Maybe you’re just starting out or don’t want to work with a professional supplier. Whatever the case, a good solution might be to source inventory for your online store using items you own yourself or can find locally.
Have a Plan
It will take a little forethought and planning to find something to sell that’s friendly to small and local businesses. Here are just a few ideas to inspire you:
1. Look for liquidation sales
Occasionally big box and retail stores will liquidate their inventories by bundling the overstock and selling it off at discounted prices.
The reasons can vary, but it’s usually due to things like low sales at certain locations or having bought too much stock to begin with.
2. Find bargains at thrift stores
Thrift store flipping is a cost-effective way to source inventory for your online store. This makes it good for business, but you have to do your homework first.
To ensure you’re getting a great bargain, keep in mind factors that can eat away at your margins, such as packaging and shipping costs. In fact, this is always a wise thing to do.
3. Visit flea markets and swap meets
Here you’ll find independent sellers selling interesting goods. This makes browsing around not only time well spent, but fun too. Plus you can barter with the sellers on price – especially if an item needs some cleaning or restoring.
4. Check estate sales in your area
Often these sales are advertised in local newspapers a week or so ahead of time. You may also be able to find details online with a little searching. It can be worth the look.
Estate sales can vary. But for the most part, you can find good quality items at fairly low prices, sometimes even for free. These could prove to be a unique secondary source of inventory for online stores that sell costume jewelry, vintage clothing, or antiques.
Do What Works
Many successful sellers source inventory for their online store using more common methods such as buying direct from the manufacturer or outsourcing to dropshippers. And they do it because it is in line with their long term goals.
On the other hand, a small-scale store or independent seller may find that sourcing products locally is the way to go. The main reason is that this strategy works for them. Especially if they’re just starting out or simply want to earn a second income.
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