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Making Money Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
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jamaicabound Offline
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Post: #51
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Here's a quick tip for anyone just getting their feet wet. Most stuff on Alibaba is also available on Ali Express. Rather than deal with the headaches of alibaba and trying to get samples just place an order on ali express, you'll have it in about two weeks, you can check the quality, maybe even buy 5 or 10 and just do a test sale on ebay or amazon to make sure they sell and then go to Alibaba and place your large order. I find it a huge hassle asking for samples or small orders as I think like others have mentioned so many tire kickers who are never going to buy the people on alibaba ignore a lot of requests for samples or small orders.

Another tip I would advise not buying any programs, especially not any progams costing thousands of dollars. You'd be better served to just start buying inventory and learning through trial and error. There's also plenty of resources online about how to do FBA, how to import, etc. There's a couple great youtubes who cover every aspect of private labeling, how to send in your items for FBA, how to order from Alibaba, etc.

I have a question for any of you more experienced Alibaba guys.I've been dealing with a guy through Alibaba for a while and he always shipped my stuff DHL by plane, it would come to my door, etc. I'm starting to look into some new products and not dealing with the same supplier and I'm getting myself confused about shipping terms such as FOB, DDU, DDP, etc. I believe FOB means they get it to the port and I need a freign forwarder to get it the rest of the way to me. Which abbreviation or acronym is for direct to my door?
(This post was last modified: 10-02-2015 08:29 AM by jamaicabound.)
10-02-2015 08:21 AM
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mammal Offline
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Post: #52
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
The BIG question is, what can you do that others can't? The answer usually is not much. I've bought books from Amazon,most shipped from the US. And many dirt cheap so there is very little margin to the seller. I'm thinking of a book advertisedfor one cent plus 3.99 shipping. After Amazon takes a bit off the shipping, and the seller pays USPS for shipping, there might be 50 cents left (certainly less than a dollar) for the seller to pay the shipping envelope and labor of mailing and a few pennies left to pay fixed expenses(warehouse.)

I've bought a plug adapter from China. Of course Chinese manufacturers and sellers can sellthrough Amazon just like you and I can. And I've bought electronics manufactured in China (or elsewhere) sold and shipped by a US based seller.

So ... margins are thin.

Dropshipping (either the manufacturer/wholesaler shipping to the customer, or you sending a bulk shipment to Amazon (and Amazon doing the shipping to the customer) is more expensive because you're paying whoever does the shipping for their time and trouble (plus postage, plus shipping envelope or carton,which is marked upfrom what you could buy them for in quantity.)

Below are more answers to your questions:
quote='HonantheBarbarian' pid='1029144' dateline='1432589533']

1. Drop shipping vs having the inventory physically delivered to you >>>>> drop is more expensive but prevents you from getting stuck with unsalable inventory especially at first when you don't know whether somethign will sell. Also unethical dropshippers can steal your customer datatosend them their own catalogs.

2. What kind of numbers were you looking at in terms of initial start up costs and investment? >>>>>> very little for dropshipping. Cost of initial order if you ship yourself (you'll need to buy in quantity to get a good price.) Warehousing cost for big items.

3. Speaking of dropshipping, A thread I read on another forum states that the guy just purchases the item directly from another supplier i.e Best Buy and has them ship it directly to the buyer's address

If im understanding this correctly, he waits for the money to be deposited in his account and then buys the product, >>>>>>
No, he would have to pay first and then wait for his money from Amazon.
Not unethical, but counting on the rare few unsopgisticated enough to buy from Amazon and not check the price elsewhere. Also, there is probably another seller on Amazon trying to play the same game (buy from Best Buy, resell for more) so margins would be razor thin.

4. I know a lot of sellers import from China real cheap and sell on Amazon for a profit and make a decent income that way. Without giving too much away what are some good examples of the types of products/goods used to achieve this method? Also how big of orders did you have to buy to initially break into this?>>>>>>>>> As stated above, Chinese sellers can sell on Amazon. What can you do that they can't? Obviously items that have a high value to weight ratio (electronics, small light items like a voltage converter) not bricks and lumber.

5. Ive heard Amazon's fees are pretty high at something like ~15%. How do you factor this in?>>>>>> Look at the lowest price an item is selling for. Subtract Amazon fees, cost of product, shipping,cost of returned merchandise somehow damaged/used which you can no longer resell as new. Is there any money left?

6. What kind of numbers did/is this amazon business generating in your experience?>>>>>>>> For 99% of sellers very little. Onceyou consider the value of their time they would be better off working a minimum wage job.

there is just an overload of gimmicky information claiming $20k in 5 weeks and its becoming a bit dizzying to sift through it all on google. I just want some realistic, real life examples of this.>>>>>>>>>>>>> Beware of companies that advertise books on how to do this, sources of cheap imports, catalogs for items they dropship etc. Ask yourself if making money this way is so easy why do they want competition?
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10-02-2015 10:37 AM
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Tiz724 Offline
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Post: #53
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
NOT an endorsement, but for those looking at Amazon who are the course taking type, Jim Cockrum seems pretty legit and has been around a while.

IMO a much better alternative to ASM and that $$$ price for a course ($300 range instead of thousands)

Google his name and "Amazon Course"
(This post was last modified: 10-03-2015 12:31 PM by Tiz724.)
10-03-2015 12:26 PM
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Belgrano Offline
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Post: #54
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(10-02-2015 08:21 AM)jamaicabound Wrote:  I have a question for any of you more experienced Alibaba guys. I've been dealing with a guy through Alibaba for a while and he always shipped my stuff DHL by plane, it would come to my door, etc. I'm starting to look into some new products and not dealing with the same supplier and I'm getting myself confused about shipping terms such as FOB, DDU, DDP, etc. I believe FOB means they get it to the port and I need a freign forwarder to get it the rest of the way to me. Which abbreviation or acronym is for direct to my door?

Should be DDP, delivered duty paid.

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10-03-2015 01:47 PM
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Philly215 Offline
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Post: #55
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(05-25-2015 04:32 PM)HonantheBarbarian Wrote:  I searched under "amazon" and "import" and found nothing that directly addressed this question, so if it is a redundant thread let me know. There is one thread about ecommerce and dropshipping but im more concerned with Amazon specifically.

Ive been doing some reading the past few days and noticed a few posts about importing various products from overseas or wherever and selling it on Amazon for a profit. I just wanted to see if any of the fellas here could possibly drop some knowledge about their experiences doing so. Im looking for ways to get a piece of the online pie and I figure someone else may also benefit from this info.


Ive been selling on Amazon for 3 years, completely self-taught. I do anywhere from $25k-$40K per month in sales. We don't use FBA, we fulfill ourselves from our own warehouse.

A few of the main questions that come to mind:

1. Drop shipping vs having the inventory physically delivered to you, which is preferable? They seem like two different practices but a lot of the material im reading seems to blend them together. There have to be obvious benefits/drawbacks to each.

Unless you are a really good internet marketer, affiliate marketer or have a huge list somehow, I would avoid drop shipping. The products are just as hard to find as buying them from a supplier. You will basically spend a few grand on a website, and man hours upkeeping the CSV for products with thin margins that no one is buying.

2. What kind of numbers were you looking at in terms of initial start up costs and investment?

For FBA its really just inventory. May need to rent some short term space and employees to sort.

3. Speaking of dropshipping, A thread I read on another forum states that the guy just purchases the item directly from another supplier i.e Best Buy and has them ship it directly to the buyer's address and has them (best buy) mark it as "gift" so that the buyer cant see what it actually cost the seller.

If im understanding this correctly, he waits for the money to be deposited in his account and then buys the product, has it "dropshipped" directly without ever handling the actual product and takes in whats left as his cut. This seems a bit shady and underhanded, but a lot of people seem to be doing it. He says his clients are more than happy with their product/prices and it all falls within his promised 7-10 days of delivery time. During this course he has supposedly invested $0 and uses UPC codes to mass upload several units at once.


This is a slippery slope. You'll still need capital, and still will need man hours. I don't think you can ever list and sell enough stuff this way to make it worth your time. Plus Amazon is super strict with their policies, and I can't imagine this will be good for your account health long term. I just don't think this makes money.

This is the thread I was reading in case anyone else wants to check it out:
link

4. I know a lot of sellers import from China real cheap and sell on Amazon for a profit and make a decent income that way. Without giving too much away what are some good examples of the types of products/goods used to achieve this method? Also how big of orders did you have to buy to initially break into this?

You're going to have to figure this out on your own. Experience plain and simple. You can import from China, but there is a ton of good stuff in the US as it is. Plus if your importing from China, you still need to know how to market your "private label brand" off-page. We spend about $100K a month on product for our different sales channels. You can do a minimum order of 100-500 units from China, but you won't sell non branded products with much velocity. The least I spent on an order to China was $5000 for Shiatsu foot massagers. Make sure you trust your supplier. Its a nervous feeling wiring a few Gs to a Chinese bank.

5. Ive heard Amazon's fees are pretty high at something like ~15%. How do you factor this in?

Amazon takes 15%, we offer free shipping, so that take out another 9-10% from the margins.

6. What kind of numbers did/is this amazon business generating in your experience?

We do $25-40k a month depending on velocity and how good our buying was. We could do over $100k a month on Amazon, but we choose to sell in other channels. Eventually we may try to expand in Amazon.

I also wouldn't spend a ton of money on a course. Use it to test inventory. I figured it out, so will you. Its pretty much a template, there isn't much creativity behind it.

Use Amazon as a sales channel and income. Keep in mind all these channels can kick you off whenever you want, and there is never an exit strategy. You can't sell your storefront, or your list. For us its great for monthly sales, but you also have to diversify, because you don't have much control over your distribution.

Forgive me if these are basic questions, there is just an overload of gimmicky information claiming $20k in 5 weeks and its becoming a bit dizzying to sift through it all on google. I just want some realistic, real life examples of this.
10-03-2015 08:41 PM
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renotime Offline
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Post: #56
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
The Amazing Seller podcast is a great resource on FBA.

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10-14-2015 01:22 PM
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Philly215 Offline
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Post: #57
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(10-14-2015 01:22 PM)renotime Wrote:  The Amazing Seller podcast is a great resource on FBA.

Yes, its great. I just got into with this thread. We will be diving back into private label thanks to the podcast. Have a split of wholesale and private label. Great tips.
10-15-2015 07:51 AM
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jamaicabound Offline
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Post: #58
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
I'd love to mess with hoverboard but I don't feel like having a bunch of credit card chargebacks 3 months from now when they are all broken. I have a pretty good hustle going on Craigslist though, obviously all cash with no warranties or anything.

I've done a bit of private labeling but all with simple products, I'm finally starting to get into some stuff where I have to create my own packaging and I'm finding that a little more challenging.
10-15-2015 09:12 AM
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Vacancier Permanent Offline
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Post: #59
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
I moved about a month ago to China to the city where the HQ of Alibaba/Ali Express and Taobao are located. Not only that, the region around (Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Yiwu etc...) is filled with factories. I'm going to be going to the factories, inspecting my own products in person at the factory directly. This is the main reason I chose the city I am for its super strategic location.

I've been looking at FBA for a few months but now that I'm at the very source of things, I'll pull the trigger in the next week or so and select a product to start with. This is by far, the most challenging part of this whole FBA biz from what I gather so far.

Agreed with the Jamaiacabound, don't waste your $ on courses! Best way to learn is by doing! Or better yet, come to China where it's at really. The Amazing Seller podcast is a gold mine! That's really the only "course" you'll ever need. And best part? It's free! Smile

As Scott, the host of that podcast always says, "Take Action!".

Any interests in here to start an RVF FBA mastermind group?
(This post was last modified: 10-15-2015 11:13 PM by Vacancier Permanent.)
10-15-2015 11:12 PM
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jamaicabound Offline
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(10-15-2015 11:12 PM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  I moved about a month ago to China to the city where the HQ of Alibaba/Ali Express and Taobao are located. Not only that, the region around (Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Yiwu etc...) is filled with factories. I'm going to be going to the factories, inspecting my own products in person at the factory directly. This is the main reason I chose the city I am for its super strategic location.

I've been looking at FBA for a few months but now that I'm at the very source of things, I'll pull the trigger in the next week or so and select a product to start with. This is by far, the most challenging part of this whole FBA biz from what I gather so far.

Agreed with the Jamaiacabound, don't waste your $ on courses! Best way to learn is by doing! Or better yet, come to China where it's at really. The Amazing Seller podcast is a gold mine! That's really the only "course" you'll ever need. And best part? It's free! Smile

As Scott, the host of that podcast always says, "Take Action!".

Any interests in here to start an RVF FBA mastermind group?

Hey there, would you be open to working with any of us forum members as our contact on the ground? Obviously take a cut for yourself or whatever that's what everyone on Alibaba is doing. I know lots of people think they are dealing with factories directly but obviously factories aren't sitting online talking to idiots about samples all day I realize it's all traders. I would definatley pay for an English speaking person to deal with me.

If your open to it drop me a PM. I'm ordering hover boards currently but about 4 out of every 10 orders of mine are "suspcious sellers" and orders are getting cancelled.

Hoverboards are just a small part of my hustles though I'm more into private labeling various kitchen products and camping products.
10-16-2015 10:02 AM
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killongy Offline
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Post: #61
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
I recently got into amazon FBA.

One of my suppliers recently kept asking me about selling on amazon.

Only a matter of time until they figure out how to write good copy
and take quality pictures.

Make bank before the influx begins is what id reccomend.

Another good side hustle is brokering off truckloads of
liquidations inventory to the chinese but it's a lot of work
finding the inventory then sifting out the tirekickers to find buyers
can take at least 4 weeks but you can make a nice 3-7k being the middle man.

Fimdinmg suppliers is the harder part and finding buyers is the tedious part with lots of email back and forth
10-17-2015 12:43 PM
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zoom Offline
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Post: #62
RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(10-15-2015 11:12 PM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  Any interests in here to start an RVF FBA mastermind group?

I'm down. Although I think it should be for general ecommerce, rather than just amazon.
10-17-2015 05:10 PM
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wi30 Offline
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
I'm in on any sort of mastermind group. Just read this thread for the first time. I have experience on Alibaba with a private label apparel company I stared with one of my buddies. It isn't doing much but I learned a ton about screening factories and negotiation. I have an excellent clothing contact but my company doesn't have money to spend on advertising so it's more or less at a standstill.

I'm reading every link posted on this thread now and would love to get a side hustle going.
(This post was last modified: 10-17-2015 05:54 PM by wi30.)
10-17-2015 05:53 PM
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jamaicabound Offline
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(10-17-2015 12:43 PM)killongy Wrote:  I recently got into amazon FBA.

One of my suppliers recently kept asking me about selling on amazon.

Only a matter of time until they figure out how to write good copy
and take quality pictures.

Make bank before the influx begins is what id reccomend.

Another good side hustle is brokering off truckloads of
liquidations inventory to the chinese but it's a lot of work
finding the inventory then sifting out the tirekickers to find buyers
can take at least 4 weeks but you can make a nice 3-7k being the middle man.

Fimdinmg suppliers is the harder part and finding buyers is the tedious part with lots of email back and forth

It's impossible for us in the states to compare with China prices but many people only buy from USA or don't want to wait the long shipping times.

Does anyone know how China gets such cheap shipping. I know those epackets are cheap but I see people on eBay selling trinket type stuff for under a buck with free shipping. I know the nail stickers or whatever other crap they sell probably cost a penny or two but I would imagine even slow shipping has to cost more than a buck from China.
10-19-2015 09:15 AM
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worldtraveler3 Offline
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
I see alot of people doing this Amazon FBA stuff in CHiang Mai.
Is there particularly need to be based there? compared to say like Bali Ubud (Bali did not seem like a center for this)?

What kind of initial investment is needed to get this stuff started (NOT by drop shipping)? I assume you need capital to buy the stock and warehouse fees.
(This post was last modified: 10-27-2015 01:35 AM by worldtraveler3.)
10-27-2015 01:33 AM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Capital wise, it's really up to you and how much you're comfortable with. I have heard of a guy who started with just 125 bucks and scaled it to 5 figures within a few months. Others I've heard started with 5-10k. It really depends on you, your bankroll and your goal and how aggressive you want to be from the get go.

As a rule of thumb, start with at least 500 to test the market, whether it's getting just a few units of a single product or you could get samples of 3-4 products and move forward with the best one. The goal at that stage is to validate a product even if initially you're not making any money.

What makes CM a great place to start an FBA or any online biz for that matter is 1) the super cheap cost of living and high quality of life and 2) the networking opportunities as it's a major hub for location independent and aspiring LEs.

Bali, despite its mesmerizing beauty is not a hub for that for the simple reason that internet is still very spotty and not as reliable as say CM.
(This post was last modified: 10-27-2015 09:33 AM by Vacancier Permanent.)
10-27-2015 09:31 AM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Hubud (a co working space in Ubud Bali), does have fast internet, usually speeds at 8-10 mbps. However it does not open 24-7, hence it would be difficult to have fast internet at night when you are working on a project or contacting people over in different time zones.

The Mifi (3G internet hub which uses the sim card has alright speed, however it is still alot more expensive considering it is using 3G data, so you would have to watch for your usuage when doing data intensive work.
10-30-2015 06:21 AM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Question to any of you guys doing private labeling: when it comes to the individual packaging of the product, for instance how there would be a little cardboard tag with brand insignia hooked onto clothes at the store, or how a pack of kitchen utensils will come in a cardboard sleeve, is it the supplier on alibaba for instance who does that or do you do that after getting the products into the states?
12-01-2015 12:56 PM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Time to get off Amazon and go through your own site.

They just raised USPS prices 25-30% for sellers while Amazon gets free shipping for themselveEs.

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01-25-2016 12:08 PM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Some good information in this thread!
01-25-2016 01:32 PM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(12-01-2015 12:56 PM)aeroektar Wrote:  Question to any of you guys doing private labeling: when it comes to the individual packaging of the product, for instance how there would be a little cardboard tag with brand insignia hooked onto clothes at the store, or how a pack of kitchen utensils will come in a cardboard sleeve, is it the supplier on alibaba for instance who does that or do you do that after getting the products into the states?

I am looking for some insights on this too.

It seems that if you're going to ship it directly to Amazon warehouses, it's best to pay your supplier to add the label. But in that case, what's stopping the supplier from ripping your product off?

Do they want to avoid the risk?

The other option would be to order inventory to your house, dress it yourself, then ship to amazon. Yes it'll take time, but depends on your product and how much you want to protect the market share.

It'd be great if someone already involved in FBA could chime in...

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04-26-2016 07:13 PM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
You can have your freight forwarder/shipping agent hande the FBA inbound shipping labels so your supplier doesn't know where your order is going.
04-26-2016 08:08 PM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Its harder these days. You will want to target higher ticket products.

If you don't have 5k (preferably 10k) to invest I would go for another model.
04-26-2016 08:11 PM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
Another question: where is another place to hunt for legitimate suppliers?

While registering for Alibaba, they flagged my account and asked me to submit a copy of my passport for identification. Fuck that. I don't care what website it is, none are getting a copy of my fuckin passport.

Obviously I've searched Google and gotten a few leads, but there has to be a better alternative.

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04-28-2016 04:37 PM
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RE: Is anyone importing/selling/dropshipping products on Amazon as a side hustle?
(04-28-2016 04:37 PM)redbeard Wrote:  Another question: where is another place to hunt for legitimate suppliers?

While registering for Alibaba, they flagged my account and asked me to submit a copy of my passport for identification. Fuck that. I don't care what website it is, none are getting a copy of my fuckin passport.

Obviously I've searched Google and gotten a few leads, but there has to be a better alternative.

That is very strange. Never happened to me or to any one that I know.

Other decent b2b portals are http://www.made-in-china.com and http://www.hktdc.com.

I try to avoid Alibaba when I can.
(This post was last modified: 04-28-2016 09:52 PM by skptc.)
04-28-2016 09:50 PM
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