How I almost made a very expensive mistake and four ways you can avoid doing the same when product sourcing …
It’s been a funny old week for me – not funny ‘ha ha,’ more funny ‘disappointing and very frustrating’.
The problem is I’ve been distracted and I’m actually really annoyed with myself for letting one particular subject pretty much take over my life for the last seven days.
It all started when I spotted my ‘dream house’ – the type of property that I could see my family living in for the next 20 years or so, before down-sizing again.
So, I duly made an appointment to view it and the excitement really started to build. On paper (or ‘in brochure’ I should say) this property had everything. It ticked all the boxes and I was absolutely certain that I wouldn’t find anything wrong with it once I’d seen it in the flesh.
Now, you might think you know what I’m going to say next… that it was a huge disappointment, the walls were falling down and the estate agents had been stretching the boundaries of poetic license with their description…
But, if you were thinking that, you’d be wrong!
There was nothing wrong with it at all.
In fact, the photographs in the brochure didn’t do the house justice, the second I stepped through the door I was in love and I spent the next two days trying desperately to find something wrong with the house because surely this was just too good to be true?
I couldn’t find a thing!
But (and you knew there was a but coming didn’t you?) just hours after I’d set the proverbial wheels in motion, invited two estate agents to value our current property, called the planning department to (finally) sign off the garage we built last year and conveyed my sheer excitement to anyone who would listen, the rumour mill reached me…
Without going into the long-winded details, I wasn’t happy with what I was hearing regarding some land directly behind my ‘dream property.’
Do your research when product sourcing
Determined to prove the rumours wrong I enlisted the help of my trusty friend – Google – and set about doing some research.
That’s when things really started to go pear-shaped. It took me only a couple of hours to confirm the rumours as truth.
A quick search for the property itself, neighbouring business names, the land in question and a telephone call to the local council’s planning department stopped my dream dead in its tracks – just like that.
Disappointed? Absolutely gutted more like.
My dream was in tatters. But on the positive side, wasn’t I glad I’d uncovered this before we’d committed ourselves and gone further down the road – perhaps having spent money, time and effort?
Yes. Of course, because this could have been an extremely expensive mistake.
This whole property palaver took over my life for the best part of a week.
I was on a mission, distracted and completely blinkered. My heart had overtaken my head – my emotions had encouraged me to press ahead with what in hindsight would be a very bad purchase.
Thank goodness for village gossip and thank goodness for Google.
We’re staying put (for the moment anyway) and life has returned to normal once again. My husband breathes a sigh of relief that my mission has been abandoned and I can once again concentrate on much more important matters such as the imminent and very exciting launch of my new Amazon book – more on that soon!
Anyway, the message I want to convey to you is that it’s very, very easy to get distracted by outside influences when you should be concentrating on other things.
This can happen in your everyday, personal life and also in business – especially if you work for yourself. It’s so simple for your motivation and enthusiasm for one thing to get transferred to another area, especially when emotions become involved and that’s why you must be disciplined when it comes to your online business.
If you know that you could really do with sourcing a new product for your inventory, set a date to do so and stick to it. Don’t get sidetracked as soon as you log on to the Internet.
For example, if you are looking at a suppliers website researching prices for kettles and you notice that they also stock gardenware and bathroomware and you happen to need a new showerhead, don’t start looking at showerheads!…
… If you have decided to sit down and write an article, or list some new items online – do just that. Don’t stop every time an email pings into your inbox.
Do what you are supposed to be doing! It’s that simple.
The second message I want to get across to – and the reason for telling you all about my antics this week – is that things are not always what they seem and research is vital.
I’m talking now about the research and sourcing of products, paying particularly close attention to the supplier…
You might find a supplier who has a fantastic range of products, competitive prices and happens to stock the exact item you are looking at placing a large order for. At first glance everything looks great.
The information on their website is telling you to order now and because they’ve got what you want you get all excited and immediately order 100 of their widgets.
If you haven’t used the supplier before how do you know that they are reliable? How do you know what their shipping costs are? How do you know what the quality of the product is like? Have you read their terms and conditions? How do you know what their returns policy is?
Just like my ‘dream house’, at first glance everything seems to be in order, but a little bit of research can prove otherwise and that’s why you should always make sure that you check out a supplier really thoroughly before you enter into an agreement and start spending your money.
Research is not difficult! Here are four basic things to check out first:
1. Use Google to visit forums for information from previous customers of the supplier in question – this way you’ll get an idea of their reliability, service and quality immediately and get the all important views of others.
2. Look for genuine testimonials on their website from past customers, or – even better – contact the supplier and request the contact details of a past customer so that you can physically telephone them and ask their views. (A good supplier will be able to provide you with details of a customer who has given their permission to be contacted).
3. Order a sample product before you jump straight in to a big order so that you can assess delivery times, service and quality.
4. Telephone the supplier and have a friendly chat, this allows you to do two things: – you’ll know that the supplier definitely exists and you’ll get a feel for the type of business you’re dealing with.
These are simple research techniques that can make the difference between a good buying decision and a bad buying decision, so please make sure that you put them into practice next time your heart is threatening to over-rule your head in the excitement of finding new products!
I’m off now to put my almost bad buying decision to bed and get myself back on track. (See, it happens to us all!)
As always I wish you the very best of success,