If you’re going to own a Home-based Internet Business, selling Products on the Internet, you have to find products to sell.
That’s pretty basic, right? You can’t sell products if you don’t have any.
Now, let’s assume that you’re going to (properly!) ignore all the hucksters and snake-oil salesmen out there who promise you overnight riches on late-night TV Infomercials. Let’s assume that you know better than to fall for the “instant business in a box” web sites that squeal and prance at you from all corners of the Internet.
Never mind driving around to Garage Sales, picking up knick-knacks
for a dollar, and selling them for twenty bucks on eBay.
That’s OK, but it takes way more of your time than it’s
worth. Only one person in a million really makes a living doing that.
Forget about inventing a better mouse trap, making it in your garage, and earning a fortune selling it on your Internet Store. That
only sounds good when the TV Guy from the Acme Invention Patent Company wants to sell you an “Inventor’s Kit” that will make you rich. It sounds good, but again, it’s one in a million.
If you’re going to have yourself a real, live,
honest-to-goodness successful Home-based Internet business, whether you
sell on an Internet Store or you sell on eBay, you need to learn
what Product Sourcing is.
This is a very important term, folks, so write it down, tack it up on the fridge, do whatever it takes to remember it. Like the Supply
Line of an Army fighting far from home, your Product Sourcing is the lifeblood of your Online Business.
What is Product Sourcing?
Product Sourcing is the act of finding Sources of Products to sell.
If you’re going to sell Products on the Internet, you need a steady, continuous Source of those Products. You need to be sure that you can buy those Products at a genuine Wholesale Price, so that you can make a Profit when you sell them to your
customers at your Retail Price.
That means that you have to find legitimate Wholesale Product Suppliers that will work with a Home-based Internet Business.
This is not as easy as it sounds.
Most real Wholesale Suppliers will not work with you.
It's unfortunate, but true. Most of the real Wholesale Suppliers out there do not want to sell products to small, Home-based Internet Businesses. Why? Because as small businesses, we don't have the money to order thousands of dollars’ worth of products at one time.
You see, a Wholesale Supplier's business is based on volume sales. They don't make very much of a profit on the products they Wholesale. That means that they have to sell a lot of product in order to make money. So, a Wholesale Supplier's main business is selling truckloads of products to large retail chains, like Sears, Target, Kmart, etc. They simply won't sell to anyone who can't afford to place a minimum order ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 or so. They don't consider it to be worth their effort!
That’s why most Internet Lists of Wholesalers are useless.
You've seen them all over the Internet. Lists and "trade directories" claiming to contain thousands of names of wholesale suppliers from the US, Mexico, Hong Kong, Asia, the Philippines, etc.
Well, some of those lists actually do contain thousands of names of wholesalers from those places.
So, what's the problem? Well, there are actually several problems.
· Those printed lists and "trade directories" are so rarely updated that huge numbers of those companies listed aren't even in business anymore.
· Those so-called 'wholesalers' in those printed lists and "trade directories" are not properly researched and verified! They are jam-packed with Middlemen who will charge you too much for your products.
· Most of the suppliers listed in those printed lists and "trade directories" who are still in business will not work with small, Home-based Internet Business Owners. Why? Because as small business owners, we can't afford to spend thousands of dollars each time we order! They require high minimum orders that make it impossible to deal with them on a small scale.
Now, here’s another little roadblock for you (aren’t you lucky!):
Most real Wholesalers you find in the Search Engines will not work well for you!
There are, as I said, a ton of fake wholesalers and middlemen advertised in the Search Engines. We’ll talk about why they’re fake in a later Chapter. For now, though, it’s important to realize that even in the RARE CASE when you find a Real Wholesaler in a Search Engine, even they can be bad for your business.
When real wholesale companies venture out onto the Internet, even with the best of intentions, they sometimes go too far.
When a wholesaler gets too well known on the Internet, they get overexposed to millions of people. That means that you get far too many other Internet Sellers like yourself using them. That creates too much competition for their products for anyone to make a decent profit.
But there’s another issue. When Wholesale Suppliers get over-enthusiastic on the Net, they start offering extras to their wholesale customers, like Internet Stores built into their wholesale programs. You may have seen them; Wholesalers that want to sell you a specialized Web Site that contains their Products. There are a couple of problems with that as well.
First, most Wholesale Suppliers know little to nothing about creating and running a Home-based Internet Business. That’s not what they do. These are Wholesale Suppliers, they are not Ecommerce experts! They don’t have the in-house expertise to create these kinds of programs. That doesn’t stop them, though. They try to do it themselves anyway. So, the integrated Ecommerce solutions they offer on their sites are rarely successful ones, because they’re either making this stuff up as they go along, or they’re copying it from someone else who may not know what they’re doing either.
So, the Wholesale Suppliers who do this are trying to expand their sales by making it as easy as possible to sell their products online, but because they’re not Ecommerce experts, they end up actually making things harder for their customers.
The second problem is that they have to spend money creating these little instant-business programs. They have to dedicate a couple of employees to run the show. They have to pay for that somehow, and where do you think they make that money from?
They raise their wholesale prices.
Most of these wholesale companies who are also ECommerce solution wannabes have two completely different price schedules. A lower price schedule for their core wholesale business, which is selling loads of wholesale products to large physical stores. Then a higher price structure for their sales to Internet businesses, because they have to make back the money they spend to develop and maintain these ECommerce business extras of theirs.
Of course, there are also several real wholesalers advertising on the Net that don’t offer these extra Internet Store programs. What about them?
Well, they are a better bet, but they still have part of that same problem.
When a Wholesale Supplier tries to create a widespread internet presence for themselves, they still have to pay someone in-house to manage all that search engine positioning and Pay Per Click advertising. It costs them money to make themselves well-known on the Internet.
As a business, they have to make that money back. Income has to be greater than expenses in any business.
Wholesale Suppliers typically operate on a pretty thin profit margin, so they’re not going to make that money back easily on increased sales volume, at least not at first. Pay Per Click advertising in the Home Business market is expensive! So, once again, they raise their wholesale prices to Internet sellers, to compensate for those costs.
In general, a wholesaler that can easily be found on the Internet has to charge higher prices than a wholesaler who doesn’t have that large internet presence, because they’re spending extra money to promote themselves on the Net.
There are of course some exceptions, but there’s no easy way to tell who they are.
So, I’ve told you where not to find real Wholesalers.
Where can you find them?
When you get into Product Sourcing, you’re looking for Wholesalers who are:
· Legitimate Wholesale Suppliers
· Not Overexposed
· Do not spend a great deal of money becoming well-known on the Internet
· Do not sell extras like Internet Store packages
That means you have to go to the Source (no pun intended!)
If I wanted to sell Kodak Cameras, for example, I’d go right to the top. I would call Kodak’s Corporate Headquarters in Rochester, New York, and ask for the Sales Department.
I’d tell their Sales Department that I own a retail business, and I want to sell some of Kodak’s products. I’d ask them for a short list of their wholesale distributors in the US. They have that information, and should be willing to give it to me. In fact, they’ll probably ask me where my business is located, and give me the name of a regional sales director that who I need to contact.
Then, I would call the Wholesale Suppliers they give me, and ask if they’ll sell to my Internet business at Wholesale. That’s the way you find real wholesalers that who aren’t completely exposed to the entire Internet, and that gives you an edge in both your profit margin and your competition.
Of course, you still have to get through the issue of whether they will sell to a small Home-based Internet Business. Most of them won’t, so this Research takes a great deal of time, but it is very important to your business that you do it right!
This is the kind of Research that we at Worldwide Brands, Inc., have been doing non-stop for five 11 years now.
This is exactly how we have built the world's best, most trusted Directory of Wholesale Suppliers.
This EBook is not designed to be a commercial for my company, but it’s important for you to know that our Team has already spent 11 years Researching tens of thousands of Wholesale Suppliers for just this kind of information. We’re known all over the world as the Internet’s leading Product Sourcing Experts for Home-based Internet Businesses like yours.
There are already thousands of pre-qualified Wholesale Suppliers listed in our Online Directory that have already agreed to sell to Home-based Internet Businesses like yours at real Wholesale Prices without charging those high minimum orders. The Directory of WBI CertifiedTM Wholesalers represents millions of products that you can sell on your Auctions or Web Sites.
When you deal with Product Sourcing, you are looking for LEGITIMATE Drop Shippers, Light Bulk Wholesalers, Large Volume Wholesalers, Liquidators and Importers who WILL work with small home-based businesses.
Using Multiple Sourcing Methods (this is REALLY important, so read it twice if you need to!)
No SINGLE Product Sourcing method will make you truly successful. Using only one Sourcing method is like driving a car with only one wheel. Four wheels works much better...
· Drop Shipping works well, but has its limits, which include slimmer profit margins and occasional delivery problems. Drop Shipping should be a part of your Product Sourcing, but not all of it. It remains, however, a low cost entry point to selling on line and it can be used to test the market for such products to see if it will be successful to purchase in quantity to sell on line.
· Bulk Wholesaling works well, but most wholesalers have very high minimum orders. Supplementing your Product Sourcing with Light Bulk (low minimum order) wholesalers should be a part of your Sourcing efforts.
· General Wholesaling works well as an expansion tool. When your Drop Shipping and Light Bulk Sourcing identifies products that sell well, you work with General Wholesalers to get larger quantities of those products at better pricing, and increase your profit margin. When used properly, it is a part of the whole.
· Liquidation / Overstock Sourcing works well, but it's not a renewable source. Once a liquidation lot is gone, it's gone. If you find a product that sells well, you'll run out of them sooner or later. That's why you need other sourcing methods; so you can find renewable Sources of those products once you identify them.
· Importing works well, but it's very expensive to bring products into your country from overseas on your own. Finding Importers who have already brought the products in is very important here. You can use case lots of imported goods to supplement your existing steady stream of regular products.
Successful Product Sourcing is the art of using a combination of Tools and Sources to find the right balance of Product Sources for your EBiz.
Here's an example of an actual customer of my company, Worldwide Brands. Not his real name, but he's typical of our customers who know enough to use Multiple Product Sourcing Methods:
· Jay Smith has a Home EBiz. He sells Camping Gear online, VERY successfully. Jay has a very wide range of Camping Products on his web site. Where do they all come from?
· Some of Jay's Product Sources were found by searching the WorldwideBrands.com Directory of Wholesalers for Drop Shippers. Jay has those products Drop Shipped directly to his Customers, and never has to buy them up front, or handle them himself. This allows him to have a very large number of products listed on his site at no inventory cost to him. Having all those products on his site makes him look like a much bigger business than he really is. This helps his Customer feel like they are buying from a real professional, and his sales rise.
· Jay then used the Directory of Wholesalers to locate Light Bulk Wholesalers of a few of his best-selling Camping Products. He buys them in less expensive Light Bulk quantities and ships those few products himself, gaining a higher profit margin on those particular products.
· There were a few particular inexpensive accessory items that Jay wanted to carry in bulk, knowing that they would not cost him much for large quantities. He used the Directory of Wholesalers to locate a Large Volume Wholesaler to supply that need for him in larger quantities at even lower Wholesale prices.
· Being a smart retailer, Jay wanted to advertise some very low-cost "Special Offers" to bring customers into his online store, so that he could then show them his more expensive products. This is called using a "Loss Leader". So, Jay found a Liquidation Supplier in the Directory of Wholesalers that allows him to buy products at lower-than-wholesale prices, and offer them to his customers for pennies on the dollar, to get their attention.
· Jay also wanted to be able to offer the "Hot List" products that so many people sell successfully. He found those Hot List products available through the Directory of Wholesalers Instant Wholesale Buys from Importers.
Using a combination of Product Sourcing Methods allows Jay to balance his Product Sourcing for maximum possible profit!