Is it a good side business to import stuff on Alibaba and sell it on eBay/Amazon?


Ultimately, you’re talking about starting a business.

Starting a business requires resources, mainly time and money (well, with dropshipping it’s mainly time).

You already have a job, thus time is probably not something you have (unless you really have time after work which you can spend on the new business).

Even if you sell online, you need to put in time if you are dealing with physical sales (meaning, you don’t do the dropshipping so you have to deal with import, logistics, storage, shipping).

First you need to understand how much time you will put in importing the goods and then shipping them. Even if it’s 2-3 packages a day, you will still need to import them, pay the import fees, repack them to look nicer and disguise the fact that they just arrived from China, go to the post to ship them (or book pickup which is usually more expensive and will decrease your profit margin).

I didn’t even mention the fact that you need to do quite a lot of research before you decide which products to sell (or simply read this step-by-step guide). There is a lot of junk out there, so be careful, the major eCommerce platforms (eBay, Amazon) are heavily in favor of the customers and any complaint you get from customers is most likely going to end up in their favor so you are at risk of losing the product, the money and your rating.

As others mentioned here, calculate your costs and make sure you can make a profit before deciding to import something. Remember all the costs:

  • Import and duty fees
  • Shipping fees
  • eBay/Amazon fees
  • Paypal/credit card fees
  • Packing materials cost
  • Your time (that’s the profit)
  • Cost of goods

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