The SaleHoo supplier directory certainly makes finding suppliers a heck of a lot easier, but once you have found suppliers who stock items you are looking for, you still have some digging to do to determine whether or not you can work with them.
Some supplier’s websites leave a lot of questions unanswered, so, out of sheer retaliation, I have made a list of my top 3 things that suppliers could do to make our lives a little easier.
1. Tell us which products their retailers keep coming back for.
OK, I know there might be a slight conflict of interest here: If your supplier reveals what the “hot selling products” are to you, there is nothing stopping them doing it to one hundred other sellers… and then you’ve got some serious competition on your hands!
But, I don’t think it does any harm for suppliers to give us a few hints on what items sell well so that we don’t end up buying “dud” products.
If your supplier isn’t letting the cat out of the bag, and doesn’t want to share what their top retailers are selling, try steering the conversation towards product trends and hot categories, rather than hot products. You might get some hints that way!
HOT TIP: You’ll get more of the information you want from a supplier when you call them than when you email them, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
2. Invest in a decent website.
Yes, websites are expensive to update, but some supplier’s websites look like something out of the 1990’s!
Comic sans, clipart and clunky music that greets you upon arrival are some of my pet hates when it comes to website design, but even more infuriating is a website that is difficult to navigate.
I’m not mean enough to show a screenshot of a crappy website and rip it to pieces, so instead, here is Titan Liquidation, an example of a website that DOES make our lives easier by displaying products and information in an organized and intuitive way: This is especially impressive for a liquidator because liquidation suppliers often have problems with presenting information on their websites because their inventory changes so frequently.
Here are some of the things I like about it:
I also like that they have a message saying that they are in the process of moving to a new website, this means their site is about to get better!
HOT TIP: While well designed and laid-out supplier websites are ideal, if you happen to stumble across a particularly hideous supplier site, stick around and take a look at their items. A lot of your fellow sellers, (i.e. competitors), might get frustrated with the site quickly and leave without finding any good deals. If you hang in there and take a look around, you might get lucky and cash-in on some hot items that you can resell for fantastic profits that others are too lazy to find.
3. Reply to emails! Since when should I have to chase up someone who I am trying to buy something from? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ranting: Most suppliers are great, but a few that I deal with, particularly ones from Asian countries are a little relaxed on communication. I love it when suppliers respond to my emails within 72 hours of me contacting them.
What could your suppliers do to make your life as a seller a little easier? Share your thoughts below.
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