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How to find legitimate wholesalers for an eBay business

Unique products are more profitable than mass produced items.
Unique products are more profitable than mass produced items.USAtoday.com

Finding a legitimate wholesaler on the internet is a challenge. A large percentage of wholesalers are located in China, which can be risky, or they require an up-front registration or membership fee. Others are not true or legitimate wholesalers at all – they are middlemen who use the label “wholesaler” loosely. Prices can be too high to allow for any profit in the eBay marketplace. Here are a few tips to help eBay resellers find legitimate wholesalers or suppliers:

1. Forget the large companies with membership fees. Enough eBay sellers are already offering those products at razor-thin margins. You should not have to pay a membership or registration fee to begin selling a supplier’s products. Someone is usually making an affiliate commission when a membership to a wholesaler is purchased.

2. Scope out small to medium-sized companies with a niche product. For example, visit local farmer’s markets and look for locally made items such as skin care products, gourmet food products, or gift items. Get ideas for what is made in your area that is a good fit with an eCommerce business. Also visit organic grocery stores like Whole Foods and pay attention to the stations giving out free samples. These may be products made by local companies trying to get shelf space in a large supermarket.

3. Google is your friend. For example, if you specialize in pet products, do a variety of different searches on Google using keywords for products in the pet niche, such as dog collars wholesale, dog shampoo wholesale, or organic dog treats wholesale. Look beyond the first page of Google. Good information can be buried deep in the search. Use different words and do lots of searches. The information is there - it just takes time to find it.

4. Look on eBay for products in your niche that are selling well. Look up the brand names and visit their websites. Many companies have a bulk buying or reseller program. It may not be true wholesale, but items can be purchased in quantity for a lower cost, and smaller companies are often willing to negotiate on price.

5. Importing from China is cheap, but can be complicated. You may need a customs agent which costs money. Products ordered from China are often shipped in large quantities (which is why they are so cheap), so consider how the items will be transported from the delivery location and storage space. Ordering 10,000 products at once involves risk and takes some planning.

6. Consider how unique the product is and how easily other sellers (competitors) can obtain it. Anyone with a big enough bank account can order 10,000 plastic widgets from China. But not everyone can order a unique locally made product in your area. Support smaller local businesses with interesting or unusual niche products.