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Product Sourcing with a Pro: Expert Answers to 5 Common Questions

 

By: Tisha Hedges, Director of Operations, WorldwideBrands.com

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Every e-biz owner deals with similar Product Sourcing issues. From finding reliable sources to figuring out what will sell, online retailers all face the same challenges. The following are insights on the five most common questions we get from internet sellers:

5 E-Tailer Questions:

Question 1: Isn’t drop-shipping risky—if a supplier turns out to be unreliable, I could have missed deliveries and angry customers?

Answer: No matter where you get your products, running short is always a possibility. You can minimize your risks by following some simple steps:
1.) Place at least one test order with any drop shipper you’re planning to use, to see what your customers will experience in respect to product delivery.
2.) Identify your best-selling items, and buy some in bulk—that way you’ll always have a few on hand, in case your drop shipper runs out of product and can’t fill your order.

Question 2: How do I decide what to sell?

Answer: There’s no short cut—you have to do your market research. Look at the demand for a product, the competition you’ll have, and whether or not you can be profitable. SimpleMarketResearch.com provides a great eBook at other resources to help you create a successful product line.

Question 3: Should I attend wholesale trade shows?

Answer: Trade shows are a good idea, but be careful which ones you attend. Some trade shows are simply glorified flea markets. If you want to do that level of product-sourcing research on your own, we highly recommend going to the bigger shows in and around the major cities.” To find news on upcoming wholesale tradeshows go to www.Tsnn.com. Remember, you’ll typically need your tax ID to register for these shows & sometimes they require a business card.

Question 4: What is a “light bulk wholesaler”?

Answer: A light bulk wholesaler is a term for any wholesaler that will sell in bulk with low minimum orders, under $500, as opposed to carrying minimums of $10,000 and $25,000.

Question 5: Why is importing so complicated and expensive?

Answer: The process is intricate and costly for several reasons:
Your products aren’t made until you order them, so you have to allow 25-30 days just for the goods to be manufactured. On top of that, you can expect to wait 2-3 weeks for shipping, if everything goes smoothly.
There are numerous expenses and paperwork involved with overseas shipping, customs clearances, and warehouse space.
For good solutions and information, check out www.ImportExportHelp.com.

The More You Know
As an internet retailer, product sourcing will always be an area of concern, but if you ask questions and seek out the answers, you’ll be much better prepared to prosper. This is the most common point of failure for online businesses. So many people aren’t aware how important research is. Understanding your market is key to your online selling success.



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