Unless you intend to create your own Shopify products, such as jewelry or artwork, you will need to acquire inventory. This can be difficult since you not only need to find a trustworthy and trusted provider of the merchandise you sell, but you also need to be able to purchase it at a low enough price that you can profit from the goods — this is referred to as buying wholesale. Purchasing wholesale is typically easier when purchasing in volume, which may not be practical for a smaller eCommerce company, mainly selling high-ticket physical products such as electronics.
Naturally, there are also digital products to consider. Digital products can account for a sizable portion of your revenue, especially if you make them yourself and sell them with little overhead. Then there are subscription products to consider, which you may want to include in your store if you offer a valuable service that customers will pay for month after month. However, when it comes to obtaining things, let’s begin with purchasing actual inventory.
Purchasing Items in Bulk
When an item is made, it should ideally be sent directly to retailers, who may then add their markup and sell it in their store. Regrettably, this does not occur. In reality, the manufacturer sells it to a distributor, who then sells it to a wholesaler (or vice versa), who then sells it to the retailer, if you’re lucky. There may even be additional middlemen along the way, and the price can become rather outrageous by the time it reaches you.
Large retailers such as Walmart conduct enough business to bypass many steps and purchase directly from the manufacturer. That is how they can provide such low costs to their clients and undercut the competition. However, as an eCommerce business without real clout, especially if you lack the funds to purchase in bulk, you will be purchasing some items near retail prices.
Certain wholesalers will not sell to you unless you make a minimum purchase, while others may refuse to deal with you at all. As a result, retailers frequently cultivate relationships with their suppliers to secure the best available pricing.
Where to Look for Wholesale Items
If you wish to purchase products wholesale, you must first determine who the local gamers are. The wholesale industry is dominated by 50 of the largest distributing corporations, which collectively generate a quarter of the industry’s revenue. Wholesale is a small world, and wholesalers supply through a defined distribution chain. It is an invitation-only club.
The manufacturers, who take the raw material and transform it into a product, or the import corporations, who purchase it elsewhere and bring it to the United States, are highest. These companies then sell it to wholesalers or regional distributors who distribute the goods to the region’s retail stores. Additionally, some brokers act as a liaison between small retail shops and wholesalers.
Discounts Due to Volume and Relationships
To get the best deal on stuff, you need one of two things, and most likely both. First, you must purchase vast quantities of products, whether they are multiples of the same item or a single large order, and you must develop a connection with your wholesaler.
Work with the same wholesaler for an extended period. You will develop a relationship, and that relationship will ensure that you continue to receive a reasonable price in the future, even if you are not purchasing as much inventory as they would like to sell you, as they want to maintain your goodwill.
Because you’re new, it’s doubtful that you’ll develop a relationship with the supplier; therefore, you’ll need to work for it and compensate by purchasing in bulk as frequently as possible. Even yet, if you hunt hard enough, some wholesalers will sell to and ship to small firms.
While you may not obtain as good a deal from these wholesalers, as your reputation grows among suppliers, you will be able to climb up the ladder to a better source.
How to Locate Wholesalers
Nowadays, the best place to hunt for wholesalers is definitely the internet, as you don’t know anyone outside of the web. There are undoubtedly wholesalers who advertise online and offer their products to businesses. Additionally, you can utilize trade associations and directories such as Wholesale Central.
One technique to find the correct supplier online is to locate a store that sells similar products to yours and send them an email requesting a referral. However, they may be unwilling to assist you if they are a competitor of yours, therefore seek out someone who is not a competition.
Apart from the internet, wholesalers can be found at trade exhibitions. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of trade exhibitions that attract wholesalers. If you visit one, you may be able to secure a supply that you would not have had access to otherwise.
Additionally, you can peruse trade journals, particularly the classifieds section, to locate wholesalers who stock your desired goods. Additionally, you can obtain recommendations from business organizations such as the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center, and the local chamber of commerce.
Additionally, you may wish to contact the company directly. Although you are unlikely to convince them to sell you things at the wholesale prices they charge wholesalers, they may be able to identify persons further down the supply chain that service small enterprises. Another excellent option is to visit retailer forums, especially those dedicated to e-commerce; naturally, there is also the Amazon affiliate program.
How to Sell Digital Products
Depending on the type of digital product you intend to offer, you can virtually always earn a profit. You may be familiar with Clickbank, a digital marketplace for merchants and affiliates.
Clickbank items are frequently pricey because the creator does not sell a large volume and must earn an affiliate commission on each sale. Clickbank, on the other hand, is not the only game in town.
Determine the type of digital product you want to offer and if you wish to sell it directly or as an affiliate for someone else, and then conduct an internet search for products that match your criteria. You’ll probably need to show some genuine research, as if you find a product, it must be thoroughly vetted. Still, you’ll soon have some digital inventory to sell.