Hi there, I feel like I have finally found a business idea I’m very keen on pursuing. It involves starting an online boutique (clothing & accessories) but I have a fairly unique selling point. My intentions are to stock carefully selected items which I hoped to import, and hopefully have a few select custom pieces branded as my own range. I have never imported to resell before so I was very keen to get samples before ordering. I want to check quality and if OK photograph to draft up the website/ marketing material. From china even if the samples are cheap they seem to want $20+ dollars for each very small item (underwear etc). If I want a whole range of products (enough to start selling) samples alone will cost a fortune and I don’t have big money to put into the business. It took me by surprise as shipping costs from china via Ebay are actually usually very cheap. Is this something you just have to accept with sites like Alibaba, or can you get cheaper prices on Alibaba by insisting on Chinese airmail etc (slow delivery time isn’t an issue right now for samples). Can you offer any advice? Are there other things I should know about importing as an absolute beginner? Are there affordable ways of stocking a wide range of products in lower quantities without drop shipping? It might be that I need to make money off one or two products to reinvest before actually starting a boutique – I might be trying to do too much too soon. Sorry for the essay!! P.S I am UK based.