You’ve done your homework. You already know what you want to sell and who your target audience is. Now, all you need are the products to sell to your valued customers. Finding quality products for your eCommerce store doesn’t have to be challenging. You have many options for finding the right suppliers – both online and offline. To that end, we’re divulging several helpful tips below for sourcing quality products for your eCommerce store.
1. Don’t Worry about Shipping… Let a Third Party Do It for You
Drop shipping is a term you’ve probably heard before, but unless you understand how it works, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to save time and money with your eCommerce business. Drop shipping is handled by a 3PL fulfillment and logistics company that sources products through other vendors. When you work with a third-party fulfillment company, they handle all the order fulfilling, inventory tracking, and shipping tasks for you. It makes running an eCommerce store almost hands-free.
2. Look Online for Suppliers
Once you’ve figured out what products you want to sell, turn online to find local and international suppliers. You’ll likely need to do an in-depth Google search to find what you’re looking for, but be sure to pay attention to pricing, shipping times, and other key factors to find the best deals. Remember, just because a supplier offers great pricing doesn’t mean they’re the one you should order from if their shipping fees and times are extreme.
Tip: If you know who your competition is, look them up on ImportGenius to find out where they are sourcing their products from, and then contact that supplier directly.
3. Always Have Backup Suppliers
Today’s supply chains aren’t always dependable, which is why it’s a good idea to have backup suppliers in case your usual supplier can’t come through. Backorders are a hassle to deal with, so negotiate with your usual suppliers and your backup suppliers to ensure you always have products coming in when you need them.
If you’re having trouble finding quality suppliers, talk to other eCommerce professionals in your network. Ask who they source products from and what their experiences are with them. Most eCommerce business owners will happily provide recommendations as they know how important it is to help each other out in today’s economy.
4. Partner with a Brick-and-Mortar Shop
Look for a local brick-and-mortar store that doesn’t already have an online presence. They may be willing to partner with you to sell your products in their store. Alternatively, they may be looking to sell their products online but just don’t know how to get started. You can offer to sell their items in your eCommerce store by buying their products at a reduced cost and then selling them for full price online.
5. Consider Sourcing Products from Overseas Suppliers
Many eCommerce store owners turn abroad to find quality products at cheaper costs. China is a huge supplier of products for eCommerce stores. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress sell bulk products at cheaper prices, allowing you to make bigger profits when selling in your online store.
When buying from an international seller, order samples of their products first to make sure they are good quality, and then make a bulk order once you determine the products are made well.
When sourcing products for your eCommerce store, you may run into a few not-so-great suppliers before you find the one or two that meets your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples, and don’t negate buying internationally, which can be cheaper than buying domestically.