Check out our new profit calculator! Find out how much you can potentially make from any wholesale purchase at Via Trading or from any other wholesale liquidator!

Online Tips

 

Online vendors use channels such as eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, other online shopping carts or their own e-commerce websites. As an online vendor, here are some of the things you should look out for:

  • Focus on products that are high-value and low bulk - items that you can resell for a good profit and that are small enough and easy/cheap enough to ship with UPS or USPS. Larger items are okay but will cost your customers a lot of money in shipping which can reduce your sales.
  • Branded clothing, shoes, small consumer electronics, cosmetics and such items can make great online products.
  • As a customer of Via Trading, you have the option of listing our wholesale lots on your eBay store or e-commerce website. We can either ship these to you and you ship them to your customers, or we can dropship them directly to your customers so you never have to touch or work the merchandise. Selling wholesale lots can also allow you to make a larger profit margin on an individual sale.
  • You can also maximize your revenue by supplementing with local sales. For instance, items that are too big and expensive to ship on eBay (like appliances, furniture, tools, etc) can be sold with a "pick-up only" option or on Craigslist.
  • Use eBay and similar sites as a research tool to figure out pricing for items before you purchase and/or list them. There are dozen of third party websites that offer research information like terapeack.com, vendio.com, etc.
  • Try to find a particular niche and become an expert in it. Niche businesses develop loyal customers much faster than business who try to cater to a wide variety of customers.
  • Take advantage of 3rd party websites like Amazon.com or eBay. They have a loyal customer base, lots of website traffic, built-in payment methods, seller and buyer protection plans and more. If you're just starting out, considering selling on one of those sites until you build some credibility and branch out into your own stand-alone website.
  • Source from lots of suppliers. Even if you find 2 or 3 that you particularly enjoy working with, it doesn't hurt to have a good contact book of suppliers you could potentially work with. If one is out of stock on the product line you carry, be sure you can source this product from somewhere else so you don't have a service interruption for your customers and so you don't have to scramble to find new product.
  • Research your market. Check out what other items like the ones you are listing are selling for and try to find a competitive edge. If you can lower your item by a few dollars or offer free shipping, you will make yourself stand out and drive the customers to your store instead of someone else's. Don't just base your selling price on your purchase price. See what others are doing and do better.
  • Don't be afraid to buy larger lots and liquidate. Many online sellers are afraid to get their hands on a larger load of merchandise for fear of the space it will take up, the time it will take to sort through it all and what to do with any unwanted items. There are tons of liquidation services available out there to move unwanted inventory, and the money you will save overall by purchasing larger lots at a time will put you ahead of the game.
  • Make sure your service is impeccable. There are hundreds of sellers on the internet carrying very similar products at very similar prices. If you prices are good but your service doesn't follow, customers may be inclined to go to your competition who might charge a little more but provides better service, faster shipping times, etc. Make sure you answer customer inquiries quickly, get orders out the door fast and keep an open line of communication with your buyers.
  • Consider drop shipping to offer merchandise you wouldn't normally stock. Suppliers that are willing to drop ship will allow you to offer their products for sale without buying any inventory up front. If you get a sale, you simply place the order with the supplier and they ship it directly to your customer. Not only is this a great way to offer merchandise that you can?t afford to buy in bulk, but it?s also an excellent way to test the waters on a new product you?re unsure of without risking your hard-earned money buying it up front. See our section on drop shipping for more information.

Online Resources

 

Online Auction Businesses for Stay-at-Home Moms

Internet Based Moms is a website full of great information for busy stay-at-home moms who are looking to start online businesses. Among the pages of information about Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and other such online businesses, Internet Based Moms provides great information about starting online auction and/or resale businesses, the do's and don'ts and the how-to's.

Check out their section on Online Auctions and how to be successful with them.


The Ins & Outs of Starting an Online Resale Business

Resale Insider is a Status Based Guidance System designed to help you obtain what you need to start an online resale business.

The site includes information and tools for starting up an e-commerce site, provides e-commerce help and online auction tools. Definitely worth a look!

Check out the site at http://www.resaleinsider.com


Setting up an e-Commerce Website

Not everyone is very internet savvy or possesses the skills to design and set up his or her own e-commerce website. Luckily, there are hundreds of companies out there who offer easy to use out-of-the-box e-commerce systems for a great price.

While not everyone can afford to invest in their e-commerce website right off the bat, there are equally robust free solutions available to you. One of the easiest systems to use that can get you up and running in just a few hours is WordPress, with the WP e-Commerce plugin. Wordpress is a free blog content management system that allows you to build very professional looking sites using existing templates designed by professionals. Just choose your template, follow the instructions and you'll be on your way to your own website.

Integrating the WP e-Commerce plugin to your WordPress site will give you the ability to have a shopping cart on your site, and can even be integrated with PayPal to collect money from your customers easily and quickly, all on the internet, all set up within a matter of hours by web savvy individuals and newbies alike. There are dozens of plugins that will turn your WordPress site into an e-commerce store. Spend some time to look around online and compare and contrast the pros and cons of each before you choose.

Check out this website that gives you a crash course in designing an e-commerce store using WordPress.

Online Articles

The following articles describe actual small business owners' experiences selling liquidation products online, the challenges they faced and hints and tips they recommend to others in this business.

Making the Switch From Store Retail to Online Retail

Combining eBay with Online e-Commerce Sales

Craigslist Tips, Tricks & Resources

Craigslist is one of the greatest places to buy or sell items on the internet. Most people use it to sell personal belongings they no longer want, swap belongings for other goods or services, find jobs, buy a car and a myriad other transactions.

GetRichSlowly provides some general tips for selling on Craigslist that include:

  • Spending some time to learn how the site works
  • Learning how to write good Craigslist ads
  • Offering detailed descriptions
  • and more!

Learn how to Sell on Craigslist

When thinking of selling online, most people think of selling items on eBay or Amazon.com, but few think to start a veritable resale business using Craigslist. While Craigslist is a very powerful tool for selling personal items that you no longer need, it can also be a great way to start an online home-based business. Advertising on Craigslist is free (unlike eBay or Amazon), and there are no fees to pay once an item sells. However, there are some things to take into account before launching into this venture. The following link will take you to a free eBook written by another partner of ours, and will teach you the ins and outs of selling on Craigslist.

Learn how to:

  • Post on Craigslist without getting your ad flagged or deleted
  • Take attractive pictures for your ad
  • Keep your item relevant in search results
  • Recognize emails from scammers
  • Know what to expect from potential buyers
  • Stay safe while selling on Craigslist

How to sell on Craigslist eBook

Access the Craigslist listings for your area and start selling today!

Best Practices for Selling on Amazon

According to Morningstar research, Amazon continues to be one of the leading online marketplaces and is reported to be growing at 2 times the rate of e-commerce year over year, and is estimated to be generating over $200 billion in revenues by 2017.

With over 102 fulfillment centers worldwide, Amazon is now the place most consumers start their product search, especially if they have a specific product in mind.

The site offers sellers a captive audience, with Amazon Prime memberships estimated to be in excess of $10 million. According to Morningstar, Amazon Prime shoppers shop more often and spend more per order than any other group of online shoppers.

Based on these statistics alone, selling on Amazon is guaranteed to expose your products to an international customer base and provide additional exposure for your resale business.

Most categories on Amazon are still open to accepting new sellers. While certain categories may be restricted and require an application to list items, in most cases, new sellers are accepted within a few days.

The following are some best practices to ensure successful sales on Amazon:

  • Obtain Featured Merchant status
  • Consider product repricing
  • Offer free shipping
  • Consider fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
  • Manage your seller performance

Featured Merchant status is primarily given to professional sellers (versus individuals) who meet certain performance-based requirements. Once you have been selling on Amazon for a few months, you can submit a service ticket to ask them if you are on track to obtaining Featured Merchant status.

Obtaining Featured Merchant status allows your listings to come up higher in Amazon searches for a particular product, and allows your listings to eventually end up in the Amazon "Buy Box," the blue box that comes up automatically on the right side of the screen for any search conducted on the site. The seller who ends up in the "Buy Box" invariably makes the most sales as customers may not take the time to "view more offers" and simply purchase the first one Amazon suggests.

A common misconception is that it is impossible to get your products into the Amazon "Buy Box." ChannelAdvisor, a cloud-based e-commerce solution provider, suggests that getting into the "Buy Box" is possible once you achieve Featured Merchant status. While the exact algorithm Amazon uses to determine sellers and products that benefit from "Buy Box" placement is proprietary and changes often, the criteria for obtaining Featured Merchant status include:

  • Order defect rate (negative feedback you receive, claims, returns, etc.)
  • Performance metrics (your response time to customers, how fast you get orders shipped out, etc.)
  • The customer shopping experience you offer (the cleanliness and completeness of your listings)
  • Time and experience selling on Amazon (the longer you sell and the more experience you have, the more likely you are to become featured)

Repricing products is also a way to remain competitive on the marketplace and ensure your listings get the most exposure. Since the "Buy Box" tends to highlight the most well-priced product, you will need to do continuous research on your listings to make sure you are not overpricing the items in comparison with the others offered on Amazon. ChannelAdvisor offers a repricing tool that tracks the price changes for similar items on the site, and adjusts your listing's prices up or down to remain competitive within the marketplace.

Offering free shipping also makes your listings stand out and is seen as a best practice to become a Featured Merchant.

Signing up for Fufillment by Amazon (FBA) is also a criteria that will help you achieved Featured Merchant status. Fulfillment by Amazon means they warehouse the products for you, pick, pack and ship your orders and provide customer service to your customer base. You list the items and they handle everything else. This way, they can control the shipping and handling speed as well as the customer experience they offer. Since Amazon's priority is customer satisfaction and retention, using FBA works in your favor.

Some additional benefits of FBA include:

  • Extends the reach of your products to Prime Members and Super Saver Shipping Offers
  • Amazon provides the customer service
  • Products are more likely to win a spot in the "Buy Box" with higher pricing
  • Increase your profit margins with a lower total fulfillment cost
  • Gain access to last minute holiday shoppers
  • Easily access international customers
  • Benefit from multi-channel fulfillment, a new program in which Amazon will fulfill orders that you sell on any other website including your own e-commerce website or eBay.

Despite the number of sellers on the site, the marketplace continues to grow at a rapid rate and continues to present ample opportunities to get your products exposed to a large number of buyers. Amazon provides good seller support, and many tools are available on the market to aid you in listing products, keeping track of your feedback and seller performance, and allowing you to sell more volume without warehousing the goods yourself.

Read more wholesale and liquidation industry articles and helpful articles in our articles section!

 
 

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