How To Turn $2000 into $50,000

43 replies
Hey folks,

Been a while since i posted here

Been very busy on some projects i have going on..

But here's something i thought i'd just share based on my own experience of how i turned some savings of $2000 into $50,000, all from importing, and reselling on eBay..

I had $2000 in savings, so i went over to eBay.com and looked around to see what was selling well...

I then identified a market (the health and Beauty market) to be precise

For a few months i first watched which sellers where doing well, and i kept an eye on them for a while, keeping track of the sales they were getting, i took lots of notes on how how many units certain powersellers sold each day, and per month.

At the same time i was locating suppliers from China (The Worlds Factory) via alibaba.com.

I emailed them for price lists and identified which products were similar to the products already in the market but different or a term i like to use is ''Uniquely similar''.

I found a product that was a new design, and nobody else was selling them.

Next, i ordered a couple samples, and checked it out to make sure it was ok, and i did background checks on the supplier/manufacturer to see if they were legit.

Once everything was ok with that, i went over to elance.com to hire a graphic designer to design me a brand.

I then got the brand design sent via email to the manufacturer and i ordered 100 units of my own branded health and beauty products.

Once i got them, i then already knew what to do and i had everything setup ready to go, i had my ebay shop open my turbo lister ready to go and everything else ready.

It started a little slow for the first couple weeks while i had little feedback, but after that things started to take off.

I started adding the testimonials the buyers were giving me into the sales copy and that added heaps to the conversion.

It did not take long before i sold all of the first 100 units, and when i was nearly out of stock i reinvested the profits into a couple more hundred and repeated the process.

The real trick with this process, was the fact i had rebranded my own exclusive product to fit the market and it effectively killed my competition.

Once again when i was running low on stock i reinvested the profits straight back into more stock and just kept multiplying my profits.

Well, before i knew it, i had $50,000 sitting in my business bank account which i also setup before hand.

And all this started from $2000 and it took less than a year to do..

So there ya go thats what i did.. and it worked well.

I hope its of some kind of value to anybody here, feel free to ask questions.

#$50 #turn
  • Profile picture of the author HVP
    When you spend months researching on eBay for a product, what specifically caught your eye about the product? What tips would you give someone who is looking to capitalize on a niche market on eBay.

    I guess for me, the part I'm trying to understand is how to identify what it is that I'm looking for. Health and Beauty is very broad, did you focus on a specific area like weight loss, etc???
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    • Profile picture of the author loybond
      Yeah, I agree, it'd be awesome if you could shed some more light on how you found products that perform well.

      Originally Posted by HVP View Post

      When you spend months researching on eBay for a product, what specifically caught your eye about the product? What tips would you give someone who is looking to capitalize on a niche market on eBay.

      I guess for me, the part I'm trying to understand is how to identify what it is that I'm looking for. Health and Beauty is very broad, did you focus on a specific area like weight loss, etc???
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  • Profile picture of the author loybond
    Great post! Very inspiring. If yo don't mind me asking, how many units were you selling per week? Did you have the courier pick your materials on a daily/weekly basis? And did you have any trouble with Paypal? I ask these questions because a short-lived eBay adventure gave me a bunch of issues... just wondering how you dealt with them.
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  • I have always been interested in having my own products. How did you find a legit supplier that would brand stuff for you?
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    • Profile picture of the author Money on the Side
      Originally Posted by Charles Montgomery View Post

      I have always been interested in having my own products. How did you find a legit supplier that would brand stuff for you?
      Most manufacturers (if not all) in China will brand stuff for you for a slightly higher cost.
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  • Profile picture of the author iplusgold
    I'm just wondering how you managed to find a manufacture that would re-brtand your items for you in small quantities...that in itself is a major feat. BTW congratulations....and are you still selling on ebay?
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  • Profile picture of the author Buildingfutures
    Fantastic story. If anyone should take away any kind of lessons from this, they should be:

    PATIENCE AND LEVERAGE!

    By waiting patiently, Dan found the perfect niche to get himself into, and knew exactly what his plan of attack was. He had some startup cash that he planned on using too.

    Once he got the ball rolling, he then leveraged his testimonials into making more sales, and leveraged his money so he could be making more and more and more profit each week.

    Again, fantastic story, and this is something that people should take something away from.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
    HVP - I aimed for a good ROI, so i bought product at £15 per unit, and sold for £47 per unit. Another thing is to make sure the product is light and and as small as possible as it makes things easier. So small as you can get with a good ROI. ANd yes i did focus on a sub niche.

    Loybond - was selling around 10-20 units per day, average. I never had a problem with paypal except at the start because there is this stupid thing where paypal hold payment until the customer gets the product. But thats only until you reach a certain feedback level. I also actually fullfilled orders myself at first, stuck them in a big plastic bag and jumped in the car to take them to the post office. I had next door neighbours kid wrap the items up in brown paper :-)

    It was actually just good research to find the market, look at what others are doing model it or improve the process, do the correct research like doing advanced searched on specific item titles too see how much they sell per day etc.

    The way in which i got smaller amout of stock and rebranded was simply explaining what i had planned to the manufacturer.

    I told them my plan of attack, that i would start small and increase the order size once i was getting profits, i also built a good relationship with the supplier, most of them you can add to MSN messenger and chat to them, im really good friends with my supplier now :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I did this, too... I was spending $25 for products which I was selling for $80-$140 -and I started the auctions at 99 cents, no reserve!

    But then I got shut down by paypal for several months, and ended up with 30 days worth of supply in my garage and no sales outlet with anywhere near the turnover as ebay Oh, and I had more in the pipeline being manufactured.

    Originally Posted by iplusgold View Post

    I'm just wondering how you managed to find a manufacture that would re-brtand your items for you in small quantities...that in itself is a major feat. BTW congratulations....and are you still selling on ebay?
    Many of the manufacturers I talked with would do this with a minimum order of a $2000-$3000.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
    BTW - to makes things easier there are tools you can use like www.terapeak.com which is a ebay research tool... will tell you alot ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Extremely cool plan, Dan!....you really covered all the bases.

    I've dealt with foreign suppliers years ago and did run into language problems sometimes. Was that ever a problem for you?...Was there ever a problem with defective merchandise or customer returns? ...Again it sounds like you did an awesome job.
    _____
    Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
    Yeh the guy i used to speak to was not so bad with english, i chat to him on MSN messenger. Sometimes he will have a little trouble understanding, but most of the time h'es fine. I have spoken to other supplier also and they always seem pretty fine.

    Yes i had a few returns, and a couple of defective products, but thats part of business i geuss :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author BigBenForCanton
    Kind of a variation on Vincent James with the private-label angle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Money on the Side
    Good post, Dan...

    I've done this sae thing a few times. And it's funny, I just placed a sample order today from China for my 4th product that will cost me $18 and will sell for around $100. The MOQ is 200 units.

    One thing I've learned is that it is important to ask for and order a sample product first. It seems like most companies want you to jump right in with a large order, but insist on a sample first. This will cost you about what you're going to sell it for, but it will be worth it...trust me.

    Also, if you use Alibaba, be sure only to deal with Gold Members. I know a few people who have been ripped off on Alibaba when not using Gold Members.

    I've done this a few times as well...both through ebay and through direct marketing (via postcard). It's a bit to start up but if you do your research, you can really do well.

    Now, Dan, you have a legitimate business that you can actually sell for a big profit.

    In fact, if you play it right, you can make some SERIOUS money this way:

    Find your product(s)
    Buy the MOQ
    Set up a website/domain
    Sell almost all your products (make a nice profit)
    Do it all over again...or
    Sell your business! Yes, you now have a business that you can SHOW a hefty profit. It's really like FREE money. Transfer the domain name and website to the new buyer, give them your manufacturers info, etc and find the next product.

    The people through Alibaba are pretty easy to deal with and I've never had any problems. Most of the companies employ English speakers to handle their English speaking customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
      Nice post Dan. I did a similar thing on Ebay a few years back now. If you have capital to invest and storage facilities (secure one) then you can turn goods around quickly.
      You might like to check out http://www/globalresources.com as well. This has a lot of far eastern companies that often 'brand' goods for major Western companies. I looked at selling branded plasma TV's just after they come out and cost a few thousand pounds but ran into problems of storage and insurance.

      Rich
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    • Profile picture of the author dean_holland
      Originally Posted by killercopy View Post

      Good post, Dan...

      I've done this sae thing a few times. And it's funny, I just placed a sample order today from China for my 4th product that will cost me $18 and will sell for around $100. The MOQ is 200 units.

      One thing I've learned is that it is important to ask for and order a sample product first. It seems like most companies want you to jump right in with a large order, but insist on a sample first. This will cost you about what you're going to sell it for, but it will be worth it...trust me.

      Also, if you use Alibaba, be sure only to deal with Gold Members. I know a few people who have been ripped off on Alibaba when not using Gold Members.

      I've done this a few times as well...both through ebay and through direct marketing (via postcard). It's a bit to start up but if you do your research, you can really do well.

      Now, Dan, you have a legitimate business that you can actually sell for a big profit.

      In fact, if you play it right, you can make some SERIOUS money this way:

      Find your product(s)
      Buy the MOQ
      Set up a website/domain
      Sell almost all your products (make a nice profit)
      Do it all over again...or
      Sell your business! Yes, you now have a business that you can SHOW a hefty profit. It's really like FREE money. Transfer the domain name and website to the new buyer, give them your manufacturers info, etc and find the next product.

      The people through Alibaba are pretty easy to deal with and I've never had any problems. Most of the companies employ English speakers to handle their English speaking customers.

      KILLER tip there !!

      The idea of selling the business on once showing profit is GREAT !


      Good post Dan, Great acheievement brother !


      Dean
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      Follow My Journey To Online Success > www.DeanHolland.com
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  • Profile picture of the author gxd5
    Finding a good overseas dropshipper is more profitable (imho) than trying to set up a point of distribution here. With our Pakistani suppliers, we have them dropship most of our orders directly to the customer. We provide them with shipping labels that they simply stick on the boxes with our logo.

    If you carry stock, inevitably you will have to deal with things like returns, etc. The less actually STUFF you have to deal with, the better off you will be. Sometimes, you absolutely have to stock things. But, it is completely possible to set up offshore dropshipping with the manufacturers, provided you know how to negotiate with them properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author gxd5
    Regarding samples, those are a MUST. But don't pay for them. Any serious company will provide free samples to you prior to your initial order. If they do not, then your online presence probably indicates that you are just some dude in a basement, and not a 'real' company. Either that, or you just don't know that you don't have to pay for samples.

    Well, you DONT.

    These overseas manufacturers do not work like we do here in the US. They are fiercely competitive for clients and orders. You can't be afraid to use leverage when dealing with them. Language can be a barrier at times, but money talks. IF they think you are going to place a large order, they will most certainly send you a sample free of charge.

    A lot of this depends on how you conduct yourself. Act like you've been there before. If a company refuses to give me free samples, I simply dismiss them and say, "You must be a small operation. We are looking to establish relationships with larger companies that will be able to handle our order volume. If you can't provide samples, you probably won't be able to fulfill. We are currently in contact with <competitor>, and they might be a better match for us."

    See if they don't come around.
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  • Profile picture of the author Craig Fenton
    Hi Dan:

    Great info and glad you were so profitable. When you mentioned about researching the wholesaler from China, what methods are available if the fine Warriors want to know free/paid to get legit information on merchants retail and wholesale outside of the country you reside?

    Thanks and hope you get another 50,000!
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  • Profile picture of the author bingbong
    Very inspiring story. It's hard to find real wholesaler nowaday. Many of them are just middleman. Any advice how to find real wholesaler. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
    In my case, to find out if the business was legit, i asked them if they had dealt with anybody else in the country, and they pointed a company out. Then all i did was contact the company and ask what the manufacturer was like to do business with.. they gave me all the info i needed. They were confirmed positive. :-)

    Killer Copy - would like to talk more about that with you.. i was thinking about selling my business. And mabye doing the same again after with something else.

    Another thing i have thought about doing to help others do the same, ie setup there own business by offering mentoring, mabye also even do the research for the client to. So i will find the market, mabye even find a legit supplier, offer the whole business plan.

    But that would take quite a bit of my time, so im not so sure.. but what do you guys think?
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  • Profile picture of the author rahmat
    Dan Briffa, that was an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I am pretty much surprised that you can sell product with very high ROI in ebay. Is that applied to health and beauty product only? Can you give some clues of other niche with high ROI?
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  • Profile picture of the author kphsax
    Dan,

    Is this now something that you can/will grow well beyond 50k per year, or is is something that will continue at that pace while you do it all over again with another product/niche?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
    Rahmat - no, its not just applied for H & B products, there are tons of markets, but you just have to dig them out. you can use tools like terapeak.com to help find them.

    kphsax - its something i could grow offline and online. If i can get a meeting with a buyer for a big retailer that would be cool...

    Could also expand it onto my own external website, or even on amazon.

    Im really not sure though, i was thinking of selling it, or somebody mentioned like a franchising type model, where i could sell the business model, like the supplier info and the brand name etc...

    Really not to sure what to do yet..
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  • Profile picture of the author ButcherBoy.BG
    Congratulations!
    Very positive and inspiring story!
    I bought before couple of weeks very good clone of HTC Diamond phone..because of 2 sim cards,and ofcourse good looking design...
    Outside phone was good,but I didnt like software and some small but very annoying bugs, so I decieded to sell it on our local phone market (online).
    I put advert about phone, stated clearly that's phone is not original, but clone,put video review and after 2 hours my friends I got over 100 calls!!!
    Despite fact that phone is clone it seems many people want to got it, cause they cant allow original. I sold it very fast and started thinking to order 20 phones and try again. The best thing is that shipping is free (from China!) and there are big discounts for over 10 phones ordered...So maybe I'll do it and write here my story,hehe!
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon74
    Hi Dan,
    Thank you so much for your great info, and congr...
    all the best for the next 50,000-100,000
    Good luck mate!
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  • Profile picture of the author Alminc
    Congrats Dan!
    You did a great job for yourself simply by working.
    Your story proves that there is no serious money
    without serious research and a lot of work.

    Almin
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    No links :)
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hi Dan,

    Good going!

    I read an ebook about doing this same thing a couple of months back, and no, I don't remember the authors name. I haven't tested it, but evidently it works. Thanks for varifying it.


    Mary
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
    Nice post.
    I have had nothing but problems though with alibaba suppliers. Not a single legit one, all scammers or bait and swicth operations. Cina is very difficult to find usable suppliers in if you are not on-site. My experience, anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author alexander13
    Dan,

    From your story the biggest reason for your success was good market and product research. This is 80% of the battle to business success.

    So many people don't do this. Or do it poorly. It's the biggest cause of failure.

    Kudos on your success and keep making good decisions based on the available info.
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  • Profile picture of the author dejoliet31
    Dan,

    Brilliant execution. I knew about the source but never thought about the unique branding step, etc. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel2010
    Thanks for this. Alibaba.com is a site I've visited over the years but I don't see how I could send money to them by wire transfer. I have been looking for 2 years for a personal recommendation but still waiting.

    I've heard bad stories about some Gold suppliers.

    Regarding those phones, the clones sell really well on ebay. These are differenet from fakes. There is a iPhone clone which is better and cost much less with a good ROI but again which supplier is reliable?

    There are some that will dropship also. Thanks again for letting us know that money can be made with auctions once research is done.
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  • Profile picture of the author edpudol1973
    Does this method will work any where in the world or best work in the US and North American countries.

    Here in the Philippines, I guess it's hard to make it work, first of all if the buyer is from US , UK or out side the Philippines, for sure most of them from out side the PHilippines. The postal fee is very expensive here.

    We have a plantation of White Calla Lily and First Class Upland Sweet Cavendish Bananas. I have tried once to sell it at ebay but my problem is that if the buyer only prefer to buy some piece of flowers or Banana. I will spend more than the price of my product. It's good if volume order.

    Does all your customers from US, or you're also shipping to other part of the world?
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  • Profile picture of the author swiminsoda
    I have dealt with some Alibaba Gold members in the pass and it's truely difficult to find genuinely good ones. My stock came damaged, out of shape and the dimension/ size was wrong, even after numerous clarifications over phone (I speak Mandarin) and chat. Another mistake was I should have insisted on getting references of past companies they have sold to to check on them.

    At the same time, I had to pay shipping cost to import to Malaysia and then sell to a mostly US based online market. So my prices were not as competitive as US seller who can even afford to include shipping free.

    It was not quite do-able for me. Still have stocks of hundreds of gift boxes in my guest room at home. Any idea how I should sell them on ebay?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
    Hello folks, many thanks for all the really good comments, i appreciate that thanks!!!

    I do agree, it is hard to find a good supplier, it just take time and patience. Once you do you build up relationships with them, and keep in constant contact via things like instant messengers.

    Also doing the background check on suppliers is really important, i would never do business with a company unless they gave me a reference to companies that they have already done business with..

    Also, you always get a few test samples first to make sure the products are good, and make sure that they have all the relevant safety marks and checks, and that they have the paperwork to back it up.

    If anybody is interested i do have a free ebook which i put together for people wanting to know a little more, its on my blog if you want to download it. It's called Zero to 50k in 6 months... i hope this helps.. the link to my blog is in my signature.

    If anybody has anymore questions please feel free to ask.

    I'll do my best to help.

    Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author ciked
      you leave the "health and beauty" category wide open for interpretation. Are you selling a product that is ingested or applied such as shampoo or gel? or are you selling a physical product that is used such as a comb or barret? The reason i ask is i am curious how you went about licensing and trademarking as well as fda approval for selling product if it is the chemical one. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
    ciked - it was a physical product.
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  • Profile picture of the author BigCashDetective
    I have been trying to get into the eBay scene for the longest time but I've had the worst luck with buying things from overseas and everything ends up being counterfeit! i'm convinced 99% of brand name items from china are infact fake...I can't put a price on it, but if you'd help me locate a profitable product I would be forever indebted to you
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  • Profile picture of the author WAL08
    It's great to see another eBay guy on here!

    Dan, your post is awesome. I have said this time and time again, eBay is the best way to make money online. (i'm new to IM so maybe this forum will change my mind)

    However, I've never rebranded products, I have had products designed here in the US and manufactured in China though.

    The most challenging aspect of eBay is managing the inventory / packaging and shipping and that's about it. Now USPS will come to you door to pick up your packages for free lol, but once you have a well oiled machine, it's like the brinks truck rolling up with cash every day.

    Tip*
    With each of your niche's you should have a separate user ID. I learned the hard way, with people copying me over and over again..(one guy specifically)

    Great post, and good luck to anyone trying to get into the ebay biz!

    William Leides
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Briffa
      Hey William

      Good stuff bro, yeah its better to have separate ebay store for different niches, instead of being a jack of all trades.. for sure!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ed Stas
    This is one of the best threads I have read in a long, long time. Frankly, I don't have a ton of experience in the import/export business, but this thread alone has given inspiration and ideas that might force me to add a new revenue stream to my company!
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  • Profile picture of the author eric w
    That's Good Dan......

    I firmly believe that ebay is the absolute fastest and easiest way for the newbie to make large amounts of money online!

    I sell several products from China on ebay and my best day was a few months ago when I made about $1,250 net profit in one day!

    I just recently entered the adwords and wordpress blog arenas, but I still find ebay to be my best and most stable money maker.

    I also discovered that there's a market for my product on craigslist and I manage to make about $105 net profit each sale, but i don't care much for face-to-face/cash transactions.

    Anyway, good to hear your success...

    eric
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexKaplo
    Awesome job bro,

    I always tell people to start off using eBay if they seriously want to quit their jobs.

    I started several eBay stores and still own many profitable ones, and the way I proceed to test products and markets is by doing number one doing keyword research, followed by checking the top players on Google, followed by who's are the powerseller in the niche and how & what are they selling a lot of. (Basically, study and emulate their every move)...

    Once I find a profitable niche & product. I test it myself by dropshipping products that way I have absolutely no capital to loose upfront and no risk whatsoever on my part, if I see a product is selling I start importing and grow a similar product line from there...

    Usually in the first 3-4 1/2 months I gain powerseller status.

    It's as simple as that.

    Best Regards,

    Alex
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