Where Do You Find Products To Sell on the Internet?

This post is written by Christine Olson founder of BooksMN.com.

When we started blogging in 2006 I was making 75K in revenue and shooting for 150K. In 2008 I will do over 200K. Not bad for a one woman home-based business.

Lots of people ask me how I do it. But one of the most frequent questions people ask is…

Where do you find your products?

I am going to let the secret out of the bag. Where do people buy all this product they sell online? Is there a big secret website everyone goes to and picks this stuff up?

The answer to that question is simple. But the reality of finding the right products to sell at the right price is not so simple, but that’s another post.

The big secret…

People find products to sell at Trade Shows. You must travel, you must do research, and you must negotiate deals. You will make mistakes, you will get stuck with stuff that doesn’t sell, you may get ripped off, but you will learn. It can take years to find a set of dependable vendors.

First you need to decide what kind of products you want to sell. Are you going to sell NEW products or discount merchandise? If you are going to sell NEW products you need to find trade shows that specialize in your particular product. If you want to sell Golf Equipment, go to Golf Trade Shows or Sporting Good Shows. Google “Golf Trade Shows” and you will get several results. Do you want to sell jewelry or buy gems to make your own jewelry? Vegas has several shows a year just for jewelry merchants. Not sure what you want to sell? Attend one of these. Do you want to sell discount merchandise? Go to this variety show. You will be overwhelmed, but it will give you great ideas.

While books are the majority of my business, I also sell DVDs, audio books, diaper bags, and other items I find at trade shows that I think will be profitable. In the past I’ve sold board games, knick-knacks, dollhouse furniture, and purses.

To purchase merchandise at trade shows, you must set yourself up as
a business

After attending several trade shows you will have collected a sizable list of websites and phone numbers. You will start receiving catalogs and things will begin to fall into place.

To find out more about how you can start your own internet based business check out Skip McGrath’s site.

6 thoughts on “Where Do You Find Products To Sell on the Internet?”

  1. trade shows can be a great source of product inspiration. I would add, though, that one should generally aim to forge relationships that don’t require you to hold inventory and will do fulfillment for you. This way as a marketer you can focus exclusively on driving sales and lower your risk of getting burned.

  2. quadzilla,

    No doubt about it. Drop shipping and dealing in non-tangibles is good business too. But in my space, discount and wholesale merchandise, trade shows are key. So is inventory, so you have to be smart and take calculated risks. You just don’t find good drop shippers in discount and remainder merchandise. If you can make decent margins via dropship, it is the way to go. But I like to handle my merchandise, just the way I like to do business. It works well for me.

  3. First,

    Thank you for sharing! I find when I give back in this way, it comes back to me. I hope it is the same for you.

    I am looking to set up an online business in the new year. Where do the majority of your customers come from? The U.S.? How do you get the word out about your new venture?

    Have a safe and happy new year!


  4. @Kim
    Most of my customers are from the US. I’d say 20% are international. Now a days I don’t think it matters much where you are from as long as you can deliver your product anywhere. It looks like you are located in Canada, I ship quite a bit there.

    The Chatterbox looks very cool. Did you invent the game?

  5. Thanks for a timely post. I’m not selling anything on the internet – but I am going to be needing (wanting) books for much less than retail prices. One of my Non Profit goals is to be able to visit hospitals in the area and give the children there a book or small toy of some kind.

    Do you have any suggestion?

  6. Excellent advise! I agree 1000%. Most times when that question is posed to me, I tell them that finding product is the easy part. Finding the RIGHT product takes work and dedication 🙂

    There are literally 1000’s of venders, manufacturers, importers out there looking for people to sell stuff they make, that is easy.

    john (ColderICE)

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