Once i started up my in a number of make-up business several years ago we had an actual challenge on our palms to sourcing products to sell online. This was a REALLY niche market and something we knew almost nothing about but we loved the idea.
We was in control of sourcing products and the very first thing I did so was to search on Yahoo for men’s cosmetics, mens makeup, men’s eyeliner and all other products. This took quite a long time but it threw up a few key names that resulted in appearing in searches.
So my first foray in to the world of product sourcing was to contact these 7 or 8 companies that kept appearing in searches. I e-mailed them all explaining that we were just screening the market also it was very early days but we would want to find out more about their products.
Some didn’t reply, that was frustrating. Some came back and gave me preposterous minimum orders of two hundred items or even more. But 2 were great. One BRITISH and one USA company both helped us from day one. They valued that we were just starting out so that they each put together a tiny sample order and let all of us purchase that on a credit card. That got us started. We realized that the UK company could get stock to us within 48 hours. The US company orders would take 2 weeks. All of us tested both products lines on our site to see what the response would be and we had plenty of interest.
We explained that we were taking pre-orders and people actually signed upwards and bought them – that was wonderful. By the time we positioned our first order with the US company we got already pre-sold over 20 of their companies marked them up by 50% so we could manage to buy 40 just on the income from those orders. We still had somewhat in the whole pot so we ordered 50 and again ploughed this back to more stock. With the UK company we were able to buy small orders of 2 or 3 items so again we sold them on this website first with 3-5 day delivery, then ordered then when we sold them. So we SOLD them before we BOUGHT them and the delivery times exercised well for us.
Once we had a track record with suppliers i was confident enough to approach other providers and ask those to do the same. Many of them had ‘standard’ response about the silly lowest order amounts but when we finally have got to speak to them we were again able to make a deal starter orders to help us introduce their lines.
So that’s how we got past the first hurdle. We had a further ‘aha’ moment when we watched a program on TV about a large department store in London, uk. We realised that even THEY only ordered 2 or 3 items to try from a new supplier – we thought they would be buying loads and we would look like amateurs in comparison. In reality on TELEVISION the shop purchasing director said that they only ever order small sums because as a business they don’t want to order lots of any product until they this is going to sell. Even then, they would not order LOADS because is actually not good for cashflow to have lots of money tied up in stock. This made such sense!
Read more about sourcing products to sell online by visiting http://www.gafound.com.