Okay so you figured out what to sell or make and sell, but what’s next? Up next is finding suppliers.
This is a crucial step, because if you do everything else right and get the order you need to make sure it ships properly. The last thing you want is for the product to get damaged in shipping or worse never even make it to the buyer (your customer).
How would that look for you? The customer thought they found a great deal and now they are questioning the legitimacy of your business because they never received what they paid for. Keep in mind most consumers presume that if they buy it from you that you also ship it and so if that doesn’t go well they will blame you for it.
So let’s try our best to avoid this problem.
The best way to do this is of course to fix it before the order is placed. So how do you do that? It’s simple really; you need to research this potential supplier/shipper thoroughly before you open your store.
Here are some tips on what to look for:
- How long have they been in business?
- How can you reach them with a question or problem?
- Is their return policy clearly posted and if so is it acceptable to you?
- Are their prices fair?
- Can you get a discount for a high volume of sales made?
- Is their website secure (containing a SSL encryption code)?
- What payment methods do they offer to you when paying them?
- How will they ship the order? Will it be a blind drop ship?
- How fast will they process the order so it can ship? In other words once you have paid them will they ship it out that day or the next?
- What shipping options are available to you? Ground, 2nd day, overnight?
- How can you track the order in case of a delivery issue?
- What kind of reviews can you gather about them?
- What does the BBB (Better Business Bureau) think of them?
- What do they need from you to create an account?
Hint: If it requires payment up front think twice. Some legit wholesalers will require payment, most won’t.
Hint: Do they require proof of your business (usually asking for a EIN)? If they don’t then find someone else because they are not a legit wholesaler. A legit wholesaler must have proof that you are in business and they must keep that proof on file in case of an audit.
Hint: Without a login can you see the prices? If so, then they are not a legit wholesaler. A legitimate wholesaler is not allowed to sell to the general public, therefore there would be no need for the pricing to be posted for everyone to see!
You want to buy from a wholesaler or direct from the manufacturer in order to get the best pricing. If you can’t then they are a retailer like you only worse because they are most likely pretending to be a wholesaler.