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scra
06-02-2010, 10:27 PM
Hey all,

Apologises for my youth and naivity but I need a bit of help obaining suppliers. I'm 19 and now have the funds to look seriously at stocking and supplying a product through an online website. My first hurdle on this road is that I don't have the first clue about how to locate a decent supplier. I have googled quite a bit, brought trade mags, etc but a lot of them are the typical ebay supplier and thats not what I am after.

I'm not completely sure of the product I wish to find, for example fitness equipment. What I would like to know is how do I find a list of good suppliers for a certain type of stock or product. I did hear a while back about contacting the manfacturer and they are able to give you a list of suppliers, is this true? If so, is this the best way or is there other ways?

It may or may not be a silly question but I would just little a little clarity and direction.

Many thanks

gear7.co.uk
07-02-2010, 02:24 AM
It really does depend on what you want to sell....ideally you need to have at least a rough idea to start off with and some knowledge of the market. Otherwise how do you know how much you can sell something for and how much margin you can make for a given cost?

Certainly for branded products, the manufacturer should be able to point you in the direction of their 1st tier distributors. Bear in mind, though, that (particularly for electronic goods) you are unlikely to get a good price out of 1st tier distribution as a low volume retailer. You may be better off buying from a wholesaler. If you have the capital to buy in bulk, definitely look at importing from asia or the usa.

Sorry to not be of more help. If you can narrow down what you are looking for we may be able to assist more directly.

Chris

P.S. for starters, try Esources and Wholesaledeals.co.uk

scra
07-02-2010, 06:16 PM
Thanks, both them websites look usefully, especially wholesaledeals and I have never come across them before. I guess I do not know what I want to buy and sell just yet. I have been working full time for a while now and have always wanted to start my own business. The desire to work for myself now has become really strong and I am looking to test the waters and see what crops up. If I was to look at products, I would say gym equipment, its a passion of mine and something I am interested in.

Any more leads or advice would be appreciated. I am enjoying the learning curve.

gear7.co.uk
08-02-2010, 12:08 AM
No problem :) I understand where you are coming from ref: wanting to not work for other people!

I would say that unless you have the capital to go straight in and buy in bulk, don't try to compete on price: there are plenty of online retailers who will buy, e.g. 200 Multi-gyms and 1000 sets of dumbells in one go direct from the manufacturer and get great pricing, then sell at a 2% gross margin on each unit. If you can only buy 10 at a time, there's no way you can make any money - your cost will be greater than their retail!

So you need to find a niche where you good service and expertise are demanded and valued.

Chris

ThokoJean
10-02-2010, 10:11 AM
Hey all,

Apologises for my youth and naivity but I need a bit of help obaining suppliers. I'm 19 and now have the funds to look seriously at stocking and supplying a product through an online website. My first hurdle on this road is that I don't have the first clue about how to locate a decent supplier. I have googled quite a bit, brought trade mags, etc but a lot of them are the typical ebay supplier and thats not what I am after.

I'm not completely sure of the product I wish to find, for example fitness equipment. What I would like to know is how do I find a list of good suppliers for a certain type of stock or product. I did hear a while back about contacting the manfacturer and they are able to give you a list of suppliers, is this true? If so, is this the best way or is there other ways?

It may or may not be a silly question but I would just little a little clarity and direction.

Many thanks

Hey :),

Firstly, don't worry about entering the market naive, because that's how some people start out. They have a passion for something but lack the tools and knowledge to get it off the ground. That's how you start to learn and feel your way through the market, and most importantly, take good advice from those who are more experienced.

Secondly, as was mentioned above, you need to know what you want to stock. I am in a similar boat to you, where I want to stock a lot of things, but they have to be particular enough to gain/penetrate the market. What helps me is writing a list of the things that I want to stock, looking for them and focusing on finding them. I have a survey which I'm running that let's me know clearly what people would expect me to stock. This may or may not help you, but definitely consider having a list that can give your business some focus. You may find the most interesting and unique things using your list that will set your business apart. And remember that your list is not exhaustive, mend and re-mend it and keep up with the latest trends in your industry.

Finally, eSources and other sites (aka "B2B" meaning 'Business 2 Business') websites are good but you have to be extremely cautious. They can put you in touch with good links and fraudsters alike. So if you find leads and suppliers on these sites: 1. Google them and take the results (good or bad) seriously; 2. vet them by looking at how far they are from you (so if anything goes wrong you can physically reach them); if they are in another country find out their business details through an embassy; call them etc. You may have capital ready but don't let people con you out of it. That happened to me and it really opened my eyes to the amount of fraudsters out there. It also taught me some vital things about business that I didn't realise are so important; like integrity, patience and getting over a setback.

I hope this advice helps, and all the best with your new venture :)

ThokoJean

Jarvooo
10-02-2010, 12:04 PM
Id say Thoko has actually covered everything, just try not to fall victim as many do in that situation, its the best advice you can have