Finding the best place to purchase your merchandise is of paramount importance to the small business owner. Sometimes the items that you want to sell in your store are hard to find at reasonable prices. Many times, wholesalers will not sell to a small business because they have so many larger outlets that will purchase a lot more of inventory.
Price Check On Wholesale Merchandise
One example that comes to mind is Nike shoes. The owner of a small clothing store that also carried shoes contacted the Nike Company and found the name of the representative for that area. After contacting the sales representative, the owner was told that the Nike Corporation would not sell shoes to him because his store was too small and that there were other outlets in the area that sold the merchandise. Levis Jeans would also not sell to the small store unless there had already been an account established.
There are several examples of larger companies turning down the small business owner because the company policies did not allow sales representatives to distribute the items to the small business.
Sometimes, you may be able to find another distributor that will sell you the items, although it will cost more to purchase from a distributor than it would have if you were able to purchase directly from the corporation. However, if having name brand items in your store is necessary for your success, you may be willing to pay a little more for the items. These types of items may bring people into your store where they may purchase other items as well. Many large retailers use these methods to drive people into the store even though the profit margin is smaller.
Researching prices from various wholesalers is necessary to insure that you are getting the best price that you can. However, do not get bogged down by trying to save a few cents. One wholesaler may be cheaper on one item, but another wholesaler may have a better return policy. Also, the minimum purchase required may be a determining factor. The minimum on one item may be twelve at a certain price; however, you know that you can only sell four in a certain time period. It may be wiser to purchase a smaller amount at a higher price and have money left to purchase other items, than to purchase twelve and have eight left on the shelves with your money tied up for a longer period of time.
It is also a good idea to visit other retailers and find out the prices that they are selling the same or similar items. More than likely, another local business owner will not tell you where they purchase their items at wholesale prices, however, if your business will not be in direct competition with their business, they may. If your business is located in one city and the other business is located in another, the owner may give you the name and phone number of the sales representative. It does not hurt to ask.
It is usually better to purchase your items directly from the manufacturer or importer of the items that you find. This will take some work to find out where you can purchase the items. You cut out the middleman and usually get a better deal on the items you need.
One major aspect of pricing that many business owners overlook is shipping costs. It does not matter if the item is cheaper from one wholesaler than the other if the shipping costs are much more than the other. Many wholesalers will also help with shipping costs for minimum purchases. For instance, for a $1,000 order, a company may cap shipping costs at 10%. Or, perhaps for a $2,000 order, shipping is free. Most companies will work with the small business owner on shipping costs. Remember to ask your sales representative; it just may save you money. If you can save 10% on a $2,000 order, you just saved $200. That is a good days work.Researching prices on wholesale items will take time, but in the long run it may save money; and after all that is what we all want.