Not quite ready to take the plunge…

I recently covered sourcing from China in a previous blog post and urged you to remove your blinkers and seriously consider usingUnion Jack of the United Kingdom suppliers who are based a little further afield. Following on from that, as I anticipated, I received several emails asking me what the easiest way to source products from genuine suppliers in the UK is! It seems that not everyone is ready to take the plunge just yet. So I thought I would oblige and tell you a little more about product sourcing from within the UK.

Now actually, although ‘what’s the easiest way to source products in the UK?’ appears to be quite a straightforward question, it is in fact a rather non-specific question, because to source products successfully depends on a number of different factors.

Factors such as:

  • What the overall niche is for the product you want to source
  • Which specific product you’ve decided on
  • Where you (as a sourcer) are based
  • How much research you are able to put in
  • Cost and time constraints

All of these factors must be considered before you start your research. I don’t mean to make it sound like it’s impossible because of course it’s not – I am living proof that successful sourcing can be achieved – but it did occur to me that it’s very easy to assume that you can get ‘one for all’ type information online…but in doing it that way, it actually may be more of a hindrance to your product sourcing than a help.

I’ve been sourcing products for over 8 years now and so I have experience and skill at doing this which is one of the reasons why I started The Source Report – my membership website that deals with all things ‘sourcing’ – and a whole lot more too! Incidentally, I believe that I am the only online selling expert to offer full net profit calculations for all the products I suggest on The Source Report website, so if me doing all the hard work for you is something that interests you please take a look here for more information on my trial offer

With practice comes experience…

Now, because I have product sourcing experience, I am more than aware that one of the hardest things to do when selling online is to find those genuine, reputable suppliers that will provide you with products at decent wholesale prices, enabling you to make a profit. And I know how easy it is to get side-tracked and jump at the first product you see that looks like it can make you some money.

That product though must be a hot seller online (so research into the product is key) and it must also come from a reliable, genuine supplier and if you don’t do your research you might find yourself in a bit of a situation. So today, I want to give you some useful information about finding genuine UK suppliers so that you can start to source products easily and safely.

So, following on from last weeks eletter, whilst sourcing from overseas is a strategy that you should without doubt consider, I know that suppliers that are ‘close to home’ are preferable for many people in the UK (hence those blinkers!) but of course there are advantages to sourcing from within the UK too.

For example:

  • You can visit your supplier’s warehouse or factory in person
  • You will not have to pay any import or customs charges
  • Delivery will usually be much quicker
  • Any problems with stock / delivery can be sorted out easily
  • Faulty goods can be returned quickly and cheaply

Sometimes though, as I said last week, even though you have these advantages, you just won’t get the absolute best prices when sourcing this way, even taking in to account extra customs and import charges if you source from overseas.  As you will know from my previous eletters, I do like using international suppliers but I regularly use UK suppliers too – some of which I have discovered through UK trade sites and UK wholesale directories.

When I first started selling online, in my quest to find products and suppliers, I was sometimes taken in by offers of ‘UK wholesale supplier lists’ and ‘directories’ available to purchase on the internet from any Tom, Dick or Harry because I thought I could just pay my money, get the ‘list’ and that would enable me to find a supplier for absolutely anything I wanted, anytime, quickly and easily.

It doesn’t happen like that and products are not going to just fall into your lap!

What you need to be aware of is that it’s easy to be sucked in by the offer of a ‘wholesale list’, thinking that it will be the answer to your prayers. But in fact this is exactly what you want to avoid. Finding a good UK wholesale directory which you can use with confidence can be almost as difficult as finding a genuine supplier!

Right now there are hundreds of UK wholesale lists and directories out there, all claiming to be the best, but only a tiny percentage of these are actually established, up to date, reliable and well known. Unfortunately so many of the paid for lists and directories that you can easily find on the internet – usually for specific niches – contain out-dated information, dead-links and not a lot else.

So if you want to find suppliers and source your products from the UK, how do you decide whether a wholesale directory is right for you and will help you find genuine UK based suppliers and isn’t full of absolute rubbish?

Well, once again it’s all about research. First up, anything advertised as a ‘list’ is probably not worth the paper it’s typed on – and that’s what it will be – a typed list simply emailed to you containing information that you could easily have discovered yourself online with a small bit of research.

A good wholesale directory will provide you with details of genuine wholesalers, usually all in one place such as on a members website that you can log in to at any time, and almost certainly won’t be supplied as a 2 page e-book or 3 minute CD and be available for sale on eBay for 99p.

Check these websites out

So, if you want to subscribe to or purchase a UK wholesale directory to get you started on the product sourcing route you should make sure you do your research first.

  • Go online and read some reviews of wholesale directories to find out which are the best ones.
  • You can also visit reliable online forums such as The Wholesale Forums which will provide you with valuable information about UK suppliers in general and also access to UK wholesalers.
  • Purchase a copy of The Trader – or visit their online site here
  • Visit one of the most well known UK wholesale directories around – The Wholesaler which has been around for over 14 years. It’s totally free to use to genuine traders and I certainly recommend that you take a look at the hundreds of categories and suppliers available and see what you think.

So here’s the key. If you want to use a UK supplier, once you have decided on your niche and product and know exactly what you are looking for try a ‘wholesale directory’ first – but make sure you choose the right one and you’ll be sure to find excellent UK suppliers that will provide you with the genuine services that you require.

There is no ‘easy way’ to source products and find genuine suppliers – it takes time and research, plus practice – and don’t forget, if you are really stuck and you want all the hard work done for you, I can help you in the members area of  The Source Report!