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Nice side job: buying from China and selling online

Updated on November 18, 2015

Why China?

China is huge exporter of various goods and consumer electronics. Literally anything can be found on the electronic platforms packed with goods. The prices are very attractive compared to retail prices at your home store. Moreover, stores are actually ordering items from China themselves. So why paying higher price? This article will give you some insider tips on how to buy and sell with profit. It is not a full time job but rather a hobby that could turn - with proper experience and financing - into potential career.


How to buy?

First step would be finding the best place to buy. There are many large online stores, one of the biggest is probably Aliexpress. This one is actually a marketplace where many different shops offer their goods. Registration is quite straightforward, no hidden costs. Whenever purchasing an item, payment is processed by credit card. The seller will not receive the payment unless the buyer confirms that goods have arrived.

Tip: before paying for the order make sure to contact the seller and ask for additional discount. Use the order number for reference.

Best places to shop online

more than 5,900,000 available products from 44 different categories from different Chinese manufactories
user friendly
very reliable
DealExtreme is one of the most well known Chinese shopping sites
largest online Chinese store with almost 5 million products

Where do you normally shop online?

See results

Amazing profits

Some items can be sold at up to 10 times their value. That is a true power of buy-and-sell business idea! The secret is to specialize!

Ski mask - average buying price 2$ - selling price from 6$

Ski masks are great for winter sports as well as for motorcycles
Ski masks are great for winter sports as well as for motorcycles

What to buy?

Picking the right product is always a struggle. One way to go is to pick an item that you can actually use yourself. For example, pick an item related to your hobby. If you own a GoPro, try ordering different accessories. Selling these have proven a success as their retail prices are much higher compared to what you will pay for them. Sometimes it is a good idea to find a really inexpensive product like phone case or warm outdoor mask. At first, different items can be bought in order to find a niche. Once you figure out what works best for you, you can just stick with these items.

Personally, for me selling motorcycle gear and accessories has been a success. Items like tank pads, heated grips, protective gear (gloves, shin guards, helmets and boots) are easy to sell as they are always in demand.

Ski mask: buying price 4$ - selling price from 13$

Goggles like these can be used for snowboarding or skiing
Goggles like these can be used for snowboarding or skiing

Tips on how to avoid scam

  • If the price is too good to be true, it almost ALWAYS IS! Rather than buying the cheapest item available, have a look at the feedback and do some research on what prices do other sellers offer.
  • Be careful when buying name brand products. These are probably fake items and might get stopped at customs.
  • When using platform like Aliexpress, never pay the seller directly to their bank account, even if they ask you to.
  • Do not confirm delivery before receiving the order. Once you confirm it has arrives, no disputes can be made.
  • Consider the seller’s feedback information before deciding to buy from them.

How to sell?

Now that your orders have finally arrived, how to sell them? Look at your options. Does your country have a website for aftermarket goods? Auctions like Ebay are also good, but be prepared for fierce competition. Another option is your own website or blog. Have you been blogging about books? Offer your readers notebooks, bookmarks or memo pads. Have you enjoyed last release of Iphone? Why not offer some nice extras like earphones, covers and screen protectors? Be creative and add value to your readers. Selling online has never been easier!

It is possible to offer items with delivery directly to the customer. Not a single packet I received had any price on the items. This is a popular option on Ebay - goods are coming directly from China. Beware, however, that you need to have reliable partner and quality needs to be checked.

Last but not least - you can always offer items to your friend list on Facebook.

Dashboard camera - buying price 15$ - selling price from 35$

Dashboard cameras are getting extremely popular as thy are cheap and efficient.
Dashboard cameras are getting extremely popular as thy are cheap and efficient.

How to get profit?

Earning profit is the goal in any business, and this one is no exception. Profit can be achieved in different ways.

1) By buying expensive items and making larger profit from selling just a few items

2) By buying cheaper items in higher volumes and making small profit per item.

Whichever option you chose, make sure to think this through properly as you do not want to be stockpiling inventory. Selling in high volumes may mean more trips to post office which could result in higher fuel/time cost for you.


Be creative!

It is always a good idea to offer something unique. For those who are creative, ordering supplies may mean booming profits. As an example consider crafting unique, personal birthday cards. Adding a little extra value is what will make your product stand out. Have you been thinking about throwing a party and need decoration ideas. There are plenty of them! Think of a way to combine a few things and use this powerful resource to help you master your idea. In the end - your customer doesn't know the origin of products you are offering.



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      Jacobb9205 3 years ago

      Wow great ways to earn money, thank you!