Your store’s business model should include a plan on how to source ecommerce inventory that meets your customers’ needs. In other words, you need to curate the right products for your store while maintaining consistent levels of quality.
Visit Trade Shows or Fairs
You can learn a lot about how to source ecommerce inventory by talking to experts in the field. Literally. In fact, the advantage of meeting inventory suppliers in person is that you can directly pitch your business and begin to form a relationship at the same time.
Once they realize how much they can benefit from your business, you’ll be in a good position to negotiate pricing.
Make It Yourself
This idea dates back centuries. In short, if you have the talent and resources then this could be a very low risk option with high profit potential.
That’s because making your own product gives you the ultimate control over quality, brand, and price.
Similarly, you could connect with an individual who creates one-of-a-kind products and collaborate on particular products or promotions.
Use a Manufacturer
Manufacturers produce products based on an entrepreneur’s unique idea. Moreover, working with a manufacturer gives you the greatest level of control—outside of DIY products—over price, quality, and branding.
Keep in mind, though, there are large minimum order requirements to get the lowest cost per unit. Therefore, at least in the beginning, this particular sourcing strategy can be an expensive option.
Shop Thrift Stores
It’s really not that hard to find good quality inventory at a low price if you do the legwork. Why not check out thrift stores, flea markets, and bargain basements? In fact, these types of “vintage” products will delight your customers.
Forums and Message Boards
A unique way to indirectly source ecommerce inventory is to talk to people online. In other words, network.
You create connections with people by developing a genuine rapport. As a result, they may drop tidbits of helpful information here and there about their inventory suppliers; which, when combined with your own research, can steer you in the right direction.
How you choose to source ecommerce inventory ultimately depends on how much risk you’re willing to take. That is to say, buying the cheapest inventory can be very tempting in the short run. But your sources still need to be reputable as well as reliable.
That way you can stand behind your products. Otherwise, in the end, you risk not only your reputation, but also the long-term success of your business.