Buying Inventory from a Supplier

Suppliers

 

To be profitable selling on Amazon you need to be able to find product which is in demand and you need to be able to buy it at a price that allows you to sell it at an attractive retail while still making a profit for yourself.

This sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Well it isn’t as easy as it sounds when you consider you are competing with thousands of other sellers and you need to be able to purchase your inventory for less than you would if you went to a retail store.

It isn’t easy, but it is by no means impossible. If it were impossible there wouldn’t be so many people selling on Amazon and making a decent living at it. In this article I will show you how you can be one of the profitable sellers with a few simple tips.

Find a Supplier

Suppliers tend to keep a low profile which makes it more difficult to access information about them and purchase from them. However, there is a trick to locating a supplier, and it is pretty simple when you think of it.

All product sold has a tag attached to it. This tag gives a wealth of information about the product it is attached to, including the suppliers name, website and even their mailing address. With this information you can easily contact them to see if they will sell to you as well.

When you see an item that is selling really well, either at a brick and mortar store or online, buy a couple. When you have the items make note of the name and contact information of the supplier and then list them for sale in your store. If they sell equally as well for you, contact the supplier to see what kind of quantity you need to buy and what price you need to pay for them.

Keep in mind that a lot of suppliers are very picky in regards to the companies they are willing to sell to. The bigger the brand, the pickier they can afford to be. Most reputable suppliers will want to see a trading history, and evidence that you actually own a website.

This can present the obvious challenge, without a website some suppliers won’t sell to you, without product to sell there is no website. However, there are plenty of suppliers out there that can supply you so you are able to get your store up and running, after which you can build on that.

Do your research

Research in detail the supplier you want to work with. Also look carefully at the products you are planning to buy from them. This is a very important part of inventory sourcing. If you don’t do careful and thorough research you could wind up falling prey to one of the many and expensive scams out there, or you could end up buying a lot of inventory that can’t be sold because it’s faulty or counterfeit.

The best way to carry out your research is in person, by meeting the supplier face to face. However, this isn’t always possible, especially if you are just starting out. Here are a few things to look at, in regards to both the supplier and the product itself:

Supplier

  • Are they trustworthy? Can you verify this by talking to existing clients?
  • Are they a registered business or legal entity in their country?
  • Are they honest about their contact information and address? Does the address exist and does the contact information work?
  • Are their payment terms flexible? Do they accept a range of payment methods?

Products

  • Did you receive a sample and do you have assurance that all products will meet the same standards as the sample?
  • Do the products comply with all laws in place?
  • If branded, are the products 100% genuine? If the items aren’t and you are caught selling them, you will be the one in trouble.

Research to this extent may seem like a lot of needless work, but it only takes one time of getting burned for you to realize just how important and necessary it is. Trust me, I speak from experience and it is my desire to keep you from finding this out first hand. After going through the process of detailed research a few times, it will become second nature when dealing with new suppliers.

Discounts

Discounts are what make retailers profitable. Most suppliers are willing to offer you some kind of discount, whether it’s 5% off their normal price or free shipping. What ever the discount may be, it all adds up to profits in your pocket. For this reason, it’s important to never agree to pay the posted price without at least trying to get a better deal.

Same as in any business deal, be prepared to do some dickering. A good rule to go by is, ask for double the discount you anticipate. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised when it works, more often than not you won’t get your first offer, but if you leave yourself some room to work, you can still get an excellent discount.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with suppliers is you can’t go into the meeting unprepared, you need to be armed with all of your research. Figure out the best price you can get away with charging for the item in your store, and what you want your profit margin to be. Then you will have the total price you need to pay, including shipping and all other charges to get the product delivered to you, get it listed and then to the customer. All of these charges need to figure into the actual cost of the item.

Making your first buy from a supplier can be rewarding if you just follow these tips, do thorough research and take your time. It never pays to seem too anxious to buy from anyone, especially not a supplier.

 

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