Congratulations on setting up your online store! As a business person you are well aware that any way that you can increase your profit margins should be considered. Finding your inventory at wholesale prices is a great way to save money if you are able to order in bulk. In fact, many new online sellers will consider how to find products to sell online first, as well as where they can get them the cheapest before they even begin the process of creating an online store. If you can make the investment up front to buy wholesale, it will get you a cheaper cost per unit thus saving you more money in the long run. If you don't have the money to start, then an organization like Alibaba.com that connects buyers and sellers is another way to go. So, how to find products to sell online?
Finding the right wholesale distributor for the goods you wish to sell is a vital step. Just because you are using a wholesaler does not necessarily mean you are getting the best price. There are several ways in which you can figure out how to find products to sell online.
Trade Shows — you can physically show up at trade shows so you can meet vendors in person and discuss your needs and gather contact information. You may even be able to get some preliminary quotes. Ask about shipping costs, their shipping methods and delivery times.
No blind searches — The Internet is flooded with fake websites and scammers looking to get your money. The big suppliers generally don't show up in these searches because they are only interested in dealing with large-scale companies that have their information directly. The big wholesaler or manufacturer does not find it cost-effective to attract the small businessperson.
Manufacturers — Contact the manufacturers of products you are interested in selling directly and ask them who their wholesaler is. You can find the manufacturer information in user manuals, or on the sticker with the model number. See if you can get a list of wholesale suppliers they recommend.
Drop shipping — A drop ship wholesaler is a good way to start buying wholesale products to sell online, but it can be limiting as you grow if it is the only thing you use. In the beginning however, the time that you would be spending buying products factory-direct, photographing them for your small business, buying shipping supplies and bring products out to be shipped is now freed up for you to keep your site updated and your customers happy.
Directories — There are some companies that serve as a hub of information where members can join in order to have access to contacts for drop shippers, distributors, and wholesalers as well as invaluable educational materials and tutorials to help you get your online retail business going successfully. They do the research for you, provide tips and recommendations, and provide excellent resources.
The e-commerce business is a highly competitive market, so finding the best product sources that enable you to offer low prices to your customers can make or break you in that first year. It is important to do your research and know your limitations. It is better to start small and grow than to bit off more than you can chew and fail.