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Product Sourcing Part 1 – New Merchandise

Selling consumer goods online  can be a very profitable business, but locating reliable bulk suppliers can seem like a daunting task.

There are several different types of supplier (such as wholesalers, manufacturers, liquidators, and dropshippers) and each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Dropshippers may seem like an easy route to take because the goods are delivered by the supplier direct to your customer so there is no stock for you to buy upfront and no deliveries for you to worry about. It also eliminates the risk of being left with a lot of expensive stock if the product you have chosen turns out to be a poor seller. However, the profit margins are likely to be much lower than those you could achieve by buying upfront from a traditional wholesaler, and there is a good chance you would be in direct competition with other sellers all selling the same products from the same supplier and all trying to compete on price.

Suppliers of liquidated stock, ex-catalogue goods and end-of-line products can offer competitive prices but are unlikely to be able to give regular supplies of repeat products. This would limit your opportunity to save time by using the same listing template over and over again, or to save listing fees by listing multiple items within one auction.

Wholesalers of various products can be found in Yellow Pages, trade directories, trade magazines or by searching online. Your local Chamber of Commerce You may be able to purchase samples from them which you can then list on eBay and get some idea of how well they are likely to sell and at what price before risking buying a wholesale quantity.

There are lots of wholesale lists for sale online but, generally speaking, I would advise against purchasing this type of list. In many cases, they have been compiled from trade magazines, telephone books, or from the Internet and the information is often out of date.

Recommended Resources

  • As I sell used collectibles rather than new products I am not really qualified to give advice about sourcing new merchandise. However, if you need help with product sourcing it may well be worth your while to check out the video tutorial at Worldwide Brands.
  • You may also be interested in an ebook written by  Keith Purkiss. Keith’s is an eBay Powerseller with positive feedback of more than 31,000 and he also sells on Amazon. He explains how he as been sourcing his products during the past 9 years in Sourcing Secrets Revealed.
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