Trying to make extra money while in Taipei, import export and other suggestions

Hi, I’m interested, with the help of people back in Europe, to import and export things while I am in Taiwan. As a foreigner with only a visitor visa for the next 4 months what are my chances? And what I should do?

Any advice is most welcome. I’m still exploring the possibility.

I’m giving some English classes for money and study at NTU during the day.

I’m a skilled and experienced system admnistrator, an ok programmer with a computer science degree. I know a bunch of science stuff. I know french, english and portuguese.

What kind of under the table jobs I can get in Taipei?

Can you do technical writing?

I know several people who edit technical papers. It doesn’t pay a ton, but there’s a steady supply of work.

There are many proofreading services for technical writing. One such service is application info (to become an editor) is on their website.

As for importing goods, the most crazy marked up item I can think of is vitamins. I always ask my parents to ship us vitamins from overseas.

Next is brand name specialty products we’re used to using back in the States. Burt’s Bees products come to mind. I guess it’s because these products appeal to the health crowd.

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I can. I also studied physical chemistry and did some english technical writing before. Will explore, thank you.

Yeh, some things like vitamins, milk and sheets are prety expensive here.

I’m European. Other than the french and italian luxury didn’t see many european brands.Ithink Taiwanese are mostly American and Japanese oriented.

Vitamins have a very high customs duty of ~30%.


What rates are typical for this sort of work?

I wanted to do technical writing but have no idea the qualifications required, or where to apply. I studied chemistry and geology.

Just so you know make sure you read up on laws regarding import of various items… so you don’t end up having your shipment confiscated or fined. Particularly stuff like supplements.

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Is there an English section on that site? (I can’t find it…)

Top right hand corner. Possibly your brower isn’t showing the dropdown properly.

Isn’t working or running a business while on a visitor visa a no-no? Trying to do import/export which is highly regulated when you have no authorization to work or conduct business here seems like a really bad idea.


I found the English link elsewhere on the forums:

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Not great. Around NT100 per page (Very rough ballpark estimate. Rates vary a lot depending on the subject matter, how quickly the client wants a turnaround, etc.). But there’s an unlimited supply of work… so, it’s great to fill the cracks in your spare time.

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Just out of curiosity, what are you calling a “page” here? And is that for Taiwan in general, or specifically for this company? (Incidentally, I know a guy who used to work there, and his comments about his experience…could have been better.)

That rate seems a bit low to me actually (assuming 1 page = 250 words, I usually charge 2.5 to 3 times that for editing work done via editing companies, say 1000-1400 TWD per thousand words, and more for private clients obviously, although I seldom bother with those). Rates vary a lot though, as you said, and a PhD in a relevant topic plus experience would be beneficial if OP decides to try that route. And maybe rates in Taiwan for this kind of work just suck, not sure.

Also, I think it would be better anyway for OP to avoid Taiwanese companies since they’re not legally allowed to work here. There are other companies abroad (China and India spring to mind) that might be less problematic and possibly better paid.

Importing and exporting stuff also sounds a bit dangerous without a visa, but I guess it depends what we’re talking about exporting…

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