Starting an Online Store Using Wholesale Suppliers

By Lanee' Blunt

When you start an online store you can sell many of your own products, but you can also work with wholesale suppliers. Starting an online store is an excellent way to make money selling your products everyday. It is a way that you can sell your products 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Setting up your own e-commerce site gives you more freedom, flexibility, and more control.

Set Up Online Site
Get a domain name and register it. Get a web host. You can find a web host that is inexpensive and effective. Make sure you use a web host that offers features that make third-party scripts like a shopping cart a one click system.  Look for free shopping cart scripts. Most web host will offer the open source osCommerce script as a quick install, but there are others you can download. Install payment modules Paypal, 2Checkout, and others. For accepting credit cards select a credit card processor.

Business License

Get a sales tax ID. You will need to collect sales tax and can obtain a Sales Tax Permit from your state or local government. Wholesalers and distributors will not let you open an account with them until you have your sales tax ID.

Finding Wholesalers
Some wholesalers that are high-volume manufacturer or wholesaler will not let you buy directly from them because you are a new small business and your sales volume won’t support buying any kind of bulk. There are many others that will work with smaller businesses. As your sales grow you will be able to work with the other marketing channels. Talk to people in your trade and go and check out their merchandise. Ask them questions if you feel that you won’t compete with them as for their source. Talk to brand manufactures, sometimes they only work with large companies but you can talk to them to see if they will work with small businesses. Search the internet for a wholesaler, and go to trade shows.

Create Accounts with Wholesalers
After you have identified a supplier that provides the types of products you want to sell, contact each wholesale company through their website, or by calling them on the phone and fill out their new account application. Make sure you understand the volume discounts, return policies, and order processing time. Purchase the products you want to sell or set up a drop shipping arrangement with them. Start promoting your online store.

SBA: Small Business Matters; Tips for Finding and Working with Wholesale Suppliers; Caron Beesley; 2010

Lifehacker: How to Set Up Your Own Online Store