Sourcing Suppliers and Drop-shippers at Trade Shows
Whatever you sell on eBay,
whether it is beauty products, electronics, apparel, etc., it can usually be found at trade shows.
Trade shows are a fantastic way to source items as they pull all of the very best suppliers together under one
The best places to look for the trade shows that are happening in your industry can be found here:
You can also search on the search engines to see if there are any other specific shows that you should be
attending. If you live in a city with convention centers in them, you might want to go to the website of the
convention center and look at their calendar of events regularly to see if anything is coming up.
When you have found a trade show that you want to go, you need to prepare yourself. Trade shows can
be a little intense! There are a lot of vendors at these trade shows and you are going to need to be a sponge and
soak up as much information as you can. Learn how to use tradeshows to find wholesale
suppliers with these tips...
Here's a quick list of things that you should take with you:
- Tennis shoes (you'll be walking a lot)
- Business cards these are great for placing in competition entry boxes
- Any publications about your business
- Bag to hold all of the material you will gather
- Digital camera (but be sure to ask before taking photos of displays or products)
On your first day there, when you begin your journey to finding the right booths that have the
right products or service, go ahead and get a feeling for the place and the venue.
If you talk to everyone that you run into, you might miss out on finding what you need. These trade shows are a
haven for networking. You want to be dressed in a professional manner and ensure that you have a cordial attitude.
Ask as many questions as you need and use the supplier's time to find out as much as you can about their business
They will also be interested in you, and your business. It may feel like you are being interviewed by some
suppliers. I recommend that you prepare about a 30-second pitch about you and your business.
You don't need to go into detail about the mechanics of your business, you just need to sound interesting and an
attractive person to do business with.
Most suppliers will probably ask you about the following:
- Your PowerSeller status
- if applicable
- The size of volume that you need
- Where you live
- Products that you are interested in
Some suppliers will have their sales people taking care of their stall at the trade show, and some of them
aren't afraid to do a hard sale, or to try to get you to commit to a big order right there and then. Just keep
listening and take a mental note of what you like or dislike about their company.
When it comes time for you to talk, here are a few questions you might want to
- Do you have any references?
- How long have you been in business?
- Who do you use for shipping?
- Have you have any problems with materials?
- What customer support do you offer?
- Do you ship internationally?
- What payments methods do you accept?
- What is your returns policy?
Depending on the size and volume you have sell on eBay, it might be beneficial to go with more than one
Start envisioning how to choose the right suppliers geographically and quantitatively. Many people seem to think
that just because it's all online the actual shipping and handling charges can't be reduced. But it can if you
organize them into separate suppliers and drop-shippers for separate purchasing habits. Learning how to sell online can be made more effective and profitable if you think in
After each day you will probably drop off your bags and begin to relax. I would recommend that you take all the
fliers and brochures that you have received and start organizing them when it is fresh in your mind. Throw out all
brochures or information from suppliers that you are not interested in using.
When you get home, you should do further research on these suppliers. You
are going to need to research their companies and websites and see who they are working with.
If they have other company logos as it would appear they have worked with, contact those companies and ask for
their opinion. If they have a beautiful website but all their contact info looks like this...
...You might need to raise some flags if their "staff" don't have company emails; this is a sure sign of a
scammer. The best thing to do is to get referrals.
Check them out here: http://successfulonlineselling.com/Salehoo.html