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Approaching Suppliers

Who, What, Where, When?

Small fish in a big sea? That’s how it can certainly feel when looking to snag a top brand overstock inventory for your own business purposes.

One day, a top supplier may take a chance on you, but until then smaller, maybe more local, brands will be receptive to a partnership if you are open to speaking if you’re willing to travel to speak, respect their inventory/business and can put down a significant amount of cash for merchandise.

GROW WITH THE SUPPLIER: Since smaller companies may only sell a few million dollars’ worth of inventory in a year, offering a few thousand dollars on a first load of inventory is an offer they will certainly respect and probably take. As you grow, and the merchandise sells and continues to be profitable, you can go back and up your offer for merchandise – potentially becoming one of their top distributors.

As a top distributor, the company may even loop you in on new inventory, or competitive market research – among other things you can take advantage of for your own company growth.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU KNOW: As with all things within this industry, it will be extremely beneficial starting with a product, or product line, you have the experience, even it’s only a limited experience. Knowing the supplier’s market, their competition, their new products and how they stack up within the industry overall will go a long way in proving your value as a distributor.

Not only will this help build up a true partnership with the supplier, but it will also allow you to see the merchandise through your proven channels for maximum profits. Buying frequently from the supplier will show your dedication, knowledge and tenacity for a job well done – not to mention the less support they need to provide in order for you to represent their brand well within the market.

EXPANDING THE FIELD: With a steady pace and a supplier in your pocket, branch out to others within the same industry. In addition to knowing their industry more than before, you now have data to negotiated better deals. Showing them your buying history, sell pace, profits and growth will show the supplier you’re an established distributor ready and able to take on more inventory. Rather than hoping to gain their business, they will be hoping to reach a deal with you on a partnership.

With more brands in your arsenal, now may be a good time to venture into private labels – or just continue down the path of adding in new suppliers to your well-tuned operation. Down the road, those larger brands may notice and rather than brushing you aside, they will take you seriously based on your success and work with you.

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