The interesting thing about online buyers is they are extremely price sensitive. A survey done by Forrester Research shows that 73 percent of surveyed online buyers expect prices on Internet to be cheaper than in stores. No wonder auction marketplaces are thriving. Among most popular auction marketplaces growth of eBay is especially notable! Its market share is growing at roughly twice pace of over all market. So, it’s only natural if you like many other wannabe entrepreneurs thinking seriously to start an eBay business.
Say, after spending long hours on eBay and doing much research offline and online, you finally have come up with a niche category of products to sell. But, there is one little problem! You don’t have a slightest clue where to get regular supply of this product for wholesale price. Often, entrepreneurs with great product ideas fail to materialize their dream business plan just because they are unable to find a right supplier. How to tackle this problem?
Finding a local supplier
Success in any trading business depends not only on how good you are in selling, it also relies greatly on your ability to source product at right cost. If you have a fairly large list of products that you are considering to work with you have a variety of options to choose from. You may start your eBay auctioning business based on local liquidators, closeout dealers, government auctions, newspaper classified or Drop-shippers (http://ezine.rusbiz.com/article/39). But to start a real niche business you need to find a constant source supplier, which could be a manufacturer, a distributor or a wholesaler. Obviously, Internet is easiest place to get initial contact information. Try http://www.thomasnet.com/ or http://www.tgrnet.com/ - both websites are good information sources for industrial products manufacturers.
Bear in mind that many manufacturers simply aren't able to handle small orders and don't sell products directly to retailers. Some times, minimum sales lot is way too big for a small start-up company to manage. However, even if manufacturer does not sell directly to retail levels, they will provide you with information on their products and refer you to their wholesaler or distributor companies, which will be in a position to cater your needs.
For some category of products, your best option is to attend trade or industry shows in order to locate a supplier. Check out websites of some exhibition centers in your vicinity and find one or two trade shows of your area of interest. Make sure that participants of trade show are distributors and wholesalers as oppose to large manufacturers. After all, you need to find a supplier who will agree to work with your initial small orders.
Trade journals or publications of your related field also could be a great source in your quest to find a supplier. Trade journals publish information on industry trend, articles on major players, various industry related event schedules such as trade shows, and often carry classified sections. Sometimes, they also publish specialty issues such as a buyer's guide or a who's who issue. You may consider getting those issues by contacting publishers.
Professional and trade associations similar to local chamber of commerce and other groups offer a variety of services, which are extremely useful to members and general people a like. Promotion of industry and its products and referral services for buyers trying to find specific products are some of services that they offer. You should not hesitate to contact these organizations for help.