Product Sourcing Strategies
Whether you’re an experienced online seller or completely new to the game, there are several things to keep in mind when it comes to your sourcing strategy. We’ve done the homework on which strategies work best overall for everyone so you don’t have to!
Watch New Trends
With the way our society switches gears constantly, consumers get bored easily and quickly. Sometimes a new trend takes off and becomes a lasting part of our culture (think denim clothing, phone technology, beauty products, etc.). Sometimes a product is wildly popular for a few months or a year and then dies out, making it all but impossible to move. The first example that comes to mind are the hottest kids’ toys in any given Christmas season.
So how do you know if a new trend will have a lasting impact? The bottom line is, you don’t. But by keeping your eyes on different markets, you may be able to discern patterns and make educated guesses as to which trends are here to stay and which will crash and burn quickly.
Another good strategy is to jump on trending products as soon as possible since you don’t know how long their shelf life will be. For example, if you sell health and beauty products, you may start noticing that all the major companies are introducing hydrating primers. Get your hands on some quickly before suddenly everyone is switching up and using mattifying primers instead! You can check beauty catalogues and flyers to see what the new products are. Browsing beauty retailer websites can tell you which products are best sellers.
Switch Things Up
Have you noticed that your product has been in a bit of a holding pattern lately? Do you find yourself getting bored with your own inventory? Consider making some changes, however small. If you normally sell clothing try adding some jewelry and accessories to the mix. Do you specialize in kids’ toys and games? See if you have any success selling additional and complementary items such as trendy shoes, sleepwear, etc.
On the flip side, are you more of a hodgepodge seller? Is there a distinct lack of specialty in your inventory? If you find that many of your products move much better than others, consider streamlining your business and just focusing on the area or areas where you’re most successful on a consistent basis. By cutting inventory and “trimming the fat”, you may actually be able to cut enough unnecessary costs to get a higher ROI on your focused products of choice.
Where to Look
If you traditionally do online arbitrage, consider getting out and hitting the bricks for product. Depending on what you sell and where you live, there can be a wealth of lucrative products within driving distance. These resources include but are not limited to:
-box store clearance aisles
Upgrade Your Toolbox
One of the best tools InventoryLab provides to its customers is our mobile app Scoutify 2. Using Scoutify 2 can help you determine profitability of an item, potential item restrictions, comparable items on Amazon, and sales and purchase history.
Hit the Road
Another potential goldmine for sourcing is retail wholesale trade shows. These occur all year long all over the United States. You can find an entire list for 2020 here.
When it comes to successful product sourcing, just remember to keep an open mind, stay on top of changes, and mix it up a little every now and then.