How do you buy wholesale?

Soldato
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Always thought it would be interesting to start an online shop but never knew where to start off.

Does anyone have any good suggestions where the best place to start out would be? Is it expensive to register a company for an online business?

Are these websites that offer contacts for subscriptions just cons?

Anyone with some experience in this field who would be able to point me in the right direction, it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for your advice in advance.
 
Soldato
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At a wholesaler's.



It really depends what you're selling:
A café will buy their stock from a local wholesaler, like cosco, or an independant one near me called McClures.
Someone like OcUK buy their graphic cards and hardware from the manufacturer, I mean Connect3D, not ATi, They'll have a representative who the purchasers speak to. Kind of like a wholesaler selling direct to the public too, which is sort of why Spie has a Ferrari.
The Hardware store I worked in would buy from many different stockists/wholesalers, each had a rep. who would come and strike out a deal for us to get stock.
The wholesalers go to, and are approached by lots of similar manufacturers who want to sell their kit. Again there's a rep, such as the Cadbury's Rep who has a boot full of chocolate.
 
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Associate
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I think you register yourself and then you get some kind of card that allows you to buy stock from a wholesalers.

I dont know the ins and outs I'm afraid.
 
Associate
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Depends what you want to buy for the buying side of things.

Most of my stuff comes from Japan or China. A lot of places want a minimum order quantity or so much worth of orders over a year. Also people are generally reluctant to release their supplier information due to the fact you could be potential competition.

To sell online if you are on your own all you need to do is register as a sole trader, and you can do your tax returns online.

It is quite a bit of work selling online, be warned. You must keep accurate recorders of everything and have it all recorded correctly. Selling is the minor part of the work, most is the paper work behind it.

On top of this you have the DSR which can be a right pain, so selling something where returns are likely to be kept to a minimum for a small business is key. High priced electronics can be a right nightmare for example.

Find a niche is also key. There is a lot of competition out there, and to get your site notice can be hard, even more so in a swamped are of business.
 
Soldato
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What do you intend to buy/sell?

If it is branded electronics then forget about getting them from China because it is very hard to source authentic goods, stick to local at first.

Some wholesalers need proof that you have a business, but some will just ask you to register with that company and there maybe a MOQ (minimum order quantity).

If by any chance you are thinking of buying iphones and selling them, then PLEASE don't be scammed by websites saying you can get them for £150 and sell them for £600. AUTHENTIC IS NOT CHEAP.

Profit margins can vary from product to product, but they are generally going to be very small at first because

Money is made on Volume

I hope that helps, if you need any more information then feel free to ask.
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the feedback. I have a product/idea which seems to be an untouched market from the small amount of research I have done.

What would be the first stage? Register as an online shop and then produce a mock up product to show potential customers? Anyone actually done that before, or have an idea of how much that costs?

Or should I head off to Dragons Den? lol
 
Soldato
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Nottingham
Thanks for the feedback. I have a product/idea which seems to be an untouched market from the small amount of research I have done.

What would be the first stage? Register as an online shop and then produce a mock up product to show potential customers? Anyone actually done that before, or have an idea of how much that costs?

Or should I head off to Dragons Den? lol

Are you going to require a product to be made for you specifically?
 
Soldato
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Cheltenham ;-)
If it was me I'd take a hit on the bank balance and see if it was a feaable idea by actually marketing it.
Advertise in correct mags, shop windows, use all available free ideas like facebook and twitter, linkdin, etc etc

Basically start selling and see if it makes you money. Then either find ways to make it more efficient and cost effective or plough the profit back into the company for a year or two to try and expand it so that higher volume = higher profit.
 
Soldato
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Might be easier to look at white labelling someone else's product / drop-shipping directly from suppliers.

If you're going to sell your own product, be sure to factor in the cost of returns/support when things go wrong... you won't have a manufacturer to fall back on.
 
Associate
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If you're going to sell your own product, be sure to factor in the cost of returns/support when things go wrong... you won't have a manufacturer to fall back on.

Yup good advice.

I work on a 1 in 10 return rate / lost in post etc. Which means the cost of that one product is factored into and spread out over the overall cost of all 10 for example.
 
Soldato
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Yes and I think it would improve too.

Excellent. For a minute I thought you were going to say you'd not made any yet. I had my facepalm all ready to post :D

So you are already in the market and making them so source the "components" cheaper.
RS Components for eg. offer you cheaper rates the more you buy so buy in bulk and make more profit on the low volume sales and work from there.
Once you get to the point you cant keep up with orders coming in, get someone in ( ;) work experience lad) to make them with you..
Then a someone to man the phones
Then move out of your bedroom into an office
then employ more people
Sit back and roll in the money :D
 
Soldato
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It will take time. And lots of hard work. Do you have enough spare hours to be able to meet the commitments? Take the time you think it will take, then double it!
 
Soldato
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In my experience is something can go wrong, sooner or later it will go wrong. You just have to work on through it and improve from the mistakes or problems you encounter.
 
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