Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Product Sourcing for Home Business Success: Getting the Most Buck for, well, Your Buck

Drop shipping wholesale products

Is this the right work-at-home “make-money-online” model for you?

Do you want to know how to set up a legitimate home-based business selling goods and services via eBay or from an online ecommerce store? More and more businesses are going online to leverage the power of Internet ecommerce, and more and more people are specifically interested in drop shipping and using Ebay to provide the marketplace for their goods. Whether or not you plan on setting up your own privately hosted online shop or launching an Ebay store, the world of ecommerce and Ebay has come of age, and a basic understanding of how the wholesale and drop ship industry works is vital to your success.

No matter what course of action you take, you want results you can duplicate in a systematic fashion.

Have you heard about “everyone else” making money online and how so-called easy-money is made drop shipping?  Wholesale goods strategies maximizing drop shipping may be simple in design, but the truth is that it is not easy in so far as it really does require thought and effort. However, with the right tools and knowledge this is a flexible, highly workable business model that  responds to all levels of implementation.

If you want to learn more about work at home ecommerce and ecommerce business opportunities, endeavors to provide you with correct information free from distortion regarding many of the issues facing ecommerce entrepreneurs and micro businesses operating online, today.   Read More

Finding the right sources is vital as is finding the right niche market, but let’s not put the cart before the horse. To be honest, eBay is but one ecommerce business opportunity, and though the basic business model is simple, there is really nothing “easy” about running a consistently successful eBay business or any other home business that is reliably successful.  Again, simple in model but not necessarily easy.  EBay can still make you a good living, but it is merely one approach and a very narrow slice of the home business pie. And drop shipping wholesale products won’t make you any money if you haven’t done your market research (to be sure you actually have a market) and if you don’t have reliable sources for your goods.  This is especially true of drop shipping on eBay. Though you may have heard and continue to hear that strategy heavily promoted, it will lose you money if you don’t do your research. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, that you can’t love it, can’t make a lot of money, but any business, home or otherwise, requires due diligence and work to make it profitable.

The question is this: Are you up to the challenge?

Let’s face it, the quest for online, home-based income has become a sort of Holy Grail among those seeking greater personal freedom and financial autonomy. Internet marketers hoping to make money online at home and hearing the stories of money-making schemes purporting to suck money from Google, and

myriad other gimmicks may very well believe all of the Grail talk to be true. Many Internet marketers also love to talk about how easy it is to make money with drop shipping, but drop shipping is not a gimmick. Don’t be fooled by glib talk about the work at home ecommerce model. The people who got good enough at it to call it easy got there through persistence and following a business plan. Selling goods online or on eBay using the wholesale-dropship model is not a gimmick; product sourcing is not a gimmick, and online retail sales is not a trick. However, these are all things that you can learn how to do successfully. Running an ecommerce business selling physical products–and product sourcing for your home business is vital to that–is a solid way to make money, but not as a gimmick, scheme, or trick. And the truth about success is that it rarely happens quickly and all at once.

A wise and successful Internet marketer once said that to be successful in business, you have to be good at business. Meaning that quick online income and legitimate home-based business success, online or offline, are not necessarily the same thing. Almost anyone with luck can make some money, but it takes business skill and knowing where the “gold” is to keep your money. In the area of Internet marketing–and business in general–it is important to understand the difference between a gimmick that makes money and a business. Gimmicks are generally transitory and only successful temporarily, and often do not offer a genuine product or service. Ecommerce–running your own online store where you provide a good or service–is a business.  In ecommerce, a key issue is product sourcing, and so one of the biggest wholesale and drop ship so-called “secrets” is where and how to source your products, and that is where legitimate suppliers enter into the picture.

Legitimate sources of wholesale and drop-ship goods are a vital element of the equation.  Unless you are a scammer, in most cases there are really only two things to offer through legitimate home business.   Goods or services (or both).  If you want to offer goods, then you have a choice of physical products or digital products.   Here, we are concerned about physical products, so we can either stock our own inventory and ship from our business, or sell goods that will be shipped independently by a manufacturer or distributor.

Wholesale Goods

Wholesale sources will supply our products in the first instance above, where we stock our own inventory. There is a great deal of brouha and noise about how to tell a real wholesaler from a middleman. Let’s get this out in the open right now. A real wholesale business will always require proof of a state retail sales tax permit. Any business saying or implying that it is a wholesaler but not requiring a sales tax permit from you is not a true wholesaler. The term, “middleman” or “middlemen,” generally refers to these sorts of businesses, that is, retail businesses charging discounted prices but misrepresenting themselves as wholesalers. (Keep in mind that there are many legitimate businesses selling discounted goods who are not true wholesalers. The “middlemen” I am referring to attempt to mislead you into thinking that they are are real wholesalers.)

A moment ago we made reference to the sales tax permit. The sales tax permit, sometimes referred to as a resale certificate, is simply a license granted by your state that allows you to buy goods for resale without having to pay sales tax. Anyone can get a sales tax permit from their state of residence; it is easy to get, and generally costs nothing. So don’t fall for “middlemen” who charge a fee to help with this.  (More about Business Permits. . .)

A true wholesale directory will provide you with a list of companies able to source your business at wholesale prices. Even though you can do the research to find wholesalers yourself, there are some very good directories available for purchase. The best of these update their data base of suppliers on a regular frequent basis and also provide forums so that you are always aware of the current “word on the street”.

Now, although a real wholesale company will always require you to have a state retail sales tax permit–and you will need this if you have a true home business–don’t reject a company just because it may not be a true wholesaler. The important thing is whether or not the price is right for you to make a profit. There are also companies, such as liquidators, closeout specialists, and jobbers, who may sell below wholesale price and do not require a retail sales tax permit. Examples of such companies are and

Drop Shipping

A drop shipper is a manufacturer or distributor who stocks the inventory and mails it out to your customer under your company name. You sell the product at whatever price you set, pay the drop ship supplier and keep the difference. Some drop shippers may require membership fees, some may require minimum purchases, others may mark the price of the product up from the wholesale price. When researching drop shippers, it is important to establish whether or not the drop ship price will allow you to make a profit. One other point to keep in mind is how and where you intend to do your selling. Drop shipping might work just fine in one environment but not in another, for example.

Drop shipping is often touted as an easy way to sell on eBay because the drop shipper is responsible for inventory and shipping to your customers. Drop shipping is still effective, and many sellers are doing very well. As mentioned above, your selling environment is key. However, the eBay market place is so competitive that you really have to research your product and drop shipper to verify that you will be able to make a profit. A reliable drop ship directory can be a very important resource. However, it is vital to do the research on your product, the environment in which you plan to sell, and on the wholesale and drop ship sources you plan to use. Again, the best wholesale drop-ship directories help you out by verifying the integrity of suppliers they work with.

If you are brand new to the area of finding and providing goods via wholesale and drop ship product sourcing and are starting from scratch, you are at a disadvantage because you may not know how to evaluate the information you are presented with, and so you are not sure how to determine what’s good and what’s bad. You also may not want to invest the time to do your own product supplier research.

With that in mind, we do have two recommendations for you. Neither one will set you back very much, and we think they offer tremendous value for the price.   First, Salehoo is a directory that allows access to a list of more than 1000 wholesale, drop ship, liquidation-closeout and other low cost suppliers. Through this list of contacts, you have potential access to thousands of products. Also available is the Salehoo forum. The forum may be its most valuable asset. You not only have at your fingertips the forum archives, but you can plug in to a very active network of other buyers and sellers. I am a Salehoo member and for that reason feel safe in recommending this service. However, it is by no means necessary or even the only way to find product sources. It is merely a resource that in addition to providing contact and background information for vast numbers of suppliers, also provides educational materials, product research tools, and the means to network with other people and product suppliers. You can find out more, here: Salehoo Global Directory of Wholesale Distributors.

The second directory is for those of you who know that you want to focus on media, primarily DVD movies. I warn you that this is a very tough niche to crack, but the Jillian Entertainment Guide is simply the best and still is the best list of wholesale, drop ship. and liquidation-closeout DVD sources that we have yet to find. And we have looked. I say this with such certainty because I own the list and, as I mentioned above, I have looked. The price of the Guide is minimal, but if you are considering selling DVDs on eBay or through ecommerce, this will give you a wide range of contacts including the major studio sources and the major wholesale houses distributing to retail outlets throughout the United States. These will be the same sources used by some (not all, of course) of the eBay power sellers. For wholesale DVDs, try, Jillian Entertainment Wholesale DVD Directory.

Paid resources inlcude:

Salehoo online global wholesale directory

Aid and Trade Product Sourcing

How to do Affiliate Niche Marketing and Make a Profit

For more on Salehoo, please feel free to read excerpts from the forum and blog: