Fone Pedlar LLC (Fone Pedlar, Discount Pedlar)
Laurie Allen in Columbus, OH, has been buying on Liquidation.com for over two years. Hear what she has to say about how to be successful selling at flea markets and online.
How long have you been operating your business?
Started business in February 2009 2 years!How long have you been buying from Liquidation.com?
Found out about Liquidation.com about 6 months into my business venture and have been buying ever since approximately 1.5 years.What types of product do you sell?
I started selling consumer electronics but recently branched off into designer bedding, casual china & designer handbags and intend to make my "Discount Pedlar" store an online department store for high-end, affordable goods.How did you decide which product(s) to sell?
Obviously available suppliers are most important. Then I research marketability, competition, potential profit margins and cost of goods.How do you determine if a product is worth selling?
To analyze marketability of a product, I usually just personally analyze the market on which I plan to sell against the product that I want to sell. I look at product price range and average sale price vs. what I would pay for the product to make a decision regarding whether I want to source that product. Of course I have to account also for site fees in making my decision. If I think I won't be able to make an appreciable profit I'll move on to examine another market (site), then ultimately another product. It takes a lot of time researching and no room for cutting corners in this area. I have made mistakes in so doing.Why did you decide to get started buying and reselling surplus inventory?
Started buying and selling as a result of my need for a new venture once I became unemployed. That coupled with a long desire for my own business and the need for income.Where are your favorite places to sell inventory?
The one place that my husband had to convince me to try the fleamarket! I only did this last summer before I started my "Discount Pedlar" venture. So I did business then only as "Fone Pedlar" selling electronics such as mini laptops, cell phones, cell phone accessories and such. These sold very well. Not so sure the designer (and thus more expensive) items will do well in that marketplace.How did you decide at which flea market you should sell?
I asked questions around town about the flea markets and discovered which were more popular, which days were open to vendors, their fees, and whether my items would sell well. From there I tested by selling at the top three that were recommended, and then chose the one I preferred.What advice would you give to somebody who is trying to get started in this space?
Start small enough so as to get a feel for the market (any market) that is, buy small amount of product to see how it will sell before actually investing in product. Always research the market first and try to get a feel for the consumers and what their buying habits are (and selling policies). For example, selling on Ebay, is VERY different from selling on Amazon. I have come to love the Amazon marketplace where competition among sellers is not based primarily on price. On Ebay, the price competition drove prices down to a point where very expensive items sold far below value. On Amazon, you may have to wait, but eventually the right buyer comes along and just wants the item so pays the price (of course, you still have to price competitively). This is just one example of a major difference.What do you love most about running your business (i.e. working from home, making your own hours, customer interaction, etc.)?
I enjoy working from home, making my own hours, being strategic surrounding how to improve online customer service, purchasing and selling, customer interaction, all logistics EXCEPT finance and shipping.What was the biggest challenge you faced when getting started? Do you have any tips for others going through a similar situation?
Biggest challenge at first was operating too highly on emotions. I sold iPhones, which I love, and as a result got burned time and time again trying to source them. My advice would be to keep emotions in check surrounding all aspects of the business and when loses come, as they will, move on quickly and keep looking ahead at your goal(s).How has the industry changed since you got started?
Well the economy did NOT affect the sales of iPhones and overall, people are buying! Outside of that, I can't say I have noticed any industry changes.
You can find the Fone Pedlar at the following places online: