With many sellers these days doing business via eBay, manufacturers and wholesalers looking to establish business relationships are wary. Recently, one of the most successful of these eBay sellers, one Harry "Skip" McGrath, shared some important tips with ChicagoBusiness.com that are of use to retailers and wholesalers alike. McGrath is the author of two books about web wholesaling/retailing, and is a "gold powerseller" on eBay, moving $10,000 in kitchen gadgets and other home items every month.
Among McGrath's pointers:
- eBay sellers should avoid the hottest consumer products. While this may not seem to make sense on the surface, McGrath explains that since wholesale distribution of popular consumer goods tends to be based on volume and size, trying to sell these popular items may not be the best idea for the smaller seller. Rather, it's wiser to find a niche.
- Make connections at trade shows. Small retailers and suppliers can find each other at these big events. However, it's important not to aim too high at first, especially if yours is a smaller company.
- Business image is important. Selling on eBay can sometimes have a negative connotation, and McGrath believes merchants will often take a seller less seriously if they hear this. McGrath isn't advocating being deceitful, merely suggesting this not be a conversation-opener. If a wholesaler fears that eBay will devalue their products, McGrath encourages them to take on a selected seller as their exclusive representative on eBay.
- Look for sellers that are incorporated or are limited liability companies. Having that "Inc." or "LLC" indicates a certain degree of legitimacy, and those suppliers looking for eBay sellers they can rely on are encouraged to keep this in mind. This is also useful for wholesalers who make it a policy not to ship to a residential address.
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