Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sourcing Inventory for eBay in Light Bulk Quantities from Wholesalers

By Chris Malta, CEO and Founder of Worldwide Brands

Wholesale Tip #2
Light Bulk Wholesale is a phrase I (Chris Malta) coined several years ago, when making deals with wholesalers to supply products at bulk discounts without requiring large quantity investments. Wholesalers operate on volume. The more you buy, the cheaper the price gets. A wholesaler who is willing to ship in "light bulk" quantities is willing to give better price breaks for LOWER quantities. By definition, they will sell in bulk quantities for better price breaks starting at anywhere from $300 to $500 per order.

The term "light bulk" is not generally known to wholesalers, so you can't just call one and ask for this kind of price break using that term. My company uses that term when we work with wholesalers and explain the concept to them. Some wholesalers understand that they will get more business from Internet Entrepreneurs (who don't have the kind of money it takes to buy hundreds or thousands of units of product at a time) that way, and some don't.

Your profits will be slightly better when you stock and ship your own products, versus using drop shipping. Talking a wholesaler into giving you a low cost entry point into buying in bulk can be a turning point for your business. You CAN approach a wholesaler and ask them to do this for you, but it's not easy and you should expect to get a "no" answer most of the time. That's okay; just move on to the next wholesaler and try again.

The most important thing to understand if you want to contact wholesalers and ask them for price breaks at lower quantities is how a wholesaler operates, and what motivates them to give you a deal like this. Wholesale Sales Representatives earn commissions on the sales they make. They get phone calls all day long from people wanting to buy from them. The bigger the account, the more motivated they are to work with the caller. Obviously they're not really motivated to spend time working on an account for one person selling on eBay. They'd much rather spend their valuable time talking to a buyer for Sears or Penney's. They see themselves making more money that way.

When you call a wholesaler and ask for a wholesale account, and try to get them to give you better price breaks at lower quantities, it's very important you sound professional. You want the Sales Rep to think of you as someone who is going to make lots of sales and earn them lots of commission. When you call, use your business name (you do have a business name, right??) and sound professional. No kids screaming in the background, no TV blaring. Say something like "Hi, this is Bill from Online Ventures, LLC. I'm testing some product lines in my online retail business, and would like to talk to you about buying in bulk at smaller quantities, then ramping up with the products that work. Can you work with me on some initial price breaks at smaller quantities?"

They'll ask you a few questions about where you're selling and how much you've sold in the past. Be honest with them. You don't want to tell them one thing, and have them find out something else later. We've already qualified a very large number of Light Bulk Wholesalers in the database who are willing to work with you right now, but you can find your own if you understand how they work and deal with them professionally.

This article was written and provided by Chris Malta, CEO and Founder of Worldwide Brands.

Worldwide Brands is an eBay Certified Solutions Provider providing product sourcing information for eBay sellers. They are the publishers of an extensive directory of legitimate, fully-verified ecommerce wholesalers and manufacturers.

Chris was formerly a Microsoft-Certified Systems Engineer who has worked for many of the big corporations, designing and building both corporate and ECommerce networks. He's spent many years working in ECommerce and web site design. He is the Founding Partner and CEO of Worldwide Brands, Inc., Product Sourcing Editor for The eBay Radio Show, and a best-selling EBiz Author.

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