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Looking to start a business? Read this inspiring story!

Kika Angelic

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Starting a business is a risky endeavor for anyone. When Rachel Lim set out to reinvent the retail industry, with no money of her own, she turned to the only person she could.

“I was bonded to the government, so I had to pay off the bond to stop school to start the business,” the Singaporean entrepreneur said. “I obviously didn’t have the money, so I had no choice but to go to my mom and ask for a loan.”

Lim’s mother was already working two jobs to support the family after the financial crisis crushed her dad’s shipbroking business. However, Lim said it was the pressure she needed to ensure her business was a success.

“That’s one of the reasons why I knew I could not fail. I could not let her down,” she said.

Highschool hustle

Lim is one of the co-founders of Love, Bonito, a female fashion brand tailored specifically for Asian shoppers.

The 32-year-old’s multimillion-dollar customized clothing line today adorns women and wardrobes from Hong Kong and Australia to the United States. But when she started out with sisters Viola and Velda Tan, and their secondhand clothes blog in Singapore some 15 years ago, that vision looked a long way off.

“My friends and I, we were still in school and we were just thinking of ways to earn extra pocket money,” recalled Lim.

“We thought: ‘Okay, why don’t we sell online our pre-loved clothes?’ Clothes that we would wear once, or twice, or wouldn’t wear it anymore,” she said.

In 2005, online retail was just starting out in Southeast Asia, but the appetite was growing fast as consumers gained rapid access to technology.

“People from, for example, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong would hear about us because they chanced upon the blog or the website. So that was when we realized that, hey, you can reach a lot of different people from all over the world … with just a click,” said Lim.

So, when the teens ran out of their own clothes to sell, they decided to up their game, pooling their $300 savings and traveling overseas to import more.

Reinventing the runway

That move got the ball rolling, taking the business, then called BonitoChico, from a pre-loved clothes blog to a fully-fledged fashion site.

But for Lim, something didn’t quite sit right.

“When we would import clothes to sell, there was always something that I wanted to change,” she said.A lot of international brands, they cater to European, American women that have very different body proportions.

“A lot of international brands, they cater to European, American women that have very different body proportions, skin tone, preferences and even climate.”

That realization sparked a new purpose for the young founders: To create a new fashion line specifically tailored to Asian women, with smaller sizes and kinder cuts.

So they gave the business a fresh look, changing the name to Love, Bonito — evoking a love letter to their customers — and creating in-house designs to better suit proportions.

To make real progress, however, the young entrepreneurs knew they had to commit.

So, in 2009, with just eight months of her teaching degree remaining, Lim quit university to focus on the business full time. She was joined at the time by Viola and Velda.

“I was juggling school and work, and I wasn’t excelling in both, and I realized that I had to focus on one,” said Lim, even if that meant leaning on her mom for support.

“She was really worried because online selling had barely just begun,” Lim said of her mom. “She was really worried that this wasn’t legal, or that the government would come after us.”

“But, at the end, she decided to take a leap of faith,” she said.

Fashion forward

It was that gamble that marked the start of Love, Bonito as it stands today.

In the years that followed, Lim and her co-founders doubled down on their dream to create an affordable and accessible fashion line for the Asian market.

That included recruiting a team of designers to execute the full creative process, from research and fabric selection to development and final production.

In 2014, Velda stepped back from Love, Bonito, but Viola remains in place today as a member of the board.

Meanwhile, Lim has established herself as the face of the brand and one of Southeast Asia’s rising women entrepreneurs. In 2016, aged 28, she was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30s in Asia. And in January 2020, she met with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to discuss start-ups in the city-state.

To date, the business has raised over $10 million from investors, including Japanese online retailer Kakaku.com, to help fund its expansion into a host of physical stores.

But Lim said the real win has been proving to her mom that her gamble paid off.

“Incrementally, I paid her back whenever I had any money at all,” said Lim. “Priority for me was that she wouldn’t need to work three jobs or work so hard and such long hours and days.”

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OnBuy shares latest news

Kika Angelic

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In their latest marketplace newsletter, OnBuy shared what they have new.

Unlike Amazon, OnBuy strives to never compete with independent retailers, according to their statement:

“We’re determined to change the way consumers view online marketplaces, and that starts with our fair approach and commitment to you, our retailers. We vow never to compete with you but to treat you as equal partners and provide the best environment for you to grow.”

They were also working on VAT compliance.

“If this change is applicable to you, you’ll notice this reflected in the ‘VAT collected’ column on the orders page and also in reports on the VAT collected for orders.”

OnBuy further shared the list of their upcoming events:

Garden & Outdoors is a big focus over the coming months, covering everything from gardening and furniture to camping and outdoor sports. 

Searches for all things garden started climbing in March, with high demand for garden storage, gardening products and garden furniture expected in late April – May.

We’ve also got promotional pushes planned around Father’s Day (from w/c 16th May), the Queen’s Jubilee (from w/c 9th May), summer bedding (from w/c 30th May) and travel/holidays (from June). 

Here you can view the whole OnBuy newsletter:

I hope you found this article helpful. Many Amazon sellers recently started trading stocks and crypto currencies, hoping to diversify their income, which is a very good idea with all the uncertainty which comes with the platform. For this reason, we launched a new Facebook group, Crypto Arbitrage Income (Bitcoin, Crypto, Altcoins, Blockchain, Trading) – feel free to join us and forget about the troubles of selling on Amazon for a moment!

Regarding Amazon Seller Performance, you can always participate in our Amazon Seller Performance – Friendly Advice – Worldwide group, where you will be very welcome.

If you are an Amazon Seller who needs help with any Amazon-related issues such as suspensions, listing blocks or is looking for professional assistance, please don’t hesitate to subscribe to my new OnlyFans page at: www.onlyfans.com/kikaangelic

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Etsy increases their selling fees

Kika Angelic

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This week, Etsy announced an increase of their transaction fees from 5% to 6.5%. Similarly to Amazon, they have done so in a form of a ”feel-good” positive announcement titled “Investing in Etsy’s growth: A message from CEO Josh Silverman”.

The whole notice starts with celebration of success of Etsy sellers and a mention of recorded increase of sales by 23%. It then proceeds to mention that selling fees are getting increased.

Etsy justifies the increase by saying that they invested into marketing, enforcing bad actors and improving customer support.

Here is a copy of the full announcement:

Dear Seller Community,

At Etsy, we’re focused on building a marketplace that allows sellers like you to turn your creativity and passions into real, money-making businesses. Last year, active sellers increased their sales by 23% on average compared to 2019, and in 2021 alone, we showed more than 90 million active buyers worldwide that there’s an alternative to big-box, automated shopping.

Together, we’ve made Etsy the global marketplace for unique and creative goods.

We plan to make significant investments in marketing, seller tools, and creating a world-class customer experience so we can continue this tremendous growth. To support this goal, on April 11 we will increase our current 5% transaction fee to 6.5%

This change will allow us to make improvements in three key areas: Bringing more buyers to Etsy: Last year, we spent nearly $600 million on marketing. This year we’ll be investing even more, including on TV commercials, influencers and tastemakers, billboards, podcast advertising, and email marketing that bring new buyers to Etsy. 

The support you need: We’ll grow our support team by more than 20% this year so you can get help more quickly and easily, including faster email responses, expanded access to live chat, and prioritization of your most urgent requests. 

Keeping Etsy unique: We’ll build on last year’s roughly $40 million investment in the teams and technology that help make our marketplace a safe and secure destination for handmade, vintage, and special items. This year we’ll expand our efforts to remove listings that don’t meet our policies and help you resolve issues with buyers. 

These are some of the great things we’ll invest in to keep Etsy a beloved, trusted, and thriving marketplace. We don’t take fee changes lightly, and we believe that these investments will enable Etsy, and our seller community, to continue to grow.

Thank you for making Etsy a one-of-a-kind marketplace. 

There is also a banner with the announcement published at the top of Etsy’s home page:

I hope you found this article helpful. Many Amazon sellers recently started trading stocks and crypto currencies, hoping to diversify their income, which is a very good idea with all the uncertainty which comes with the platform. For this reason, we launched a new Facebook group, Crypto Arbitrage Income (Bitcoin, Crypto, Altcoins, Blockchain, Trading) – feel free to join us and forget about the troubles of selling on Amazon for a moment!

Regarding Amazon Seller Performance, you can always participate in our Amazon Seller Performance – Friendly Advice – Worldwide group, where you will be very welcome.

If you are an Amazon Seller who needs help with any Amazon-related issues such as suspensions, listing blocks or is looking for professional assistance, please don’t hesitate to subscribe to my new OnlyFans page at: www.onlyfans.com/kikaangelic

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Etsy apologizes for erroneously issued refunds

Kika Angelic

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Today, Etsy informed their sellers by e-mail that numerous refunds were erroneously issued to buyers as a part of a site-wide technical difficulty.

Affected sellers were provided with specific orders, for which refunds were issued and advised not to take any action, because Etsy is addressing the matter with buyers and the company is covering all refunds out of their own funds.

Orders, for which full refunds were mistakenly issued are still showing as paid in Orders & Shipping dashboard.

Here is a copy of the e-mail wording from Etsy:

Hello there,

We’re getting in touch to share an update about one of your recent orders. Earlier this week, we discovered that a small number of Etsy buyers unintentionally received a refund. This includes the customer who placed this order with you: 7689803251

Please note that the funds you received for that order, €17.5, are still visible in your financial activity as well as added to your balance like any other sale. Etsy is covering the cost of this order. If you’re still working on the order, you should fulfill it as planned. If you already shipped the order, there’s nothing to worry about—the funds you received are yours to keep.

If your customer reaches out about the accidental refund, you can reassure them that we’re aware of the issue and that they’ll receive an email from Etsy with more details soon.

Thanks for being part of the Etsy community!

Here is a screenshot of the e-mail:

I hope you found this article helpful. Many Amazon sellers recently started trading stocks and crypto currencies, hoping to diversify their income, which is a very good idea with all the uncertainty which comes with the platform. For this reason, we launched a new Facebook group, Crypto Arbitrage Income (Bitcoin, Crypto, Altcoins, Blockchain, Trading) – feel free to join us and forget about the troubles of selling on Amazon for a moment!

Regarding Amazon Seller Performance, you can always participate in our Amazon Seller Performance – Friendly Advice – Worldwide group, where you will be very welcome.

If you are an Amazon Seller who needs help with any Amazon-related issues such as suspensions, listing blocks or is looking for professional assistance, please don’t hesitate to subscribe to my new OnlyFans page at: www.onlyfans.com/kikaangelic

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