When to add new products and find a wholesale supplier

When to add new products and find a wholesale supplier

August 4th, 2009

Colette Marshall was just interviewed on eBay Radio by Griff.  He asked several great questions about refreshing your product lines and introducing new products to sell.  The main question is how do you approach coming up with those new product line ideas and finding the supplier for it , especiallly before the holiday selling season?

Here’s what Colette Marshall responded:

1) At what point should an online retailer start thinking about refreshing their product lines and introduce new products?

The answer is all the time.  As an ecommerce retailer, we’re always looking to provide our customers with what they’re looking for. You should be constantly looking at trends and trying new product ideas.  It’s best to do it before the Holiday season so that you know what are going to be some best sellers in the holiday season. Also in the holiday season,you’re going to get very busy so it’ll be a little more difficult to add on new product items. It’s best to introduce new products consistently throughout the year.

For those of you who are just beginning, when you’re doing your product sourcing find a supplier with a wide variety of complimentary skus.  When you’re ready to start adding products to your eBay store, auctions, Amazon, or Yahoo Store, then you’ll already be set up with a supplier you can work with. This is the fastest way.

If you already have a supplier, but their selection is not big enough or you’re not finding what you’re looking for then the same idea still applies. Try to find a supplier that has a wide range of skus to select from.

Now sometimes you’ll be focused in a micro niche where your product is very specific.  Usually in this case you’re going to be dealing directly with the manufacturer. There may not be a wider selection to choose from. There is no problem with this. You will just need to manager yourself so that you can deal with multiple dropshippers and wholesale suppliers.

2) Do you have any tips for sellers to help them identify what to add to their eBay store or add to their listing options?

The easiest place to start first is your eBay Store or your current Auctions.  Ask yourself:  what will compliment this product?  For example, if you sell a themed dog bowl is there a matching cat bowl.  If you sell a coffee maker, are you selling coffee mugs.  If you sell furniture, are you selling the products to keep that furniture clean or in its best condition.

From a product point of view, you can look at your current suppliers catalog or inventory and see what they provide that will compliment what you’re selling.   What you want to try to avoid is selling motor cleaning supplies next to kitchen appliances.  Focus on adding products that are within the same niche.

A great tip for the holidays is to see if you can make anything into a bundle. For example, the furniture you are selling – can you include the 1st months’ cleaning supplies?  Can you make a pet gift basket of a collar, bowls, a leash and a pet toy.

Most importantly keep an eye on trending. Now that’s a whole seperate conversation, but basically you want to keep an eye on what are people talking about in your niche. You want to be ahead of the game so that you’re one of the top sellers in the forefront when customers come looking for those product.

3) Is there a place to find out more information?

WorldwideBrands.com is currently running a free webinar series at www.Sourcingforindependence.com. We’ve got a great webinar coming up with Lisa Suttora about how to understand product trends and what’s different this year with sourcing for the holidays.  It’s free to register – just go to www.Sourcingforindependence.com and sign up there.

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