Sourcing Liquidations: The Ups and Downs of Reselling Them

October 13th, 2011

boxes
Liquidated products are Customer returns and overstocks at retail stores. These types of products can be an excellent channel for acquiring merchandise at rock-bottom prices. Both provide distinct advantages and drawbacks you should consider when deciding which is right for your eBiz:

Customer Returns
Advantages: These tend to be popular, in-vogue products—they were purchased for a reason. Many were returned only because the size, color, or model was wrong, and are in perfect shape.
Drawbacks: You’ll get a higher rate of items cosmetically damaged or defective. Some didn’t work to begin with. Some the customer broke or defaced.

Overstocks
Advantages: Over 90-95% of overstocks should still be in perfect condition. Many are even in their original packaging.
Drawbacks: There wasn’t enough demand for the original retailer to move these items, even at deeply discounted prices. So it might be more difficult for you to sell them as well.

Many resellers feel these are acceptable risks. When you’re buying product pallets for pennies on the dollar, you’ll likely have plenty room for a solid profit. Plus liquidated products are great for loss leaders in your store.

When selling online, it is best to look at all different channels for getting products, drop shipping, buying in bulk and liquidation. All of these channels together can result in a very profitable business.

So how do you find liquidations? In our Product Sourcing Tool at http://www.worldwidebrands.com we have a liquidaiton section, as well as liqudation auctions that you can view and purchase.

Sometimes you can also locate local warehouses that offer liquidated merchandise by the pallet load from local businesses. A simple search in your Yellow Pages would help you find them.

Creative Commons License photo credit: timsamoff

Keeping Up Appearances: Building Customer Confidence

October 10th, 2011

cash registerBefore purchasing with you, buyers must perceive that your business is legitimate and real. But establishing customer  relations takes time. And if they don’t feel comfortable buying from you, you’ll never get a chance to develop those relationships in the first place!

Image Is Everything
Here are some simple ways to impress would-be buyers and put a professional front on your eBiz:

1. Provide a toll-free number on your website. Making it easy for customers to reach you tells them you value their time and business. Check out RingCentral.com for their very affordable plans.

2. Get a Business Mailing Address, through the UPS Store or MailBoxes, Etc. Using a P.O. or an obvious home number, like 313 Lark Lane, Apt. D, as your business address, detracts from your credibility as an established retailer. Having a business mailbox not only projects a larger corporate image, but also provides benefits like 24-hr access, package notification, and mail holding and forwarding.

3. About Us. Make sure to have an about us page that reflects who you are as a business and don’t be afraid to be a little personal! A buyer that understands what your business is all about and learns a little about you, may be more inclined to purchase from you.

4. Great Layout. Have a great easy layout to your website and make sure that all your images are clean, organized and all the same size. Taking care with your website and images will show that you care about the appearance of your business.

All of the above recommendations are easy to implement and include. Add some personal touches, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for feedback and ask yourself some questions; Does this online store look credible? Would I buy from this store?

Creative Commons License photo credit: skpy

All Things Being Equal: Taking Your eBiz Seriously

October 3rd, 2011

Business is business, online or elsewhere. If you’re serious about making your living online, you need to follow the same strategies you would for running any brick-and-mortar operation.

1. Get Legal – You have to have a registered business name and a tax ID if your state calls for it. Remember, you want to buy products at wholesale and you want to resell them. That means taxes! So registering your business is extremely important.

2. Have a long-term plan – Look down the road. Think where you’re taking your business, and how you’re going to get there. Writing up a business plan can help you with this. You can find templates for business plans online.

3. Always test your products and marketing tactics. During a testing period, focus on performance, not profits. If you lose a little money, you’ve still gained because you’ve learned something that didn’t work.

4. Be customer-oriented. Look at things from your customers’ perspective. Treat them as you’d want to be treated. Answer questions promptly and most importantly, be courteous.

Selling online in many aspects is a little different than selling in a physical store, but it’s still a business. If you treat it as such, you’ll have more success and a much better return on your investments.

Time is Money: Organizing your Online Business

September 29th, 2011

The almighty mouse
Running your own home business means that you have to do it all. You don’t have employees and the office space as traditional companies do. So as an eBiz owner, you need to manage your time and space effectively so you can concentrate on selling. Finding more time comes only through efficiency and organization.

Some tips for streamlining your business:

1. Get to know your computer. You are working with it everday. If you don’t understand how to properly use your computer, you will struggle. Take some computer classes!

2. Take advantage of the tools your applications, such as Excel and Outlook, provide. For example, you can set up Outlook to redirect emails with certain keywords in the subject line into specified folders, saving you hours of sorting everyday. You can also color emails from certain people allowing you to quickly see emails you need to address right away.

3. Use a bookkeeping solution, like QuickBooks to track your money. It may cost you time upfront to set it all up, but once you organize your finances, you’ll gain it back on the backend.

4. Organize your paperwork. With an online business, you could almost elminate the need to have paperwork. But inevitabley there will be some paperwork involved. Make sure to keep your papers organized in files and organize them in a file organizer to quickly locate if needed.

5. Simplify your shipping processes. If you are shipping your own products, structure your workspace so your packing materials are at your fingertips. The more movements you make for each package, the more time you spend—that can really add up on high-volume sellers.

6.  Shut the door. Make sure to keep your home office away from the main areas of the house. You need a place to shut yourself in, to keep away distractions.

By making good use of your time and space, you gain freedom to focus on growing your business.

Creative Commons License photo credit: lastquest

Going Separate Ways: How to Protect Your Personal Credit

September 22nd, 2011

Credit Cards
Too many times, small business owners lump personal and business credit together. This presents several problems:

1. Your business experiences ups and downs and those downs can put your personal finances at risk. Missing just one payment can send your interest rates soaring.

2. Using personal credit to cover start-up expenses will drop your credit score, which will, in turn, negatively impact your insurance premiums and the interest rates you can get.

3. The extra money your bad credit will cost you is money you could be investing in your business.

It’s to your advantage to structure your business as a corporation or an LLC, and establish credit in your business’ name. That way, if you max out your business credit card, it won’t affect your credit score.

At some point in your business, you may need to borrow money. That’s why you must plan ahead – so you can get the best deals possible.

To authorize a business credit card, an issuer will likely require a personal guarantee. When deciding with whom to apply, keep in mind these key factors:

Does this card-issuer report to your personal credit report?
-Most don’t, but you should ask to be sure.

What’s their interest rate and terms?
-Don’t just look at the starting rate—READ THE FINE PRINT. Is the rate fixed or does it jump in six months, or if you’re late with a payment? Do you have to make so many purchases to keep the rate low? Understand the terms and conditions, so you’re aware up front what you’ll be paying.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Andres Rueda

Your Smartphone – One of the best Tools for your Online Business

September 12th, 2011

iPhone

You can’t deny that in this world of fast paced information and always on the go, that your cell phone is one of the most valuable pieces of technology that you own. For an online business person, having a Smartphone such as an iPhone, Blackberry, Android (and the list goes on and on), is an even more valuable Tool in your arsenal.

First, phones like these already come equipped with many tools that you can utilize for your online business. Such as the calendar, email, internet & usually a notes section.

On top of the already installed tools you can use, there are thousands upon thousands of apps to choose from to personalize your phone to suit your business needs.

Some of my favorite FREE business apps:
eBay Mobile – This app allows me to shop, view my online auctions, check sales and even create and post listings to sell things! Never miss a question from a prospective buyer & monitor your eBay sales from anywhere.

FedEx Mobile – I can easily manage my shipments on the go with this app. I can track shipments, create shipping labels, find FedEx locations and estimate shipping costs and delivery times.
(other shippers have apps as well. UPS Mobile, USPS Mobile and etc)

Documents Free (Mobile Office Suite) – This great free app allows me to edit and manage spreadsheets and text files. I can also sychronize this with my online Google Documents account to retrieve files on my computer.

CardMunch – Business Card Reader by LinkedIn – Meet a lot of business people or go to a lot of trade shows and get a lot of business cards? Instead of carrying all of those business cards around or entering all of the contacts in one by one, use this app! You “scan” the business card into the app and it then converts it so it will go into your phone contact list. If you don’t want all of those people in your phone contact list, you can save them in the app instead for sorting.

Chase Mobile Banking – I know that not everyone has a Chase bank account, but, this app has to be one of my favorites. This app allows me to view my balances and recent transactions. But my favorite feature is the deposits section. With this app, I can “scan” checks to deposit directly into my bank account. I never have to leave home to deposit checks! Maybe your bank offers an app such as this one!

There are a lot of other great free apps that you can download to your phone to help you with your online business and there are some great paid apps as well. When looking at apps to buy, always check to see if they have a Free “Lite” version first so you can be sure it’s something that you want. If they don’t have a Free version, I usually check out their website or check out what other people have to say before buying and downloading it.

Now for some exciting news!

Worldwide Brands has created a Product Sourcing Tool app for iPhone/iPad/iTouch and the Android! This app will connect with your membership at Worldwide Brands so you can search for wholesale suppliers while out shopping! Or if you are at a trade show, you can check the Market Research on the products before committing to buy. This is a must have for any online retailer that continues to source products for their business. Go HERE to get the app!

Creative Commons License photo credit: William Hook

Selling Information Products: Putting your Knowledge Online

August 26th, 2011

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Information products are increasing in scope and quality, and they present you, as a seller, with multiple benefits:

1. Extremely low overhead
2. No shipping costs
3. No inventory
4. Ease of creation

The term “information products” actually refers to any type of merchandise that can be delivered digitally—e-books, videos, audio files, original music or artworks. Most people know how to do something, or have a skill, that someone else would pay to learn. You can sell anything from quilting patterns, to recipes, to how to guides—there’s really no limit.

Creating a digital product isn’t hard. It’s just a matter of figuring out what information you have that would be valuable to other people, and packaging that for resale.

So get creative and see what you can come up with!

Creative Commons License photo credit: El Bibliomata

Lights, Camera, Action! Using Online Videos to Market your Business

August 22nd, 2011

Successful marketing means using trends and technologies—what’s popular changes constantly, and you have to stay on top of that to effectively promote yourself on an ongoing basis. One of the biggest web-based trends is online video.man with video camera

YouTube.com, one of the largest video-marketing vendors, has hundreds of millions of users. YouTube is free; the advantage they provide is that there’s currently no limit to the footage you can upload.

You, as an entrepreneur can use video to achieve far greater impact than you’d have with email or banner ads:

Create infomercials, testimonials, or short product clips.

Use content as a commodity to add value. Viewers will appreciate the education and techniques and come back to you for your expertise.

Videos are easy, and relatively cheap, to produce; they’re a powerful audiovisual tool for spreading the word about your business virally and increasing your exposure.

Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks

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

August 18th, 2011

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 KnowProduct Sourcing with a Pro
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.

Creative Commons License photo credit: » Zitona «

Worldwide Brands Tool Goes Mobile!

June 23rd, 2011

Exciting News!

We have created a Worldwide Brands Product Sourcing Tool app that is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iTouch and the Android! Have the power of the Product Sourcing Tool in the palm of your hand.

Ever find yourself in a store or just out and about and you come across a product that you were interested in selling? Now you can immediatly login to the Worldwide Brands Product Sourcing Tool from your mobile device and check to see if we have any verified, listed wholesalers or drop shippers for that product. Or you can check the Market Research to see if it would be a good product to try to sell in the current online marketplace! No need to carry around a notebook!

Also, this app is connected with your login online! So, what you save on your mobile device in the app will also be available for you when you login to our site and vice versa!

For more information on how to get the app, go HERE.