By Si Martin
Safely Sourcing Products
In 2014, 74% of adults in the UK bought goods online (that’s nearly 39 million online shoppers!). If you’re going to be selling items online, you’re probably going to find yourself sourcing stock and buying it online.
There are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid when you’re sourcing products to sell on. We’ve compiled a handful of tips for avoiding them below – hopefully some of them will be fairly common sense.
Remember: ‘S’ for Secure
Before you go putting your credit card details into a site, take a look at the site’s credentials in the URL bar. If the URL starts with “https://” then it’s Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted. That basically means it’s secure to use. Just remember, the “s” on the https:// stands for secure. On top of this, you should usually see a padlock on the right hand side of the URL bar to indicate the security of the site.
Be wary of dodgy looking sites
The reason we’re not saying “avoid them like the plague” is because there are some wholesalers out there who are excellent at what they do, and are perfectly reputable, but the jump into the digital realm didn’t quite translate for them. So their website might not be the best looking, but it’s still safe.
However, for the most part, if a supplier company is serious about selling their products to be resold online, they’ll make the effort to have a good looking website. If in doubt, do some research into the company, and check out reviews from other customers.
Location, location, location.
A reputable company will have their contact details, or at the very least, an address. If you’re in doubt about how reputable this company is, call their number, or look up their address on Google Maps. If you’re looking to build a long-term relationship with a supplier so you can source products from one place, it might even be worth trying to set up a face-to-face meeting.
Get to know your supplier
Speaking to someone in person, or at least on the phone, is the best way to be certain that the company exists as well as finding out whether they’re able to meet your needs in terms of quality, quantity and delivery. Ask plenty of questions, and be as in depth and technical as possible – after all, these are going to be the products you’re selling to customers; you want to be sure they’re exactly what you’re after and the supplier knows what they’re talking about, and isn’t going to leave you in the lurch.
Do some research
In general, it’s a good idea to do some background research before you buy anything – whether that’s from talking to other people who’ve already bought a product, or looking around online. Find out what other people are saying about the product and the supplier. Do they offer high quality products and are they trustworthy? Is the product up to scratch? Will the supplier be consistent, and helpful?
Wherever possible, it’s best to pay through a service like PayPal or Verified By Visa, as these add an extra layer of security to your card details when you’re buying online. PayPal also has a commitment to helping resolve issues, for example: if you don’t actually receive what you pay for.
Speaking of buyer protection, if you’re spending over £100 it’s worth considering paying with a credit card, as the card company will reimburse you should there be any issues with the suppliers (e.g. if they go out of business, or if they send a faulty product and refuse to refund you).
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
Let’s face it, it’s pretty much impossible that you’re going to be able to pick up a pair of genuine Beats By Dre headphones for £25 unless something’s wrong with them, or the supplier. Of course, you should always look out for bargains, and some companies do offer massive clearance on items because they can afford to get by on thin profit margins. But, for the most part if something (particularly desirable brands like Apple or Beats By Dre) seems ridiculously cheap it’s best to avoid. As you, as the re-seller, will be responsible for the product if it ends up being counterfeit or stolen – and you don’t want that!
Don’t give out private data
Whenever you’re buying anything online, you should never be asked for anything like your PIN number or your online banking password. Some sites will even go to great lengths to make it look like you’re on your bank’s website to try and get your private details from you, so stay on the lookout for this too, and never give out private data.
We understand that sourcing products to resell can catch some people out. That’s why we thought about all of the above when we created ProfitSourcery. We only source products from established and trusted brands. So when you’re buying products you’ve found on ProfitSourcery, you can be sourcing with confidence.