As e-commerce sellers the longer we have been selling on-line we tend to think our whole world revolves around our four walls, a desk, a chair and computer that is connected to the internet. And while this is true, there is a whole world out there just waiting to interact with us. These suppliers are sitting there, waiting for a phone to ring, waiting for us to knock on their door, or write them a letter.
The next time you are looking for a new product to sell on your eBay or Amazon store can I encourage you to leave the comfort of your own home and venture out into the real world and meet real people and ask questions face to face. Yes the first few times you do it you will be scared stiff but once you have done it, you will be adding this product sourcing task to your to-do list on a regular basis.
Of course I am talking about taking your product sourcing from sending out emails to going out there into your local town, and taking a walk around your local craft center, driving around a local industrial estate and seeing what companies there are and what products they supply . Also you can do the same for your local town making a note of all the small independent shops and market traders there are.
You will be surprised at all the different places there are and the diverse inventory they sell, just waiting for you to knock on the door and ask them a simple question.
If it is a wholesaler or manufacturer you can arrange to go in and see the owner or business manager and explain you are looking for a wholesale account. Often you just need to fill the forms out show them some simple forms of ID. (This form of ID will vary in each country, so please check out on sites such as Google what your country requires when opening a wholesale account)
If it is a small retailer on the high street, I would first do a quick search on Google and see if the have an e-commerce presence. If not I would then arrange to go and see them and explain that you can help them sell their products to a world-wide audience through the power of selling on-line.
Some of these people will just say no thank you, others will ask this sounds very interesting how does this work? If this happens you will need to explain the different ways you can help them, by helping them sell on sites such as eBay and Amazon by having an account in their own name, or selling the products for them on your account.
But nothing will happen if you just sit at home using the same suppliers week after week. Let me challenge you to get up, walk out the front door and go and knock on some doors, you never know what exciting product is hiding in a local area just crying out to be shown to the world.