Shawna & Alan Roehl of Midwestern Wholesale
We are primarily online sellers of wholesale quantities of general merchandise.
Our business started in 1993, however, originally we were sellers of wholesale travel packages. After September 2001, our business transitioned from wholesale travel to wholesale general merchandise.
We have several sources for merchandise, although we mainly use about 3-4 suppliers.
We have been working with Via for over 4 years now.
We look for reliability, reputation, fast shipping, good prices and good service in the event of a problem.
We generally keep the lowest mark-up possible and try to give our customers the best deal we can. We make very modest profits on each sale and reply on a large volume of sales for acceptable profits. We believe in the fast nickle over the slow dime and make money over the long-term through continued customer relationships.
We search competitors’ similar products to see how much we can sell a product for. If we can find the product cheaper than the average selling price, we will market the product. We also try to determine if the product is likely to get customer complaints or not. We try to carry items that will result in good customer reviews and repeat orders.
We use several channels. Unfortunately our main website is down for maintenance at the moment. We are revamping the main website and hope to have it back up soon. In the meantime, we list on several online auction and sales websites such as eBay, Craigslist, Overstock and several others. We also sell at a local flea market occasionally.
We get a lot of word of mouth advertising. But otherwise we simply advertise through online auctions and free classified ads.
Our DVD lots have always been our best sellers. However, our product lines often change and we sell a large variety of products. We also sell a lot of swords, knives and cosmetics.
We sell generally to businesses of all sizes. We have a lot of small retail store customers and some large business customers.
In 2005 we did have a supplier steal $13,000. We sent money to them by wire transfer, and they never delivered product. In 2001 we were forced to switch our business from wholesale travel to wholesale general merchandise due to the declining travel industry at the time resulting from the events of September 11th.
We no longer send wire transfers except to a few trusted suppliers.
We have visited some suppliers in person. This can often lead to some knowledge about how a supplier runs their business.
We have learned that there are several pros and cons to running your own business. While it does allow for some personal freedom, it also requires a certain discipline.
Do your research and make a good business plan as a first step. This will serve as a road map. Always be open to advice and always be willing to adapt and change to the market environment.
Our website, Midwestern Wholesaler can be viewed at http://www.midwesternwholesaler.com. You can also visit our eBay store at http://stores.ebay.com/Midwestern-Wholesaler
No matter what your resale channel is, there are certain things you should look for in a supplier such as reliability, good customer service, a consistent flow of product and competitive pricing. However, depending on your particular resale channel – as in Midwestern Wholesale’s case of Dropshipping/Brokering – there are more particular things to keep in mind while setting up your business and deciding which companies you will be sourcing your products from.
Here are some valuable insights for all looking to start or grow their own dropshipping business.