Sourcing new merchandise to sell can be pretty tricky, especially if you’re looking at new suppliers. Even though product price and quality are the top priorities to look for before you make a purchase, there are plenty of other factors that come into play. Whether you’re just starting your own business or you’ve been doing this for over 20 years, the Merchandiser Group has some questions to ask yourself before making a bulk order for your business.
Are the products easy to reorder?
Make sure you thoroughly search the suppliers website or catalog before making a purchase from them. Usually on websites, they will tell you if they have certain products in stock. Look around to see if there’s a lot of ‘out of stock’ merchandise, and how long it will take to get the products shipped to you. Planning ahead for the future is important during those busy times when you don’t have time to deal with delayed shipping from lack of products.
Is the supplier trustworthy?
To offer the best quality and service to your customers, you need a reliable supplier who will not only give you good products, but will also maintain a consistent line of contact with you. Reviews on websites can be biased, because obviously they will only put the nice ones up. There are plenty of websites to check the customer feedback on companies, and Google is one of them. Other websites include Indeed and Glassdoor, among others.
Do you actually like the product you’re ordering?
It seems like a silly question to ask, but it’s also an important one. If you don’t like the products you sell and are simply trying to sell them because they’re popular or you see other vendors selling similar items, then you won’t be invested enough to get them off your tables. Customers shop in person to get that personalized experience they can’t get online, and you can’t give them that experience if you’re not over-the-top about the products you sell.
Can you make a profit with the product?
Even though you have to like what you sell, you also have to be careful and make sure you can actually make a profit from what you’re buying. Is there a good mark up price? If not, maybe you should pass and look on to something similar. Also remember to check out different suppliers who may offer a better price or value for the product, so in turn you can make a better profit in the end.
What are other vendors at the market selling?
Especially if you’re just starting out in the flea market vendor business, it can be hard to figure out the right market to sell your stuff. Not only do you have to like what you sell and be able to make a profit from it, but your customers also have to like what you sell.
Have a look around at the other vendors and see what they’re selling, maybe even ask how long they’ve been selling. This can give you a good idea about what the usual customers like and if you should maybe continue your flea market shopping.