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

Discussion in 'Product Creation, Inventing, Importing, Sourcing' started by Ecom man, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. Ecom man
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    Ecom man Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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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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  2. Ecom man
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    Ecom man Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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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!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2018
  3. Paul David
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    Paul David Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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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
     
  4. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    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.
     
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  5. 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.
     
  6. papi016
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    papi016 Bronze Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Update ???
     
  7. Yussef
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    Yussef Knowledge Recycler Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    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.
     
  8. Ecom man
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    Ecom man Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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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.
     
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  9. albertut77
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    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?
     
  10. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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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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  11. Bekit
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    Just out of curiosity, did you make it by the time you were 30? Even if you were close enough to look that goal in the face, that deserves major congratulations. Hope your surgery didn't derail things too much...
     
  12. Ecom man
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    Ecom man Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Nope I didn’t. Had a pretty rough summer sales wise and turned 30 with “only” 750-800k in hard assets (that’s excluding what I could sell my businesses for but does include cost of the inventory that I have in stock) Sales have been wonky so far this holiday season so far too so not looking like I’ll hit the million mark by the end of the year either. Should be sometime in 2019.
     
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  13. MHP368
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    MHP368 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Its an ecom business , I was listening to a podcast with a new zealand women yesterday, she imported straight from places like nepal to amazon fulfillment warehouses in the US (where a market exists).

    She did this while living in NZ and never setting foot in the US. Find a product with a margin that allows for a fulfillment / prep center and do that.
     
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  14. Walter Hay
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    There are thousands of people who are not US residents but are selling on Amazon USA. It's not all that difficult to do.

    By importing from Nepal that NZ woman is almost certainly selling without having any competition. It is yet another reason why I advocate sourcing from countries other than China.

    There are other ways to avoid competition on Amazon and still sell products for which there is real demand, but that is another story. I think @albertut77's problem probably stems from his lack of understanding of product sourcing.

    I know large numbers of people who are successfully importing and selling on eBay or Amazon in Australia.

    Walter
     
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  15. albertut77
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    Again, thank you very much for taking the time to share this information with us. I had considered that as a possibility, too.

    As you say, service in relation to faulty goods seems to be horrible, but that doesn't seem to stop their feedback from being outstanding.

    I could make my listings look better than theirs, but I feel like there is only so much you can offer visually when their prices completely destroy what I could offer if I was aiming for a 40% profit margin after all costs.

    You are absolutely right - my main problem is the lack of knowledge in sourcing my products. I'm very aware that these people on DHGate and Aliexpress are just middlemen purchasing from the actual manufacturers, but as you point out, it seems practically impossible to establish a relationship with Chinese manufacturers without speaking fluent Chinese (and actually knowing where to find these). Nonetheless, you write:

    This seems to indicate that, despite the fact that I can't speak Chinese, there are ways to reach these manufacturers, or at least better prices than those found on these websites. Forgive my ignorance; you must have discussed this a gazillion times before, but do you have any advice that would point me to these sources?

    Regardless of your answer - thank you for your help. This only reassures me about the fact that this is very much doable - I just need to learn better.
     
  16. Walter Hay
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    @albertut77 Sorry if I didn't make it clear. I was only referring to buying from the sites that are used by the resellers on DHGate and Aliexpress. They are Chinese language sites and although there are thousands of Chinese opportunists offering to buy on those sites for you, that is far too risky and you don't get the best prices by using their dubious services anyway.

    My book makes it possible for you to learn to identify real manufacturers, and to negotiate the best prices. You don't need any knowledge of the Chinese language to do that because they employ English speaking staff.

    You do need to have some understanding of Chinese business culture and I also explain that so that my book users don't make serious mistakes.

    Although my AMA gives a lot of tips and answers many questions, I can't publish on the forum everything in my book which is more than 100 pages.

    My book is currently being discounted and you can find it by clicking on the red link in my signature below. You will see there in my marketplace thread that I suggest looking at the testimonials on my site. Many of those are from Fastlane members, including one who wrote that I had saved him $3000. Not a bad ROI.

    Walter
     
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  17. Andy Daniels
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    Andy Daniels Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Stoked about your progress! Sounds like you're making some great strides.

    How do you see the ecomm industry changing in 2019? Any big shifts with the growth of Amazon?

    Thanks!
     
  18. Ecom man
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    Ecom man Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    IMO amazon will continue to grow but I don’t think they are making a wise decision in allowing Chinese Sellers to sell on there with long handling times. It has become more like eBay in regards to either having to pay more attention to the listing to make sure you don’t get screwed on the shipping times or only buy with prime sellers.

    If you are selling on amazon but not using FBA you are missing a huge opportunity.

    In regards to selling outside amazon I think there is an abundance of opportunity for niche sites. I think that is where the market is headed as trying to browse a specific niche on eBay or Amazon is becoming more unwieldy and often frustrating.

    For instance I was looking to purchase a specific dvd for Christmas. I typed in the exact title on amazon and had 15-20 unrelated items before I got to the item I wanted. That was with typing in an exact title.

    Niche sites that make it easy for the older demographic to shop/purchase will certainly find a good spot and have good profit potential.
     
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  19. fortu1992
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    fortu1992 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Hello thank you for this great thread, how do you know if an item from alibaba has toxic/dangerous component banned in your country?

    Inviato dal mio COL-L29 utilizzando Tapatalk
     

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