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In the previous post I mentioned the advantages of using a local wholesaler in sourcing stock. However, there are some other alternatives.
You can also use magazines such as The Trader; many of the advertisers will have their own website. Disadvantages are that until you have the goods in your hands you will not be able to check the quality of the items. You may know someone who has dealt with the suppliers but if you are just starting out this is unlikely. You could ask to see samples first, but this is likely to be refused, suppliers get many such requests unfortunately most requests are not from legitimate traders.
So unless you have good reason, always choice the local wholesaler first. You may find in this day and age that the wholesaler will be reluctant to extend credit terms until you are an established customer. They will want to be paid on a proforma basis. Pay cash or use a debit card if you can, credit cards typically are subject to surcharge of about 2 ½ % which although it does not sound a lot, eats into your profit as does VAT and carriage charges should you have to pay them.
Things to factor in your costs. VAT, postage fees, packaging fees, eBay listing fees, final value fees, pay pal fees. Only then will you get paid. So finding some means of reducing costs is a good idea. Padded bags can be bought cheaply from the 99p or £1 shops and offers a good source of supply to get started with. Vast savings can be made by buying in bulk from specialist packaging suppliers, again try local suppliers. Alternatively use the internet or eBay itself, you will often find that the big suppliers have there own websites where substantial savings can be made even over eBay prices.
More next time.