. Aliexpress is more B2C and many product are selling at retail price. If importing samples or batch orders from there and sell on eBay/Amazon, it almost can not make profit after domestic shipping and other fees. What do you think of that?

3. As you suggest, first sample is better coming from Aliexpress to facilitate product test process. Imagine it works well and I order more batches from Alibaba for lower price, but most likely it would end up with different supplier than Aliexpress. How can I make sure the later batch orders would match the first Aliexpress sample quality and keep the ball rolling ?

4. I noticed the free shipping products from Aliexpress did not offer DHL as option. It is default to ePacket shipping which takes 12-20 days which is too long. What shipping method you use from Aliexpress to get samples?

Thanks.
 
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Ecom man

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Ok I've just finished every page of this thread. What a journey! Nothing but respect for your progress and for taking the time too share your experience. Thank you.

If you have the time can I indulge in a couple of questions…

I touched on this previously. Most of the history of this thread is finding a good product with good margins. They didn't have to be massive sellers as long as they were regular.

1.Now it's all done through your site what is your product criteria?

Is each product chosen from your tried and tested process or because your range has expanded are you now choosing a few key sellers and making up the numbers with similar products to fill a category/ niche site? I think that is what I would need to do.

Its hard to find products never mind a full category of them. As your selling above eBay prices I guess there are a lot of products that now give you the right margin so you don't have to be as choosy?

2. Adwords. I've taken the plunge and started learning. I've been using test products as an example to search terms and generally find most are high competitions and low recommended bid. Or high bid low competition. I'm yet to find low and low. Do you evaluate new products based on adwords search results and if so what indicators are you using?

Low competition sounds great but the cost seems very prohibitive.

Additionally. Is there a very rough guide to predicting costs of adwords in relation to profit margin. Ie to assess feasibility? So a product with £5 profit wouldn't be worth bidding £1 cpc as I would need to sell 1 in 5 clicks to break even? I appreciate there are so many factors involved. Just curious whether there is an average guide?

3. You mentioned you plan to separate sites and sell. Out of curiosity do you keep a theme across each site? So say you currently use ecomdepot.comz do you intend to keep any branding ie ecomdepot-pets.comz or just have random/ unique sites. Just curious whether you go for independent sites or some crossover and link between them.

Again. Thank you and well done!
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I've been waiting n vacation the last 3 weeks.

Selling on your own site vs eBay/Amazon are two totally different animals. Selling on eBay/Amazon it is oftentimes a race to the bottom. On your own site you can sell those high competition products and only be competing with other people who are using Adwords.

1. I am just doing different products in the same niche. I will order 10 of say 10 different products in the niche throw it up on my site, run some ads and see what hits. I am right now interested in expanded the number of niches/websites I have vs going broader in my current niche. There seems to be diminishing returns in that some products sell really well, some good, some ok, some barely at all. Once you get to the barely at all products it would be better to start a new site/niche and go after those best sellers in the new niche.

2. I do no Adwords evaluation before choosing a new product. It is just a few hundred bucks to test 5-10 new products so I just throw up ads and put the products on google shopping and see what happens.

3. I am doing independent sites with different themes and a niche relevant website URL. For example if I sell carpets I want something with carpet as the actual URL.
 
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Most of the products imported from China (Aliexpress, Alibaba, etc.) have a market base, and several vendors already sell a given product between ebay, amazon etc.
When you do your research and notice that, how is your reaction ?

Do you try to have everytime the lower price ?
In your experience , Amazon do ads for every single products you re selling? Or, as i suppose, do just ads for bestselling products?
I am considerably more expensive than eBay but try to stay cheaper than Amazon.

At this point I don't care who else is selling similar products or niches. Most every product is for sale somewhere else but people don't just buy a product on price alone. Having their product ship from the US, having good customer service, etc. plays into making that sale as well. I would match my customer service up against eBay, Amazon, Walmart, etc. and beat all of them. My shipping times are real close to Amazon's prime shipping as well (most of my customers get their items in 3 days or less).
 

Sfbloo

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Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I've been waiting n vacation the last 3 weeks.

Selling on your own site vs eBay/Amazon are two totally different animals. Selling on eBay/Amazon it is oftentimes a race to the bottom. On your own site you can sell those high competition products and only be competing with other people who are using Adwords.

1. I am just doing different products in the same niche. I will order 10 of say 10 different products in the niche throw it up on my site, run some ads and see what hits. I am right now interested in expanded the number of niches/websites I have vs going broader in my current niche. There seems to be diminishing returns in that some products sell really well, some good, some ok, some barely at all. Once you get to the barely at all products it would be better to start a new site/niche and go after those best sellers in the new niche.

2. I do no Adwords evaluation before choosing a new product. It is just a few hundred bucks to test 5-10 new products so I just throw up ads and put the products on google shopping and see what happens.

3. I am doing independent sites with different themes and a niche relevant website URL. For example if I sell carpets I want something with carpet as the actual URL.
Thankyou for taking the time to respond. Hope you had a good vacation.

Your thread and some of the other gold progress threads are inspirational.

I've a few ideas ( but not THE idea ) to run with now to start building bank/ experience / skills...

Thanks again for sharing so much and long may your success continue!
 

FreedomforEarl

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I do both depending on the product. When starting out I didn't even know that putting my own brand on an item was even possible. I just found things with good margin and would order a decent amount. If the product failed oh well on to the next one.

Failures are a part of any business. A couple years ago I bought someone's inventory of "vintage" clothes so I could resell them. Spent $3,000 on the inventory and in the last year sold $200 worth of the inventory :( finally just chalked it up to clothes not being my thing and donated them all to Salvation Army.

I am always learning, always growing, always looking for the product that people need.
I am going to read all of the information you hae on this post, I have been selling on ebay for over 18 years and I just open a shopify store and it is not going to good. I have been reading all this stuff from people who say they are making a lot of money and it is mostly a sham. They make money off you taking their class. One guy wanted me to pay him 10K , and I was like you must be crazy. I make decent money with ebay, but I want to step up to another level. So I am going to read all of your stuff. Thank you and you do motivate me to do better.
 

FreedomforEarl

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I am considerably more expensive than eBay but try to stay cheaper than Amazon.

At this point I don't care who else is selling similar products or niches. Most every product is for sale somewhere else but people don't just buy a product on price alone. Having their product ship from the US, having good customer service, etc. plays into making that sale as well. I would match my customer service up against eBay, Amazon, Walmart, etc. and beat all of them. My shipping times are real close to Amazon's prime shipping as well (most of my customers get their items in 3 days or less).
Always priority ! What is the best sites to buy products here in the USA.
 

kristyblair

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I basically just googled best way to set up Adwords. Read some articles from different places. As I came across something I didn't know how to do (remarketing for search campaigns for example) I would just google how to set it up. I would google conversion optimization tips for my site. I would google best ad practices for Adwords. Basically just spend some serious time going down the rabbit hole of blogs and reading similar articles etc. Neil Patel has quite a few helpful articles on his blog that had some good tips in them.

Hello,

I am new and reading through this thread. My question is....How is this a Fast Lane business? I thought the whole reason was freedom? To have passive income? Isn't selling like this almost like working a job but just for yourself?

Thank you just trying to learn
 

Denim Chicken

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Hello,

I am new and reading through this thread. My question is....How is this a Fast Lane business? I thought the whole reason was freedom? To have passive income? Isn't selling like this almost like working a job but just for yourself?

Thank you just trying to learn
Exitable business

Everything is a "job" in the beginning
 
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Ecom man

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Hello,

I am new and reading through this thread. My question is....How is this a Fast Lane business? I thought the whole reason was freedom? To have passive income? Isn't selling like this almost like working a job but just for yourself?

Thank you just trying to learn
I just went on a three week vacation. The person I hired fulfilled all the orders and handled customer service for me. I didn't touch a computer for work for 2 of those 3 weeks. Does that sound fast lane to you?
 

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Richard Espinosa

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Any experience buying from wholesale distributors? Like if I want to stock my online store with some popular brands, just to be more well rounded. Plus I can deal with U.S. distributors, which is a hell of a lot easier when it comes to shipping and communication. Or if I want China products, I can even find wholesale websites where the products are from China, but the wholesaler is Chinese, has a warehouse in the U.S., deals with the all the port customs stuff and whatnot, and then ships to you. Your thoughts on obtaining product this way?

Most wholesalers don't have as high of a MOQ as manufacturers too, so isn't it a good way to test some products and get started?
 

SquatchMan

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I read the thread and saw you used Shareasale for affiliate marketing at one point.

How has your affiliate program been working out?
 

Aston_M

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Ecom man, what do you think of this plan, start a Shopify store, list products from Amazon with a markup and offer 1 day delivery and market via PPC and Google Shopping? I did this on eBay and it worked quite well. The only issue I see with using PPC and Google Shopping, Amazon will already be doing PPC and Shopping and their prices will be cheaper than mine. Whats your thoughts?
 
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Ecom man

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Any experience buying from wholesale distributors? Like if I want to stock my online store with some popular brands, just to be more well rounded. Plus I can deal with U.S. distributors, which is a hell of a lot easier when it comes to shipping and communication. Or if I want China products, I can even find wholesale websites where the products are from China, but the wholesaler is Chinese, has a warehouse in the U.S., deals with the all the port customs stuff and whatnot, and then ships to you. Your thoughts on obtaining product this way?

Most wholesalers don't have as high of a MOQ as manufacturers too, so isn't it a good way to test some products and get started?
Sounds good to me. Prices will probably be higher from a distributor but it would certainly eliminate a lot of headaches.
 
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Ecom man

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I read the thread and saw you used Shareasale for affiliate marketing at one point.

How has your affiliate program been working out?
It brings in a couple sales a day. I haven't really done much with it other than set it up.
 
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Ecom man

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Ecom man, what do you think of this plan, start a Shopify store, list products from Amazon with a markup and offer 1 day delivery and market via PPC and Google Shopping? I did this on eBay and it worked quite well. The only issue I see with using PPC and Google Shopping, Amazon will already be doing PPC and Shopping and their prices will be cheaper than mine. Whats your thoughts?
On a lot of their products Amazon doesn't use ppc or google shopping but they are at the very top of googles search results. IMO you will have a hard time doing it profitably but the only way to know for sure is to try it.
 

Denim Chicken

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What is your take on a 30% COGS figure and the difference you've experienced between Amazon and ebay for the bottom line?

30% COGS + 45% Amazon Fees (in general) = 75% Cost = 25% profit margin - ad spend - labor. After all said and done margins are around 10-15%, and on top of that it's low volume, yielding a few hundred $ in profit only a month.

How you feel about those type of items?
 
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Ecom man

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So it’s been a while since I posted so just a quick update about my business.

For the first time ever I’ve taken on some debt to purchase inventory. Everything I’ve done before has been cash or paid off within the 30day window on the credit card. Having that debt has added some additional stress to my daily life but it should pay off big at Christmas.

Sales are beginning to ramp up for Christmas and it is looking like it should be a good season.

Finally the goal for 2018. Near the end of 2018 I turn 30 years old. My goal is to have 1 million in personal assets (excluding my business) by that time. When I was a teenager I read a lot of books about finance and money and one goal that I read was to be a millionaire by 30. I wanted that for my life and my family. I wanted that million at a young enough age where I could actually use it rather than give it to a nursing home. Near the end of 2018 my time will be “up”. I’m looking forward to hitting this goal and to see what the next chapter of life brings.
 

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The problem with many entrepreneurs is they own a job rather than a business. If they don’t work today the work stops and soon after the paycheck stops.

I was basically at that stage up until about a year ago when I hired someone to handle the day to day operations. That hire has turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done since I am having surgery at the end of this month. The surgery will require me to not do anything physically for 3-6 months and possibly longer. Day to day operations of my business will be impossible for me to do during that time. (Won’t be able to lift more than a few pounds) If I had not fixed the violation of time that was in my business a year ago I would be up a creek right now.

All of the above is to say this, don’t think your business is different because of x,y, or,z. If you violate one of the commandments it will come back to bite you in the future. If you are violating any of the CENTS principles in your business, fix them before they bite you!
 
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Paul David

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How do you compete with brand leaders when it comes to products on google.

For example in the UK I just typed into google Travel Umbrella. Now there are numerous ppc ads at the top ranging from well known brands like House to Fraser to companies that only specialise in umbrellas. How would I compete for sales against these types of companies if i only sold one type of umbrella?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The surgery will require me to not do anything physically for 3-6 months and possibly longer. Day to day operations of my business will be impossible for me to do during that time.
Great post @Ecom man

We tend to take our health for granted for sure. Assuming you’ll always have good health violates Control and Time.

I got carried away yesterday with my new 1500w e-bike motor and wiped out my bike on the first ride at 30mph and broke my wrist.

I can’t work in the business for 6-8 weeks. Thankfully, I’ve got employees who can. Other than me typing a lot slower, there’s no effect on the output of the business.

I hope your recovery goes well.
 

vice

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I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing thread, the value and help you have provided here goes beyond measure. You are an inspiration to many of us. Good luck in your business and future endeavours.
 

Yussef

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The problem with many entrepreneurs is they own a job rather than a business. If they don’t work today the work stops and soon after the paycheck
I was basically at that stage up until about a year ago when I hired someone to handle the day to day operations. That hire has turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done since I am having surgery at the end of this month. The surgery will require me to not do anything physically for 3-6 months and possibly longer. Day to day operations of my business will be impossible for me to do during that time. (Won’t be able to lift more than a few pounds) If I had not fixed the violation of time that was in my business a year ago I would be up a creek right now.

All of the above is to say this, don’t think your business is different because of x,y, or,z. If you violate one of the commandments it will come back to bite you in the future. If you are violating any of the CENTS principles in your business, fix them before they bite you!
If I were close enough to remove my belt and whoop you I certainly would. Man haven’t you heard of Murphy’s law. Why would you tempt fate when you are about to take your business to the moon. Get better quick because we are taking that bike away until you hit xx,xxx,xxx. You can break whatever you want to then.
 
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Ecom man

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Update ???
Life moves on, surgery went well and recovery has gone pretty well too. Can lift 25lbs now woo hoo!

Business is slower this time of year so prepping for the holiday season is in full swing. Sales are almost identical to 2017s numbers up until this point of the year.

I’m in the process of setting up some new backend funnels that should help capture more revenue per customer (post purchase upsells, etc.) We will see how that goes over the next couple of months.
 

albertut77

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Life moves on, surgery went well and recovery has gone pretty well too. Can lift 25lbs now woo hoo!

Business is slower this time of year so prepping for the holiday season is in full swing. Sales are almost identical to 2017s numbers up until this point of the year.

I’m in the process of setting up some new backend funnels that should help capture more revenue per customer (post purchase upsells, etc.) We will see how that goes over the next couple of months.
Happy to hear your surgery went well and you're on a good recovery. I hope your business is as strong as ever and you and your family are living a happy life!

Thanks again to you and everybody else for such an encouraging thread. I dabbled in this business for a few months some 3-4 years ago and was stunned with the success of it, and all mostly thanks to the invaluable amount of relevant information in this post.

Unfortunately, while on the highest point of my modest business I had to drop it. After some moving around I ended up in Australia, but due to some complicated visa conditions I was unable and unwilling to retake the business. However, that has changed recently and, after catching up to the end of this thread, I've decided to start slowly retaking what I had going on back then. Again, thank you.

This doesn't seem to be so easy here in Australia, though. I've been on Terapeak, DHGate, Aliexpress and eBay for the last few days researching and comparing, and I've realized there's an issue here I did not find to the same degree back in the UK - Australia is packed with Chinese retailers based in Australia.

This is becoming a big source of frustration. Every time I compare products sold on eBay vs their price on DHGate/Aliexpress there is non-worth to negative profit to be made. Everything I look for is being sold on eBay for only slightly higher prices that I can get it on DHG/ALXPRS (if not the same or lower) with free shipping and the same shipping times I could offer. This, after accounting for free shipping cost, eBay and PayPal fees, amounts to no gain for myself. It seems as if either
(1) the actual manufacturing warehouses have been moved to Australia to improve their own market by selling directly to customers on eBay, or
(2) they acquire their products at much lower prices from China through their own connections/families/friends and sell at retail prices through those websites that were once considered wholesale.

I don't intend this to be a rant, and I apologize if it sounds as such - I am set to make this work, and I will. I'm curious, however, to see if anyone else here is or has tried to import/resell in Australia, and what are their thoughts on the situation I find myself in.

I have gone through all the "basics" of product research. I'm focusing on looking for several products that don't necessarily sell more than 1-2 a day rather than one product that sells 10 a day, in any niche imaginable, no "bangers" or overcrowded markets, small-medium size, profit margin of about 30-50%, trying to stay away from electronics and all...but everything seems to already be selling on eBay by obvious Chinese accounts at ridiculous prices with local service features (fast shipping, etc). I guess I'm out of practice - hah.

If any of you has any input or advice for a different strategy/approach on such situation, I would love to discuss these!

How's everyone doing with their own businesses? Christmas hitting strong?
 

Walter Hay

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@albertut77, I don't want to hijack this great thread that has helped so many people, but I can tell you exactly what is happening.

It's true that there are many Chinese retailers selling on eBay, but they are not necessarily all located in Australia.

I have detected a large number of Chinese businesses operating with Australian registered company structures and Australian websites. The owners live in China or Hong Kong. They have staff that process orders, including posting parcels or sending via couriers. They have stock in Australia, but in most cases that I have found, they are not manufacturers.

Service in relation to faulty goods is in most cases atrocious, but they somehow manage to display 90% + positive feedback!

They buy from the same sources where sellers on Aliexpress and DHGate buy their products. I know what those sources are, but I would not recommend them to anyone that is not fluent in Chinese.

It is possible to compete. It is almost certain that you have not been getting the best prices if you have been buying at DHGate and Aliexpress. If you want to compete you need to buy direct from the actual manufacturers, and you need to carry at least a small inventory.

Listing copy written by a native English speaker will beat their's any time, simply by making proper sense and not being obviously written by someone whose English is poor, and who does not understand either English idiom or Western marketing. You should be able to attract buyers with better copy.

Photography is often of very poor quality. If you use better photography, that will help your listings also. Your Chinese competitors make sales mainly by having the lowest price and using sponsored ads.

For the benefit of other readers, I should point out that the situation is very similar in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA. I first saw Chinese companies setting up branch operations in Canada and the USA under the guise of being local businesses as far back as 2002, and in the UK in 2004.

Walter
 

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