5 Alternative Ways to Source Ecommerce Products
There are really just two basic “rules” here. The first is to find reliable suppliers who can be trusted partners and the second is to source ecommerce products that customers actually want (and will buy).
Work with wholesalers
Wholesalers purchase large quantities of goods from various manufacturers then store the inventory in their warehouses before selling it to retailers.
This is a great way to source ecommerce products due to the quick turnover, the wide range of products available, and the overall good prices. At the same time, though, it will cut into your profit margin a little as the wholesaler needs to make money, too.
Use a dropship company
This is another middleman, so to speak. However, working with a dropship company allows you to sell items you don’t actually own or keep in stock. That is to say, the company fulfills the order and delivers the product straight to the customer.
This increases your flexibility because it frees you from dealing with shipping details and maintaining a physical inventory. Still, you’ll need to stay on top of your orders’ status at all times and handle customer concerns as they arise.
Buy from manufacturers
When you work directly with a manufacturer, you eliminate all the middlemen. As a result, you can buy products at a cheaper per-unit price.
But if you do decide to source your ecommerce products this way, it’s important to keep in mind that most manufacturers require minimum order quantities. So unless you have a massive budget to work with, it may not be a feasible option.
Sell handmade products
This is a great alternative to offering mass-produced or uninspired merchandise. In fact, with the right niche and a small team behind you producing high-quality products you could be very successful selling in a marketplace like Etsy.
But over time there can be challenges in keeping up with demand, whether you’re creating the products yourself or partnering with artisans. (For example, sourcing your materials, estimating time factors, and calculating labor costs if you’re outsourcing.)
Search for bargain deals
There are a myriad of ways to find fabulous and unique inventory at a low cost. From flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores, to estate and liquidation sales, to contacting rental shops that regularly update their inventory, and more.
Research and experience can help retailers learn how to effectively source ecommerce products for their business. Even more, they understand that the true measure of sales’ success is being able to delight customers, solve their problems, and meet their needs.
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