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INDEPENDENT RETAILER magazine is now the official news outlet for Wholesale Central visitors. Each monthly issue is packed with new product ideas, supplier profiles, retailing news, and business strategies to help you succeed.

See new articles daily online at IndependentRetailer.com.


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10/14/2016 - Seattle Gift Show Kicks Off Winter 2017 Buying Season
The Seattle Gift Show promises to bring a versatile selection of products built around the Pacific Northwest lifestyle January 6-9, 2017

10/13/2016 - Winter 2017 Philadelphia Gift Show Highlights
The first gift show of the season for Northeast retailers.

10/13/2016 - 3 Cash and Carry Gift Shows for Christmas Buying
Three upcoming Cash and Carry Gift Shows by Urban Expositions.

04/01/2013 - Order Fulfillment
In a retail environment where customer loyalty is increasingly rare and customer expectations are higher than ever, merchants should be constantly searching for ways to improve the way they do business. For a retailer or wholesaler who sells online, the struggle to provide excellent value and an ideal customer experience without a physical presence can be difficult. The key to a successful ecommerce channel ultimately hinges on one important area-the warehouse.

04/01/2013 - Keep Bugs at Bay
No one likes to have their personal space invaded by mosquitos, gnats, flies and no-see-ums, and consumers are looking for ways to safely protect themselves and their families from these annoying pests without the use of messy, and often toxic, bug sprays. Retailers who incorporate Bandz and Spotz, DEET-free, citronella-infused insect repellent products from Mosquitno, LLC, into their product offerings, can help consumers keep bugs away as well as enjoy the profits these impulse buys bring to their bottom lines.

04/01/2013 - Start a Business with Drop Shipping
The idea of selling products without having to first buy them and then hold the inventory in a warehouse is attractive to some business owners because it can be a COST-effective way to start selling online. Business logic tells us that the easier it is to start a small business, the more competitors will be in the industry. Drop shipping is no exception, and competition will only grow with the rapid expansion in ecommerce overall.

03/01/2013 - Leather Belts Made in the USA
Men have been wearing belts going as far back as 3,000 B.C., and both genders have worn these accessories on and off throughout the years, depending on current fashion trends. Today, belts are a staple for men and popular among women. "I don't know a man who doesn't wear a belt everyday," shares Howard Keller, partner of Detroit Leather Company, which launched in May of 2012.

03/01/2013 - Big Profits in Surplus Inventory
American Merchandise Liquidators (AML) handles salvage and surplus inventory including customer returns, catalog returns, and clearance and overstock merchandise. The company deals in mixed lots of general merchandise from retail chains, as well as from wholesale and catalog companies. Assorted merchandise is available in all overstock categories, such as general household goods, tools and equipment, furniture, sporting goods, home accents and apparel.

02/01/2013 - Smart Surplus Goods for the Environment
Smart Surplus, Inc., launched in 2003, is a full service, worldwide liquidation and inventory management firm that provides a variety of strategic solutions to help customers with their inventory and warehousing needs. Services include remarketing and purchasing of excess inventory, refurbishing and disposal solutions, returns management, warehouse space consulting and customized reverse logistics programs.

02/01/2013 - Time Equals Money
As a small business owner, one of your most important assets is time. Many independent retailers are under the assumption that using mobile phone and tablet apps will increase productivity, and allow them to use their time more effectively. Using app center features, however, is a time killer that can leave you frustrated and with less time to do the things that enable you to run your business smoothly.

02/01/2013 - mCommerce: Adapt or Die
Shoppers are quickly moving to mobile commerce, or mcommerce, with more than 50 percent of U.S. consumers saying they plan to use smartphones or tablets to make purchases over the Internet, according to research giant Nielsen. In addition, research firm Canalys notes that, in 2011, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones (487.7 million) exceeded shipments of personal computers (414.6 million).

01/01/2013 - Mobile Sales Drive Profits
Mobile payment apps are fast becoming a popular mode for web wholesalers and online retailers to generate more sales at offline venues, such as tradeshows and conventions. Various mobile payment platforms enable merchants to accept PayPal, cash, credit cards, invoice or checks, wherever they are, on the phone they already carry.

01/01/2013 - Haute Fashion at Deep Discounts
Clothing Showroom is an online wholesaler of brand name and proprietary label apparel. The company's website boasts 26 merchandise categories, plus additional pages showcasing the latest special deals. The catalogue is regularly updated to reflect the latest fashions, and recently spotlighted its selection of Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier, Hello Kitty and WOW Couture apparel.

01/01/2013 - New Year, New eCommerce System
Many online retailers just completed a "hair on fire" end to the 2012 holiday shopping season. Now that you can rest and take a four-hour vacation, it is time to start planning for 2013, and ensure that you have built your store on an ecommerce system worthy of your business. To see if your ecommerce platform passes the test, ask yourself the following questions:

01/01/2013 - Facebook Offers Viral Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, using text ads and banners to engage social media fans on Facebook, has been losing its luster in recent years. Advertising to these fans may be great for building brand awareness, but it is not doing much for the immediate bottom line. The low returns businesses see from PPC methods may be because people that typically use social media sites, like Facebook, do not necessarily want to be sold to directly.

01/01/2013 - Ecommerce in 2015
yStats.com and MarketLine, two data collection firms, have released their preliminary predictions, based on figures gathered from studies conducted from 2010 to the present, for ecommerce earnings through 2015. The world business-to-consumer ecommerce industry generated between $400 and $600 billion in 2010, according to the report. Based on the growth involved in reaching those numbers, the market is expected to generate between $700 and $950 billion in 2015.

01/01/2013 - Fight Online Fraud
Nine out of ten online merchants may be vulnerable to credit card fraud, according to a survey by SignatureLink, an online security firm, and payment industry communicator CardNotPresent.com. The survey found that only ten percent of websites surveyed require shoppers to accept the terms and conditions of payment to the site via e-signature, vocal consent or a physical signature. Agreement to site terms and conditions along with data breaches are areas of focus for ecommerce businesses that process payments online.

12/01/2012 - DVA Wholesales Diverse Goods
DVA, Inc. formed in 1987 as a seller of store-opening inventories working with Blockbuster franchises. By 1998, the company began moving large quantities of DVDs on eBay, and from that point on the firm was sold on buying and selling inventory online. Four years ago, DVA adapted to the ever-changing media industry by diversifying its inventory to include electronics, housewares and automotive products. The company has made a number of upgrades recently, as it works to maintain a top position in the media industry.

12/01/2012 - Free Shipping Builds Profits
With 2012 winding down it is time to finalize plans for next year, and online sellers must not overlook the vital role that shipping plays in driving sales online. At some point during the buying cycle all shoppers ask, "How much does shipping COST?" and "How fast is the item shipped?" The answers to these questions play an important role in buying decisions, especially when all other comparison factors are consistent.

11/01/2012 - Engage Customers with Email
Chances are good that you have wondered about your communications strategy as an online wholesaler or retailer, and you may question whether you are communicating enough or too much. Think about how many times during the year, quarter or month a customer needs you, or your products or services, and let that be your guide to how often to reach out and touch your audience.

11/01/2012 - Inside Quick Response - QR Codes
Quick Response (QR) codes originated in Japan under Denso Corporation, a Toyota Motor Corporation subsidiary, and were intended to hasten the code reading process, while at the same time allowing for more data to be captured in a single scan. Their efficiency was harnessed to help track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process, but has now spread across every industry as a savvy square for sharp consumers.

11/01/2012 - Stunning Low COST Product Photos
When it comes to selling merchandise online, it's all about high quality images that share product features in a way that replicate their in-store allure. Photo Cubics Inc. specializes in innovative photography solutions that empower online retailers to create such detailed images at a fraction of the COST of professional photography.

10/01/2012 - The Best Apps for Your Business
The slew of promises that comes with many mobile apps approaches productivity from every angle. As business owners find themselves becoming more and more mobile, the curiosity surrounding these collectible tools makes a visit to an iTunes or Android store feel like the grown up version of a trip to the candy shop. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android, with more being added by the minute.

10/01/2012 - Sterling Reduces B2B Credit Card Processing Fees
Sterling Buying Group (SBG) has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing industry veterans Howard Cooper and Kevin Schifrin, who have grown the company in excess of 40 percent annually. To Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is about taking care of those clients and making sure that customer service is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.

10/01/2012 - A Whole Lot of Love
While romance is in the air year round, there is one special day set aside that celebrates lovers. That day is Valentine's Day, and nothing is more popular for amorous gift giving than greeting cards and merchandise that say "Love." This year, wholesalers are offering retailers merchandise that is both traditional and trendy, giving customers the opportunity to say the age-old "I love you" with a contemporary twist.

10/01/2012 - Ecommerce Holiday Checklist
The holidays are quickly approaching and your business promos should have already begun. Keeping everything in check and making sure you leave no stone unturned can be a difficult task. To help you in that effort, here is a checklist of items you should consider while preparing for the holidays.

10/01/2012 - Retail ECommerce to Grow Significantly
For retailers today, it is an exciting but challenging time. The ecommerce revolution has created a newly empowered consumer, the "always-on" consumer, who has higher expectations for the retail shopping experience than ever before. But how should retailers transform their business and their supply chains to support the omni channel delivery of products to these new consumers?

09/01/2012 - Ecommerce Essentials to Grow Your Business
Efficient ecommerce platforms are a vital part of Internet wholesalers' and retailers' businesses. They provide a variety of tools that automate web based sales, such as creation and maintenance of product catalogs, shopping cart services, payment processing and order tracking.

09/01/2012 - Sterling Helps Reduce COSTS
Sterling Buying Group has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing industry veterans who have grown the company in excess of 20 to 40 percent annually. To managing partner Howard Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is taking care of those clients and making sure that customer service is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.

09/01/2012 - Wrap the Holidays in Fun, Flirty Accessories
Colorful, unique accessories make great holiday gifts, especially when they offer retailers outstanding profit margins. Some of the hottest new merchandise this season includes versatile hand cut scarves, shiny hair products and twinkling rhinestone jewelry, and jingle jangle hip scarves, all of which dress up anyone's bottom line.

09/01/2012 - The Sky's the Limit with Cloud Computing
Instagram, Groupon and LinkedIn are amazing success stories that serve different markets yet share a common link. Each was born in "The Cloud," a complex infrastructure that, in real time over the Internet, extends an online business's IT capabilities without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel or licensing new software.

09/01/2012 - Shipping is Key to Shopping Carts
UPS recently commissioned a study to pinpoint key details regarding shipping and online purchases useful in preventing online shopping cart abandonment. With cart abandonment rates soaring around 70 percent, businesses with online stores can benefit from the information uncovered by comScore, Inc., the company commissioned to perform the study.

08/01/2012 - Themed Jewelry Goes the Distance
Few professional athletes can deny the glamour or prestige of championship tournament rings. The weight of these glinting pieces stands for every ounce of teamwork that went into the team's victory, and the rings often become heirlooms. Nick DeVito and Company, in Sarasota, FL, has made it part of its mission to bring that feeling of team pride to sports fans as well.

07/01/2012 - Using Social Media to Grow Business
Most small business owners know that social media is an important part of their online strategy, but may not know where to start or have the time to learn. Others may not believe that social media is important at all. The truth is that social media is critical to the success of any business.

07/01/2012 - The Green Revolution
Cloud computing, data and applications housed in a centralized data center rather than various offices maintaining their own server farm, offers significant benefits to companies and to employees. Tele-working is on the rise, as it helps employees balance work-life demands and it offers true COST savings to both employee and employer.

07/01/2012 - Peer-to-Peer Reviews
When it comes to making a buying decision, nothing can be more important in closing the sale than customer reviews. A form of social proof, non-biased peer-to-peer reviews are just as good as getting a referral for a product from a friend. "What online tool most influenced your purchase decision?" The number one answer was product ratings and reviews.

07/01/2012 - Free Shipping Worth Waiting For
Online shoppers want free shipping, even if it means their packages take longer to arrive, and are less concerned about sales tax, according to a recent study by research and consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.

07/01/2012 - Marketers React to Google Changes
Google recently upended the ecommerce marketing world with the announcement of upcoming changes to what will now be called Google Shopping. Many retailers and marketers we spoke with are positive about the switch. One might think taking a product from free to paid would cause an outcry, but for many it is an answer to long time concerns about control.

06/01/2012 - Robert Greenspan: Wholesale Legend
Robert E. Greenspan is one of the great American wholesale success stories of the last 40 years.

05/01/2012 - Six Secrets of Successful eCommerce
Web companies need to stay on top of the constantly evolving methods of advertising on the web.

05/01/2012 - Kole's Wholesale Buying Tips
With over 25 years' experience, Kole Imports knows the preferences of today's frugal retailers, and their equally COST-conscious customers.

05/01/2012 - Drop Shipping For Retail ROI
E-retail companies and mom and pop shops that want to make more money without the potential of overstock headaches need not look further than drop shipping.

05/01/2012 - Western Express For Western Success
The story behind Western Express, the leading wholesale company for cowboy hats, western shirts, belt buckles, and other buckaroo-styled clothing items, starts with a touch of show business.

05/01/2012 - Data Segmentation for Ecommerce
If you only use the standard data gathering and reporting features present in Google Analytics, you are not getting a complete picture of how your business is performing.

04/01/2012 - Online Payment Trends
Online Payment Processing is an ever-changing industry.

04/01/2012 - Back-to-School Online
While kids are currently counting down to the first day of summer vacation, retailers are already merchandising for the new school year, filling their stockrooms with the essentials and the forecasted must-haves.

04/01/2012 - Via Trading Liquidation
Via Trading Corp. of California has more than stood up to its company mission during its 10 years of operation: to be the recognized leader in the liquidation industry and to continuously strengthen its position.

04/01/2012 - Gas Fuels Ecommerce
AIT, web hosting company to over 210,000 customers predicts that the increase in gas prices in 2012 will have a direct impact on web shopping.

04/01/2012 - Ecommerce Customer Satisfaction Flat
The American Customer Satisfaction Index, founded at the University of Michigan, has released its annual ecommerce report after measuring responses from product and service evaluations for 225 U.S. companies in 47 industries.

03/01/2012 - Analyzing Google Analytics
When selling merchandise online, it is not enough to simply track sales.

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