Tue 27 Feb 2007
Product Sourcing Tips For E-Merchants
If you have a startup business, and are selling a product, then the realities of product sourcing can easily become a setback. Product sourcing does not have to be difficult, though. If you want your e-store to become a profitable investment, then you need to be creative with your sourcing methods.
- Smart searching: Avoid general terms while sourcing online. Googling ‘wholesale widgets' brings good results, but it is very difficult to identify a good vendor. You can qualify your searches by using terms like ‘distributor', ‘designer' and ‘manufacturer' instead of using the generic ‘widgets'. You could even use individual product names and models.
- Consulting traditional business directories: Many wholesalers don't have an online presence, so you can find them in traditional directories like the white or yellow pages.
- Trade publications: You can subscribe to a trade magazine - they are packed with advertisements of manufacturers and distributors. Offline business is usually conducted this way.
- Trade fairs: Attending a trade fair can pay off enormously. They provide lots of opportunities for sourcing and networking. You will also be able to establish contacts with suppliers and negotiate prices.
- Expert advice: A personal approach in the offline world can yield excellent results - people love to talk about their successful business ventures.
- Contact the manufacturer: You can identify supplier and distributor via the telephone.
- Check product packaging: If you are not able to find any information about the manufacturer, then you may have to buy the product.
By being creative in your product sourcing, you'll be able to find a suitable vendor for your business.