||Referring to here is what is
called drop shipping companies and
services. These are companies who stock
goods have wholesale products to sell, and
will ship direct to your customers for a
many of the newer Chinese import goods are handled in this way as well as much of the clothing and plastics industries.
Whether sourcing products to see on the internet , products to sell eBay or an online store set up you can easily operate your own business selling products online and sell direct to customers without even having to own storage facilities or handle shipping yourself!
Major advantages and disadvantages are listed as are proven sources for trials where you can check profit margins, availability , deliverability regions worldwide for the products you plan on selling or just research products to sell.
There are two major advantages to drop shippers, mainly:
You do not have
to store inventory or manage products
Shipping materials and tracking are handled for you
Of course there are disadvantages too including:
Finding a drop shipper
There are many drop shippers out there and finding a wholesale supplier that carries the goods you want to sell and asking if they would be willing to dropship should be your first option. If so identify the costs and see if it makes sense to enter into a contract with them, if not then you may want to refer to the following drop shipper lists to see if they have suppliers who would meet your needs.
* Worldwide Brands
Drop Ship , Light bulk and Large
Volume Directory - Top Choice
for Sources updated daily for
Dropshipping, light bulk
wholesale, large volume bulk
wholesalers , import sources and
offers more than others with research, sourcing
tools but is more costly,
no recurring charges which is nice though
Tour - (up to date online guide,
many eBay sources worldwide includes
1 time low cost
Most goods sold today are created overseas where labour and materials are cheaper. So cheap in fact that American jobs and manufacturing simply cannot compete ' while these are some sad facts to have to deal with the future is not likely to see significant changes so most businesses who deal in retail today obtain their products either directly from overseas manufacturers or from importers.
Countries like Pakistan, India and China can create leather and wood products cheaper then the raw materials can be harvested in many cases ' there are a few caveats however to obtaining goods from overseas. For one thing there are bans and in some cases tariff and customs fees that can impact your bottom line, so before purchasing products a quick stop at the US Customs site should be your first stop to see what limits and fees you need to be aware of from any countries you wish to deal with.
In most cases it is a good idea to hire a brokerage firm to handle the customs and importing of your merchandise, but if you have the time and are located near a 'port of entry' such as most international airports or the ocean it is more a matter of running back and forth then real expertise. Many great resources for anyone who wants to get into importing goods can be found online at sites such as the following:
The books 'A Basic Guide To Importing'
from the US Customs service and 'Import Basics
"Quick Start" Guide' by Sandra L. Tumbarello, as
well as 'Building an Import/Export Business' by
Kenneth D. Weiss are also valuable to a would be
In many cases such as Pakistanian leather goods obtaining the product is simple and you can even pay the customs fees at the post office when you pick up the products. In some cases you have to go to a port of call and obtain the forms, then to the local customs office to get them signed and pay the fees and then back to pay the storage and pick up the goods from the port of call ' it is especially useful to utilize a customs broker in cases when your port of call is not very close to a US Customs office since they are set up to handle what would otherwise be a long and arduous day of waiting in lines and filling out forms.
A customs broker is a person or a firm that acts as the importer for you, handling all the customs interactions for a fee. Good brokers often will assist you with handling exchange rates and identifying the proper classification and duty rates for your products. They often will even help with handling and loading, and most importantly are aware of the many restrictions on quantities and categories of goods that can be imported. To find out more and to locate a U.S. Customs Brokers see the web site at National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc.
Importing goods while lucrative can be difficult and too many people will rush off placing orders and making the international wire transfers necessary to pay people overseas for goods without doing the legwork and research necessary to ensure they are not ripped off or don't run afoul of an unexpected legal difficulty. Some common mistakes that you should be careful to avoid include:
Too few cash
resources to handle all the fees
Poor choices in
products / vendors
Not assessing all
of the costs both with importing and making
the goods ready to sell
classifying the goods and risking them being
Failure to understand applicable U.S. import laws and restrictions
Perhaps the biggest mistake of all though is in not investigating the options available to you and seeing if direct import is right for you. If your competitors are selling the same product for less then your cost that is a pretty good clue that you are paying middlemen too much for the goods you are selling.
Success in choosing a product to sell and the right price point to offer it at both to ensure a good revenue and rapid return is the key to being a successful seller. Later on we'll talk about unique opportunities and tips that eBay provides to help you capitalize on its' unique selling capabilities but for now bear in mind that you and you alone can make your eBay business a success. It's simply a matter of selling the right products at the right price and providing the right amount of customer service to ensure a continuing success, whether you are selling bobby-pins or cars word of mouth and great prices are what provides long term success and both of those are completely in your ability to control!
Supply and demand has been around since time began ' but most people who get involved in selling online and especially on eBay are not business majors and don't know how to do cost analysis or create a business model ' they just want to sell things for a profit. For most of us it boils down to having an avenue to either gain some extra income . But if you are going to make any real money or try to make a living at selling items online then you owe it to yourself to learn a few basics about economics and to study the market you wish to enter to make certain that you will be a success. You don't have to be a genius, you don't have to have masters or a bachelors ' all you really have to do is apply some common sense and learn a few simple rules.
First and foremost you need to bear in mind that some items are simply forbidden to be sold on eBay, while others may require special permission or accounts. A list of the disallowed items can be found in eBay's help but boils down to two categories: those that are strictly prohibited and those that are questionable.
Prohibited Items include:
Illegal acts or items that encourage illegal
Items that violate the Offensive
Policy for ethical or racial
Selling 'nothing' ' an actual item or service
must be up for bit (see the Listing
Illegal or sexual services
use of a listing to promote giveaways,
drawings or raffles
Questionable Items include:
Selling perishable items without clearly
stating steps to ensure they will be delivered
safely (see Food)
Selling reproduction of American goods without listing it as such (see Artifacts)
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The first rule of success is to identify a need, the second is to fill that need in a cost effective way. For instance everyone wants world peace ' but killing all humans to achieve it while obviously a solution is not one anyone would buy! If you find the perfect widget but the price point means that you can only make money at high volumes or high prices you'll have to investigate whether the need for that widget will be great enough to justify your efforts in fulfilling it. Obviously we'd all enjoy selling items and working in and with fields that we enjoy ' but if the best you can ever be is an 'also ran' at selling computers wouldn't it make more sense to sell just certain components you can get cheaper then someone else? Finding a need that you can fulfil better then anyone else is the real key to successful sales, be it on eBay or anywhere.
There is a concept called the 'comparative cost of goods' that goes something like this ' if you can grow and sell 1.5 barrels of wheat or 2 barrels of corn at the same cost and effort then the comparative cost of the corn is 1.5 barrels of wheat. If wheat is selling for more then 50% again the price of corn then your resources are better spent growing wheat ' unless the market for wheat is 'weak' and likely to change soon and the market for corn is steady.
These are all concepts covered in most college economics classes, made confusing and hard to follow by charts and expansive words that really aren't necessary to apply the basic concept which is simply to sell what is selling so long as you can make a profit doing so! Like the old joke about the guy who kept buying a stock as it went up and when he went to sell found out that he was the only buyer and was driving the market himself you don't want to get into a high volume market just because there is lots of movement.
It's DEMAND, the need and willingness to pay that is important. Remember the beanie baby craze ' even when demand is great right now if there isn't a projected ongoing demand it may just be a trend, and you don't want to enter a fad market right as it is closing!
To start with a good idea is to sell off some items from around your home that you are no longer using. This not only will help you iron out how eBay selling works, do some trial runs on descriptions and taking pictures etc. but will begin to get your user rating active. Most of us have unused gifts, extra remotes, tools that we no longer use because we upgraded and old clothing / books laying around waiting for a good day to have a garage sale. With eBay EVERY day is a good day, so break those items out and get started!
One man's junk really is another man's treasure ' research your items on eBay and see if other listings like yours are up there already. If so see what kind of interest each has (how many bids, starting price etc.) and use that information to decide whether to list your item and what the projected price point will be. Just because you were told that Star Wars memorabilia was 'worth' hundreds of dollars doesn't make it so if there are twenty selling for $10 or less at the same time you post yours.
Another great thought is to take advantage of unique skills that you may have ' do you have a hobby of writing bible software? Creating databases? Sculpting or painting? Each of these can provide you low-cost items for which you can help set the value. Digital and intellectual products are especially worthwhile since materials cost can be almost nothing (the price of a download or a CD) and some items such as software only need the investment of time for the creation and then updating of the product rather then on an ongoing basis.
Of course you can sell your mother-in-laws leftover garage sale items if she allows you to, but what I'm really
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