“I am standing at the top of the mountain, with a snow ball in my right hand. I want to drop it. I know it is going to be big and it will keep growing bigger before it stops, however I have fear, too much fear, to let it go…” If that sounds like you, I am here to help you. I dropped my snow ball 3 months ago and now I see it’s growing bigger and bigger…
Once you have done your product research on ebay and found your idea product (if you haven’t done so, please look at my previous post, 4 steps, 2 alternative ways to find an ideal product selling on ebay), the next step is to find a decent supplier (or suppliers) who you want to build concrete relationship with. In this post, I am going to show you the tips how I look for suppliers. I will use a video to help on the explanation as sometimes it’s an easier way to follow me when I am getting too excited.
Let me start with answering some common questions.
Where do you look for suppliers?
Google? Sounds pretty reasonable, because nowadays, people can search almost everything from Google about either certain things and facts, or for answers and solutions to their questions and problems. However to look for suppliers (either manufacture or wholesalers), this is not the best way, or in my language, it’s not very effective.
Here are three major reasons:
1. There are too many spammers and frauds online. If you type in “suppliers” into Google search, millions of result will come to you, however how many of them are legitimate? Even you find good ones, there is a great chance one of the next two reasons can possibly stop you.
2. The representatives of suppliers are usually commission based, so they do not want to deal with everyone. For small retailers with low sales volumes, it does not worth their time to maintain a relative small account. If they do not see enough potentials, they rather say no.
3. The suppliers who are spending good amount of money to advertise online prefer to deal with established retailers and not beginners. My personal experience on this is about some franchise opportunities I was trying to apply for 2 years ago. I was thinking of opening up a coffee shop by applying for a franchise that is very popular in Canada; however I was turned down very quickly. It’s not only because it needs lots of cash upfront but also it requires a solid previous retail business experiences. More important, the franchiser is not actively looking for more investors at all, because almost all the current franchisees are willing to open the second or the third store. It’s almost a guarantee that this brand will make you money, but the barrier to enter the market is very high and almost impossible to a beginner like me.
It sounds very sad. So does it mean that you as a beginner have no opportunities at all. Absolutely not! There are tons of small manufacturers and suppliers out there, who are not very well known and could not even afford to budget on their massive marketing yet. They are waiting to find retailers to spread out their brand as quickly as possible, but the problem is, if they don’t speak loudly, how are you able to hear their voice?
Before I show you where and how to find them, I want to answer one question you might have in your mind already? Some of friends ever asked me, “If the brand is not well known, how am I supposed to sell it?” Well, you do not need to expect everything you are carrying to sell as quickly as Apple iPhones, that’s not the only definition of success. Even for iPhones, early years, retailers can fairly easily sign a contact with Apple. Therefore make sure you run your market research based on supply and demands and not underestimate customer’s needs and wants. Don’t rely too much on your own judgement only, because lots of times, you are wrong.
Alright, I know you have been waiting for this. Wholesaler sources are the most valuable resources that provide solutions to new online sellers to find great suppliers. Some wholesalers sources are
Personally, I only had experiences with www.worldwiderbands.com as it is the only one I used to find all my current suppliers. It does cost $300 to sign in, however as I made way more money than $300. I will say it’s definitely worth your investment. There are free ones out there, but remember, “You get what you pay for”. In my post I am going to focus on how to use Worldwide Brands to search for suppliers. If you are interested to try the other two, please go ahead and don’t forget to share your experience here though.
If you have read through these far, good for you! If you have any comments or questions, please leave after the post, I will provide my best answer possible.
Do you need to carry inventories?
Not necessary. Only if you want to. Before I proceed, I want to introduce a term, drop shipping. The following is the definition from Wikipedia,
“Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. As inretail businesses, the majority of retailers make their profit on the difference between the wholesale and retail price but some retailers earn an agreed percentage of the sales in commission, paid by the wholesaler to the retailer.”
If you think it sounds too good to be true, that’s the exact feeling I had about 2 years ago when I was first introduced to drop shipping. Since then, I have proved it is working like a charm and I am now running 3 product lines earning total $1200 – $1500 profit from ebay every month. The beauty of it is I only spend average about 30-45 minutes to maintain the accounts. It is not something completely hands off, but it offers me enough freedom to live a better life.
The best part of drop shipping is with nearly no investment involved. In order to provide my honest opinion, I summarized 2 benefits here:
1. No investment = no excuse.
If I tell you an idea to make money with $5000 investment, you can easily turn it down as you do not have enough savings (If you do, you have more options for sure). Nearly no investment provides an easy to start opportunity. I can’t tell you enough, TAKE ACTIONS!!! (I already took all your excuses away, what are you still waiting for)
2. Not a whole lot of time consuming either.
How much time do you need to spend on finding a great supplier? Well it depends on your niche and a little bid luck some time. I am going to show you the process in my video and you will see how easy the process is. I will be surprised if you could not find a supplier.
What kind of budget do you look at to get started?
If you choose to use worldwidebrands.com , you will need to pay $299 to set up an account with them. For a limited time only, please simply click on the following link, it can save you $30 instantly:
I do earn an affiliate commission if you sign up worldwide brands through my link, but that’s not why I’m linking to it here. I had great experience with it and I want you to enjoy the success as well.
It’s a one-time fee and you can use it unlimitedly for life time. Some of the drop shippers will charge you a setup fee as admin charge, but for most of time, they will credit that amount to your future orders from them. The worst case scenario, you are looking at under $500 to set up an account with a supplier before start selling on ebay.
Now I want to use a video to show you how I find my suppliers for my new niche, home décor by using Worldwidebrands.com,
Some FAQ regarding the video:
1. Light Bulk vs. drop shipping:
Light Bulk is a kind of account you need to start with a little bit inventory, but sometimes you can start as little as a quantity of 5 for the same item. So far I have not tried light bulk yet, because I want to keep myself completely away from the post office.
2. Business approach vs. personal approach
Lots of suppliers prefer to deal with business, so I registered a limited company for my ebay business, also to protect myself and my family. I am not a lawyer or an accountant, so I will suggest you to consult with your local professionals to the pros and cons on this.
3. How to choose suppliers?
I want to give some details that I usually use to find suppliers. These are my personal opinions only.
1) Website: We are running an internet business here, so there is no doubt that a user friendly website is a must. If you have funny feeling about a website, or it looks really like someone’s personal blog, it’s a bad sign already.
2) People you are dealing with: You might not find it right away, but I always communicate with the representatives of the potential supplier before I send in my first order. I ask questions by emails and from their answers, I can see how well you understand their products and how helpful they want to be. I talk to them on the phone and get to know how efficient they are dealing with problems, etc.
3) Restrictions: Very often, suppliers have different type of restrictions. Some of them are understandable – usually to do with business regulation in certain geographic area, but others might seem a little bit ridiculous. For example, one of the potential suppliers told me their email can only be read by Outlook and not web email accounts; the other potential supplier told me they do not accept payment via Paypal; another one told me they only accept sales orders by email or fax – NO ONLINE ORDER SYSTEM.
Congratulations if you have read through the whole post. I know it’s a long one and lots of information was involved. More importantly, you need to apply what you have just learned into actions as soon as you can. If you have any questions, or comments, please email me directly or leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you had any success on finding your ideal suppliers, please share it!
Hi, my name if Sibo. I have a dream - to make the world a better place to live.I am creating value and sharing - that is my unique way to change the world - a tiny little bit at a time!