PWhether you are thinking of starting a retail or online store (or even for eBay trading), one of the critical steps is to find suppliers for your business. If you want to sell, you need to find out where you can get the items you want at a price that would allow you to earn profit.
Here are some places where you can find suppliers:
1. Trade shows. Trade shows are where manufacturers and suppliers gather looking for you — the potential buyer. As such, the best source of finding suppliers for your business is through attending trade shows.
First determine the products you want to sell in your store, and find tradeshows and exhibits for that product line. Start with the biggest tradeshow in the industry. If you want to sell shoes, for example, the best show to attend is the World Shoe Association’s Global Footwear and Accessories Marketplace http://www.wsashow.com/. For fabric sourcing, be sure to attend Sourcing at Magic participated by manufacturers, fabric and textile mills, trim & component, textile/print design studios and supply chain service providers.
To find the must-see tradeshows, check out industry directories and sites as they will often have a list of the most important tradeshows. Or you can check out at trade show directories such as TSNN.com. Note though that some tradeshows are open to the public, but there are shows that are open only to verified members of the industry. When you register, some shows require proof such as business registration, business cards, invoices demonstrating your purchase history; or if the business is yet to be started, a letter of intent from a lawyer or bank indicating your intention to start a business in the industry.
2. Trade Magazines. Suppliers and manufacturers typically advertise in magazines focusing on their industries. For example, manufacturers of scrapbook products from albums to stickers to scrapbooking tools advertise in magazines such as Creating Keepsakes or Simple Scrapbooks magazine.
Some trade magazines even publish an annual buyer’s guide directory. Greetings etc., the magazine of the Greeting Card Association publishes a Buyer’s Guide where you can find anywhere from manufacturer reps to distributors to manufacturers of various industry related products.
3. Online Wholesaler Resources. You can check out online wholesaler directories such as GoWholesale.com — though watch out for scams and fake sites as there are many out there. Also check out the print magazine WebWholesaler , which is the magazine for online wholesale resources and features legitimate wholesaler resources (check out the ads, too, which are all wholesalers).
You can get more ideas on how to find suppliers for your business from my previous post “How to Find Suppliers for Your Business”