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Thread: Selling products online

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    Selling products online

    Hi,

    I would please like to know how to go about sourcing products that I can sell online, that I don't necessarily have to purchase in bulk?

    I have previously registered as a dealer with a couple of computer hardware and software suppliers but found that unless I was able to purchase a significant amount of stock in bulk and qualify for a reasonable discount, I generally wasn't able to compete on price, and in instances when I could, the profit margin was very small.

    Is it possible to still find a way in and start a profitable business that one can grow without purchasing in bulk or is the retail industry owned by those who are able to put a significant amount of money down upfront?

    I have also looked into dropshipping whereby the supplier ships directly to your customer, but I have found very few suppliers in my search online in South Africa unlike in the UK. Is anybody aware of any good dropshippers?

    Thanks for your help.

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the money is in the service industries. Retailers make money yes, but as you say, only because they are able to buy in bulk.

    If you are wanting to start a big retailing business, I'd suggest firstly making sure that you have a viable business model and secondly that you look into various forms of financing your business. Basically, I don't think you could start a retail business (particularly in the IT industry) with a small amount of capital.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    From what I can tell, a lot of websites that claim they're an online shop are really just another store window for the real shop that does the actual supplying.

    Or maybe that should be "sales rep" instead of "shop window"...

    Or of course (and I certainly don't discount the possibility) I'm just a dinosaur who simply doesn't get it when it comes to what a business is in the 21st century.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Or maybe that should be "sales rep" instead of "shop window"...
    I think you're spot on with this observation.

    User10: If you want to find something to sell online, search offline. SA has many businesses that have still not really ventured into the online world. You need to track them down and then offer to become their online "sales rep". Get hold of a yellow pages or walk around a small industrial area. Then search to see if they have an online presence. If not, approach them.

    No one said it would be hassle free.

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    Traditional ways by using auction / classifieds to promote product on: eBay, eBid, CQout, Loot, Amazon etc.

    Other Ways you may be interested In:

    1. T-shirts/Uniforms/Clothing - URLs don't occupy much space. A lot of companies put it under the logo or even on the back under the collar in small letters. Try a cap with just the URL; maybe even as a giveaway.

    2. Stationary - Do you have your URL on business cards, letterhead, invoices, bills, and checks? Print that URL on anything that you would put your phone number on. It doesn't usually cost anything additional, and it will put your name in front of thousands. Ever think of putting your URL on your cash register receipt? It's probably quite easy to do.

    3.Traditional Advertising - Every business will run some sort of advertising. Whether it is a newspaper ad or TV ad, the URL should be an integral part of your ad. Look through any magazine or newspaper. Everyone is doing it. Come on; join in!


    4. Press Releases - Most companies use press releases to announce changes in their company or new services that they offer. Press releases are a form of cheap marketing that a lot of people use. If you don't use this tool for marketing your business, maybe you need to read "How to Write Press Releases". If you do use this tool, you need to make sure that the URL is included in the release. Put it in there as many times as you can. Some news services will edit your release, so make sure that you repeat the URL, so that it will get it in print.

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    If you don't want to purchase in bulk, Dropship is the best choice for you. I have some suggestion for you

    1. Find some thing for best sellers. You can search from bidorbuy or such kind of auction site and find the hot selling products.
    2. Search a dropshipper who can ship to south africa with reasonable postage.
    3. If you are first time to buy from a dropship provider, you need to place a tiral order first to test how about the quality.
    4. Once the quality is approved, you can let they ship to your customer directly next time
    Last edited by Dave A; 09-Jun-11 at 05:23 AM. Reason: just a little tidy up

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    I have managed to do exactly what you are asking. I sourced a supplier without holding any stock and created an online store. Within the first 3 weeks of being live we made 5 sales. check it out: www.southafricabike.com

    Working on our second project which should have over 60,000 products to choose from.

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    Email problem Missnancyalex's Avatar
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    If you need to start retailer business you should have to buy in bulk so you got some commission, no way out here. So I suggest you to instead of buying, selling and delivering products you should use better option.
    You should try your luck on affiliate marketing. Just help merchants in selling products and earn commission on each sale. Commission starts with 5% and some merchants provide more than 25%.
    Merchant should fulfill buying and delivering responsibilities.

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    I agree Missnancyalex ! Affiliate marketing could be a very good solution for your begining ! Look at amazon.com

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    Miro Bagrov (05-Jan-12)

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