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What is Drop Shipping?

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Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

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3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

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wholesale suppliers - How to Find Authentic Suppliers - Locating Good Product Sources for Your E-Biz

by Chris Malta

Online retail is big business - it's estimated that by 2010, 13% of all retail transactions will occur online. That's a significant rise from 3% in 1999. Maybe that's why it's becoming easier to find things to sell online - more and more wholesalers and manufacturers are willing to work with home-based Internet retailers. Not all, but many are seeing great potential in using eCommerce stores as a product outlet.

No Business like Show Business
Finding legitimate suppliers isn't always easy - there are a lot of middlemen out there claiming to be the real thing. One excellent resource is tradeshows and gift shows. Every exhibitor at these shows has been screened by the trade association, so you know they're all legitimate.

Trade shows are great for making supplier connections - most shows consist of several buildings jammed with booths of genuine wholesalers and manufacturers looking to set up new accounts. Not every exhibitor there will be inclined to work with Internet sellers, but you'll find many who are willing to talk with you and give you the information you need.

Because exhibitors pay a lot of money to be at these shows, they don't want the general public window-shopping out of curiosity. They want an audience comprised of their target market - retailers. That's why to get into a tradeshow, you have to prove you're a legitimate retail business:

  • You'll need a business license and a tax ID number.


  • You may need a commercial checking account - they'll want to see checks with your business' name on them.


  • Many shows require additional credentials, such as business cards and letterhead.


  • Some shows will want to see a purchase order that shows that your company buys in their particular industry.
Sourcing Abroad
In addition to the wholesalers you'll meet at tradeshows, there are many good manufacturers overseas who are willing to work with you. Says Skip McGrath (SkipMcGrath.com), author of The Wholesale Buying System, "There are some good search engines out there to find these overseas manufacturers, such as AliBaba.com and GlobalSources.com." However, there are certain things you should look at when considering which companies to work with:

  • Do they have an office or a representative here in the U.S.? Importing directly is an incredibly complex process - having stateside support, to make the arrangements and have everything delivered to you, can make your initial experience much less stressful.


  • Have they been vetted? These search engines are advertising-supported, which means that anyone can list products there. You'll find scammers and counterfeit merchandise alongside the real manufacturers.

    Many of the engines have "gold suppliers" who've been checked out and qualified - consider limiting your buying to those who've obtained that stamp of approval.

You're not going to find a magic product that you can sell online and make a fortune - there's no such thing. Explains McGrath, "Different products are sourced differently." You have to use multiple sourcing methods - wholesalers, importers, distributors, and manufacturers - to get the best assortment of products for your online business.
 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...