October 4, 2007 12:06 PM EDT
Hello! Calling all current wholesale vendors and experienced online retailers:
I`m working on a business plan for an online retail storefront, but I`m worried that wholesalers won`t want to sell to me.
Having been indoctrinated into the land of brick and mortar specialty stores (where I currently work), these questions keep nagging at me: What if the manufacturers I want to buy from don`t want their products sold online? What resistance is there from handmade and specialty wholesalers, who currently depend on brick and mortar stores, to online sales? Or do they have a choice - as a retailer with all the credentials, can I buy from them and put the products on my online storefront and not even have to mention to them where my storefront exists? Or is that considered in bad taste within the industry?? Or would most welcome me? In other words, is selling specialty items online even a viable business idea if I can`t get any product????
Here`s the background leading me to ask these questions: I`m currently a manager at a small specialty store located beside a major tourist attraction. The
proprietors have been wonderful, teaching me everything they know about
retail, as they know that I want my own store one day. I studied
online retail marketing & related topics when working on my
Master`s. I see starting a home-based online retail store
through a major online retail outlet (such as ebay or amazon) as the
logical next step in my growth as a fledgling entrepreneur. The store
I envision will sell products from small manufacturers of handmade, `green`, or otherwise unique products that are seldom found online -- at least not in as big a marketplace as I plan to expose them to. I do NOT want to grossly undercut the competition, I just want a piece of
the total pie, and in the process to help broaden consumer exposure to these awesome products. Then I will take my knowledge and experience from that venture and... eventually... I`ll have about 5 businesses going, both online and on the main drag ;)
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!!!