Tag Archives: Sourcing

Product Sourcing Tools: the Essential Guide for Online Sellers

Software and services for Amazon/eBay market research, importing, private labeling, arbitrage, wholesale, liquidation and dropshipping

Good sources of inventory aren’t just lying out in the open for everyone to see, you have to go looking for them. But the quest to find profitable products is not easy – it’s almost like searching for buried treasure.

First, you’ll need some sort of map to guide you, rather than just wandering around at random. But don’t expect to have an X marking the perfect spot.

You’ll also need “pieces of eight” to invest. The more gold doubloons you have at your disposal, the more options and leverage you will have with suppliers.

Then you’ll need the right tools for the job. A compass and telescope won’t get you far, but there are software and services available that can help a great deal.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Product Sourcing category of the Web Retailer directory. It covers market research, product evaluation, importing and private label, online arbitrage, wholesale, liquidation and dropshipping.

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How to Carry Out an Annual Review of Your Chinese Suppliers

Identify key problems, work together on solutions, and grow your business together – or fire them!

This post is by Gary Huang, an American based in Shanghai, China. Gary has been working in sourcing since 2008, and is the creator of 80/20 Sourcing which teaches online sellers and small business importers how to save time and make more money when sourcing from suppliers in China.

When sourcing from suppliers abroad, oftentimes we are so bogged down in the day-to-day communications, fixing problems, placing orders, and handling all other parts of our business, we rarely take a chance to evaluate how the supplier is performing. One of the best ways is to do this is with a performance review.

Does the sound of that make your skin crawl? The thought of meeting with your boss and having him pick apart all the good and bad you’ve done all year. We hate that feeling when someone gives you negative feedback despite the fact it’s “for your own good”. The idea is that this way you recognize your weaknesses, and ideally identify ways to work together to improve upon them.

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7 Ways Brands and Manufacturers are Failing Online Retailers

This post is by Trevor Ginn, the founder of VendLab, a retail consultancy which helps retailers and suppliers create, optimize and manage their product data. Trevor is also the founder of online retailer Hello Baby, which has been selling baby, toddler and nursery products worldwide since 2007.

Ecommerce has been around for over twenty years, but in many ways the manufacturers of products which are sold online are yet to adapt.

Online retailers have different requirements from bricks-and-mortar shops, yet the products and service they receive from their inventory suppliers (brands, manufacturers, distributors and so on) are generally still tailored to retail stores.

Here are seven ways suppliers fail online retailers, which I have seen time and time again. Be on the lookout for them!

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Product Sourcing Roundup: Importing, Reselling, Liquidation, Arbitrage and Used

Product Sourcing Roundup

We have covered the topic of sourcing products many times over the past few years. Posts have ranged from sourcing methods and strategies, to the nitty gritty of finding suppliers and working with them effectively.

Many aspects of selling come down to processes and policies – understanding the marketplaces and running a really streamlined operation. That efficiency is crucial, and can be hard to achieve, but really it’s just a requirement so that you can stay in business. The ability to find appealing products at a profitable price is what actually determines your success.

In this roundup, I’ve pulled together our best sourcing posts. They’re grouped into six sections: general, importing, reselling, liquidation, arbitrage and used.

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7 Challenges Selling Health, Beauty and Nutritional Products on Amazon

Selling Health & Beauty on Amazon

This post is by Michael Butcher, a Senior Account Manager at SellerEngine. His career in ecommerce dates back to 2001, taking in both online retailers and digital marketing agencies. Michael has been with SellerEngine since 2011, and has helped dozens of health and beauty sellers grow their revenues on Amazon, while avoiding the many pitfalls of selling in this challenging category.

The health and beauty market is a huge force in retail, both online and off. It incorporates a wide range of products including health and personal care, nutritional supplements, medicines and creams, as well as beauty and cosmetics. Sales are high. In the US, health and beauty accounts for $300bn a year in sales, beaten only by groceries.

Amazon is the dominant online retailer for health and beauty products, as it is for many categories. I’ve seen a huge influx of sellers going into health and beauty on the Amazon marketplace, particularly in the last three years.

Its popularity among sellers is somewhat surprising, because health and beauty is one of the most challenging categories to sell in. These are products that go on or in the body, so safety and quality are of paramount importance. Brand names drive a lot of buying decisions, so counterfeiting is a big issue. And many items are liquids or creams, and contain organic ingredients, so they are fragile and can go bad if left in storage too long.

In this post, I’ll look in detail at the health and beauty market on Amazon, particularly the challenges that are unique to this category. I’ll cover what those challenges are, why they matter, and how you can overcome them to become a successful health and beauty seller on the Amazon marketplace.

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