Finding the Best Product Sources for an Online Store

There are many places where you can source products for resale in an online store. The key is to find the most appropriate one for your needs. This article shares five tips to help you find the best sources for your store.

Before choosing a supplier, make sure you do your due diligence. You should read what other people think of them and check their feedback, both positive and negative. There are many online forums devoted to wholesale and business buying, which are a good source of information when it comes to finding trustworthy suppliers.

1. Middlemen

One of the first things to be wary of is middlemen. These people are not wholesalers or manufacturers, but make their profit by reselling products to the end client. They’re doing what you want to do and taking a share of the cake.

Since middlemen charge a higher price for the items they sell, purchasing from them will cut into your profit margin. Before choosing a supplier for your online store, make sure you do some research; you want to buy from the source, not a reseller.

2. Wholesalers

Just like offline business, the more products you purchase in one go, the bigger the discount you can expect. Buying in bulk allows you to improve your profit margin per item, or pass the savings on to your customers to undercut the competition.

The next time you buying stock, make sure you buy as much as you can in one go. Be careful, though. Bulk-buying products with unreliable sales histories can leave you with a large inventory that you can’t sell.

3. Drop-shipping

If you have limited starting capital, you might want to consider working with a wholesaler that offers a drop-shipping facility. You sell the products in the normal way, but pass the order details straight to the wholesaler, who handles the packing and shipping on your behalf. In essence, your store is a catalog, selling products without keeping any stock.

The profit margins are a lot smaller with a drop-shipping setup, as the wholesaler or manufacturer has to cover all the manpower and inventory costs. Nevertheless, it’s a good way to start without a big investment.

Wherever you find your products, always remember that your relationship with the supplier is a two-way street. Building friendly communication and a reputation for reliability will help ensure that you get stock promptly and that any problems are dealt with quickly and effectively.

PerOla Hammar 陈家悦
Father of 2. Marketing, sales & web geek who is open-minded & eager to learn. Experienced a lot in the past years, both good and bad. Lesson learned? LIVE LIFE!