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Selling DVD Box Sets From China - My Unforgettable Venture

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Fathom, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Fathom

    Fathom Power Member

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    I would like to share my venture of selling DVD box sets from China and why it’s no longer worth pursuing.

    I’m not sure exactly, but about 5-6 years ago I had stumbled across a website called dhgate.com, the first time I saw it I thought to myself, I would never buy anything from a site like this. The site looked like a cheap eBay but a Chinese version. I could clearly see that the merchandise was fake and had no idea if anything even worked.

    One day I just decided to place an order as other people were selling similar items on eBay with a 50% profit margin, as I can remember my first order on dhgate was Friends seasons 1-10 and I probably still have it somewhere in the house.

    A couple of months later my collection grew and I was selling more and more on eBay, at this point I was probably making £2000 extra each month ontop of my normal job, I was a night security guard at a museum and absolutely hated it, but I was happy to have extra cash laying about.

    After about 3 months of selling on eBay, suddenly my items would get flagged and removed, at this time there was a big thing on TV about how eBay sells so much fake goods from china, and as I remember ebay.fr actually received a massive fine for selling fake goods. EBay UK was now onto this whole fake DVD box Sets and I was suffering.

    There was one box set that I could sell that would not get flagged and that was a Michael Jackson briefcase of his tour. I was not selling many of these and wanted to expand, so I started to sell taylormade golf clubs, this went very well for a few weeks until my listings started to be removed again. I lost a lot of money on these golf clubs as I’m guessing eBay would tell my customers that the golf clubs were fake and that resulted in my customers returning the items and getting their money back. I never sold on eBay again.

    A month later I was on holiday from work for 2 weeks and decided to make my own website of DVD box sets. I probably spent 18 hours every day creating that website, My supplier would take pictures specifically for me. I was using some site called tigercommerce or something as i had no idea how to create a website. My knowledge of SEO was extremely limited, but I did manage to sell some box sets from Google’s search engine. I was getting maybe 10 sales a month, but I wanted more, I was eager to take advantage of this opportunity, but my keywords were not ranking well.

    A few months had past and my sales were not getting better, I was getting frustrated at this point and decided to look for a SEO specialist. I found a company called loveclients and at the time were charging $400 per month, but I decided to go with their 1 year package which would include a custom install of magento and fresh content on each of my pages and would include 2 months for free.

    6 months later I had a beautiful looking site, but my sales were not better, I was pissed off with those guys at loveclients, and decided to look into PPC.

    I found a company, sorry, can’t remember the name but they would only charge £100 to set up the campaign, find all the relevant keywords, make the ad’s, and they would only charge 10% each month after. I originally started off with £20 a day budget, but I was getting a conversion of 1 sale for every £5 spent, this was easy and that £20 budget soon turned into £700, that’s over $1000 a day on adwords, I couldn’t handle the business at this stage as so many orders were coming in and going out, I even switched to drop shipping, but my supplier couldn’t handle all of the work either. I had friends and family helping me process my orders, and then bang, back to reality, PayPal kept holding my money, I needed that money to pay my adwords and pay my supplier. I was kind of relieved as I could now regroup and organise myself a little better. PayPal kept doing this problem every few days, and would usually happen when taking large amounts of money out of the account.

    I would get a few disputes here and there on paypal, but I just refunded those guys as I was still making £5000+ A DAY.

    Then came the day it all ended for me, apparently someone sent hostgator a dmca report and they decided to take my site down, it was the 5th of December and my sales were going crazy. Hostgator would not put my site back up.

    I knew this business was risky and would probably see me locked up if I continued the way I was.

    A month later I decided to go in partnership with a friend, but this time we would cover our tracks. We moved to Latvia, the land of infinite beautiful Russian girls. These girls loved guys with money. We opened an office, had girls ready to process the orders, type on live chat and we even had hosting from Russia, and this caused a problem due to unreliability and speed.

    We would pay these Russian girls to open PayPal accounts for us to use, so if 1 had been limited, we still had others to play with. Now the magic was in these PPC keywords and ads, but this time, things were a little different, there was competition and we had to match those prices. Things were going well for a little while, but with the constant slowness of the site, the competition, the chargebacks, the boxset not being delivered due to Chinese customs, things were no longer worth it.

    The market had now been saturated and was just not worth it. I would look behind my shoulder constantly and was so paranoid I would get arrested.

    I do not do this business anymore, but if you are looking for a DVD box set supplier in China let me know, I’ll pass you on the my good friend Li.

    Fathom
     
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  2. SilverSultan

    SilverSultan Regular Member

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    Wow Cool sotry bro, I was thinking of setting up a replica site, and I now of a way to host the website in Egypt in an annomous server I live in US, good luck for interpol to track me there :) lol what you think, maybe this would work better, because the speed of the internet would not be affected, cause your in US but all your info etc in Egypt LOL
     
  3. VanillaH

    VanillaH Regular Member

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    Off-topic, what was the quality of the DVD sets?
     
  4. Fathom

    Fathom Power Member

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    They were normal dvd quality. had the occasional dud disc here and there though.

     
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  5. omg123

    omg123 Regular Member

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    sounds like you had a whale of a time while it lasted.
     
  6. Livendieinla

    Livendieinla Newbie

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    This is exactly what I'm looking for. Me and my friend invested money into buying DVDs from china he had the connect I would do the selling. So we ended up purchasing many DVDs but when it came down to selling he decided to go rogue on me and he cut me out. I'm great at selling anything online but I don't have the connection for DVDs. To top it all off this was my idea now he's making a killing and I'm stuck trying to find good quality DVDs with no luck. I'm new to this site and your post brought me here I signed up but I can't private message you because I need 15 posts. If you can private message me and help me I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
     
  7. XXX-Guy

    XXX-Guy Junior Member

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    I can get you top quality DVD's from China. I personally review all movies before shipment.
     
  8. bluenose10

    bluenose10 Junior Member

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    Hi , wow you had it made man, i to have just had my account stopped at paypal and ebay been broke for years just got on to something good and they shut me down but im looking at money bookers and other options,, Love to no the contact details of your friend in China if poss to give me them.

    Good Luck In The Future Bro.

    mark
     
  9. SmokeScreen

    SmokeScreen Registered Member

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    Loved the story! This is a reminder to scale up when you're making money, but always be looking for the next cash cow. Unless you completely dominant a market, if you're making a lot of money eventually you will have competition.

    Build, scale, rinse repeat!
     
  10. FrankWhite

    FrankWhite Newbie

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    Hey can you pm me please?!
     
  11. barzilai

    barzilai Newbie

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    how can i get in touch?
     
  12. BossLadyT

    BossLadyT Newbie

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    I am interested but I can't pm yet. Are there pieces of tissue around disks? Or do the look like DVD's you buy in US?
     
  13. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin BANNED BANNED

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    Hey Bro, you story is one of those guts and glory stories remind me of my old days and replicas you took me back a few years, but always remember those ventures are not long term so u have to set your plan up ahead of time when u make 10k-50k what are u gonna do with it? I call these ventures "pump and dump" ventures get a few thousand then dump the site somewhere, and move on to something better.

    if you ever go broke you know you have something there that can be a resource to put you back on your feet really fast but again ONLY! when you are flat broke.
     
  14. baldylfc

    baldylfc Newbie

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    hi there i sell dvd box set at moment but supplier not very good if possible could you put me in touch with your friend i can assure you i am not a messer and he will be happy with my orders many thx baldylfc
     
  15. pureharp

    pureharp Newbie

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    Hi, Ive been trying to get into this business and was wondering if you could possibly give me any contact information. Thank you!