Archive for March, 2011

Surviving the Recession – Selling at Flea Markets

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Learn how one of our own customers, Rodolfo Martinez, was able to survive the recession after losing his full time job a couple of years ago. He and his wife started their own business purchasing wholesale merchandise and reselling the items at local swap meets. They now are able to support themselves while being their own bosses and increasing their earnings each time they buy and sell.

Check out this video by Annenberg TV News that will give you the inside scoop!

A Successful Retail and Wholesale Business

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

MARCH 2011 CUSTOMER OF THE MONTH

Adedoyin Otunuga of Trendy Clothing, Nigeria


Our March success story is of a woman who started a business out of a need she identified in her home country of Nigeria, shortly after giving birth to her child. Adedoyin Otunuga started a dual-channel resale business in April of 2010 after resigning from a banking job. She had just delivered her baby and quickly discovered that quality kid’s clothing in Nigeria was very expensive, and she then decided to open a business to fill the widespread need for quality apparel at affordable prices.

When first researching products to import from overseas, she realized that shipping small lots would cut into her profits too much, and that the cheaper way to bring goods into the country would be in larger bulk shipments. Finding herself with ample product to resell, Adedoyin opened a small store where she caters to retail customers who are looking for good deals on kids clothing by the piece, as well as a wholesale division where she sells wholesale lots of adult clothing at cheaper prices to Nigerian based retailers. In 11 short months, her startup business is now her primary source of income.

“I decided to focus my primary business on children’s clothing because parents will always think of their kids before themselves,” she says. “I chose clothing and accessories for my wholesale division because they are the types of items that everyone needs all the time. It’s consistent and dependable.” She explains that while she is trying to fill a demand in the market, she doesn’t just source any type of clothing. While offering good prices is clearly a priority, “[she] always makes sure the merchandise [she] buys is either overstock or shelf pulls and of good quality.” Both her retail and wholesale operations depend on repeat business and providing quality items at fair prices is more important than poorer quality items at rock bottom prices. “I make sure the children’s clothing I buy has tags and I sell at half the tag price,” she explains. “The adult clothing I sell at wholesale, with or without tags. I always remove any items that are in any way damaged, stained or torn beyond repair, which is usually around 5% of any overstock load I buy.”

“Taking this into consideration, I expect to make at least 50% profit on my items once I factor in the freight costs from the US to Nigeria,” she states. A tricky part of importing assorted wholesale lots from abroad is that of customs clearance. Most countries place restrictions on certain types of items, or require paperwork that is not readily available when purchasing liquidated goods. For this reason, Adedoyin recommends finding and using experienced forwarding agents, rather than handling the international shipment herself. “I use the internet to find lists of freight forwarders that ship to Nigeria and I make sure they have experienced clearing agents to help me follow up on my goods and their delivery,” she explains. While the forwarding agents to charge a premium for their services, it is still more cost-effective than being hit with potentially exorbitant customs fees once the goods arrive at their destination.

Since its inception, Adedoyin’s business has grown from word of mouth, and she also leverages the use of text messaging to notify her customer base of new arrivals or special offers. “There is a lot of competition but I beat them hands down with lower prices and better quality of clothing,” she says. “I get a lot of referrals from customers who appreciate the quality of the clothing I sell.” Since her store is based on quality items at lower prices than those of her competitors, she does not offer discounts on individual items but rather offers volume discounts to those who buy a certain number of pieces and up. Depending on the item, this “minimum order to qualify for a volume discount” changes. “It encourages people to purchase more items to get the lower price. They walk out happy, and so do I.”

Adedoyin has been working with Via Trading since September of 2010. “I have two suppliers in the US, but my major one is via Trading as they offer excellent customer service and fast shipping. It’s important for me to have my goods delivered to my freight forwarder quickly so I can get the orders forwarded to my store on a regular basis,” she explains. “Customer service is a top priority for me and when I made my first inquiry and got a prompt reply from Via, I knew I was in the right place. I get discouraged when there’s no feedback to inquiries,” she adds. Thank you Adedoyin, we’re glad to be working with you!

Having built this successful business from the ground up by herself, Adedoyin has learned a thing or two about getting started. “If you’re an exporter who already knows what to sell, do thorough research before you choose a supplier. Make sure you’re dealing with honest people who have the products in their possession and can deliver them quickly,” she suggests. She also recommends working with an experienced freight forwarder to avoid negative surprises at customs.

“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned,” she says, “is to exercise patience when starting a business and to not expect to hit it big on the first try. You need to nurture it when you’re just starting out and do not ever compromise on quality as it determines whether you will make headway in the business or not.” We agree!!

Adedoyin Otunuga’s store is called Trendy Clothing and is located in the city of Abeokuta in Ogun State, Nigeria.

Now’s the Time for Sourcing Wholesale Sunglasses

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Now’s the Time for Sourcing Wholesale Sunglasses

by Claudia Bruemmer

With so many bright, sunny days ahead in spring and summer, it’s the season for buying wholesale sunglasses,  caps and sun visors. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but did you know they are also necessary for good eye health? Doctors give two reasons for wearing sunglasses: health and comfort.

From a health standpoint, it’s important to keep all ultraviolet light from getting into your eyes or on your eyelids and the skin around them. For comfort and vanity, we know it’s not a good idea to squint. Your eyes are sensitive to brightness and glare. By cutting down on glare, your vision is better when you’re driving or doing anything else outdoors. But besides all that, sunglasses can be a great fashion statement. They make you look cool and add pizzazz to any outfit. Ever notice how movie stars always wear sunglasses?

Protecting the skin around your eyes with UV-filtering sunglasses is a good way to prevent skin cancer. From a comfort perspective, polarized lenses are very effective for blocking glare. However, they can be inhibiting for people playing golf and other outdoor sports.

It is smart to look for sunglasses that block out 99 percent of ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.  While purchasing your sunglasses from a doctor’s office will guarantee getting a pair of sunglasses that are effective in protecting your eyes from ultraviolet rays, some low-cost sunglasses are also effective in screening out ultraviolet rays. Below are the top five reasons for wearing sunglasses and tips for healthy eyes.

Top Five Reasons for Wearing Sunglasses

  1. 1. UV Protection. The sun’s UV radiation can cause cataracts, benign growths on the eye’s surface and snow blindness, which is temporary but painful sunburn of the eye’s surface. Wide-brimmed hats, visors and caps can block about 50 percent of UV radiation from your eyes but for complete protection, you need sunglasses.
  2. 2. Skin Cancer. Cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes is more common than you would think. People should wear sunglasses outdoors whether they are working, playing sports, taking a walk, running errands, driving or any time they’re out in the sun.
  3. 3. Macular Degeneration Protection. Long-term exposure to the blue and violet portion of the solar spectrum has been implicated as a risk factor for macular degeneration, especially for individuals that are sensitive to the sun.
  4. 4. Comfortable Vision. The sun’s brightness and glare interferes with comfortable vision and a person’s ability to see clearly by causing squinty, watery eyes.
  5. 5. Dark Adaptation. If you spend 2 or 3 hours in bright sunlight, this can hamper your eyes’ ability to adapt quickly to indoor and nighttime light levels. This makes it hazardous to drive at night after spending the whole day in the sun without protection.

Tips for Healthy Eyes

  1. 1. Wear sunglasses any time your eyes are exposed to UV light, even on cloudy days and in winter.
  2. 2. Buy quality sunglasses that offer good protection. Sunglasses should block out 99 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
  3. 3. Buy only sunglasses with lenses that are color matched and free of distortion and other imperfections.
  4. 4. Purchase gray-colored lenses. Grey reduces light intensity without altering the color of objects in the environment, thus providing a natural color vision.
  5. Ensue your children have protective sunglasses as they typically spend more time outdoors than adults. Even babies can be fitted with baby sunglasses.

Tip for wholesale sunglasses buyers: now is the time to source for the best choice of styles and colors as well as delivery in time for the selling season.

Claudia Bruemmer Bio

Claudia Bruemmer was the first Managing Editor of ClickZ (1998-2001) and Editor of Search Engine Watch (2007-2008). Claudia’s articles are published on iMediaConnection, Search Engine Guide, BruceClay.com and TopTenWholesale.com. She authored a Fundamentals of Search Engine Marketing course for the Search Engine Marketing Organization (SEMPO) and edited SEMPO’s Advanced Search Engine Marketing courses. Claudia is currently Chief Editor of the TopTenWholesale Newsroom and also freelances in writing and editing online at www.claudiabruemmer.com.

What Are the Benefits of Buying Online Retailer Loads?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Have you ever purchased something online and then returned it because it wasn’t quite what you wanted?

Online retailer loads are some of the cleanest loads in the industry since in the majority of cases, people return items they buy online just after receiving them and finding out the item is not what they wanted.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you would most likely receive:

  • a higher percentage of working items than in a store return load
  • goods that are in overall better condition and generally retail-ready
  • items that are in their original brown shipping boxes, which provides an additional layer of protection for the retail packaging of the items that you don’t get with store returns

As a result, online retailer loads can be an excellent choice for business who sell their products online and in retail stores.

What benefits are there to buying online retailer loads?

  • They are typically FULLY MANIFESTED. You know what you’re getting and you can hand-pick the load you want based on what is inside, allowing you to make sure the items will be right for your business and your market.
  • They usually contain a WIDE VARIETY OF ITEMS. One of the tricky things about buying wholesale loads of merchandise is that often times, they will have a higher percentage of one type or category of item that may overload your inventory. A wide variety of items means you can offer more choices to your customers and provide them with a one-stop-shop to find all kinds of items they might need.
  • They are typically CLEANER THAN STORE RETURNS. While you may still need to test and/or repair certain items, the majority may be in unopened boxes, may contain all their parts and may be more resale-ready than store return loads. The less work you need to do, the faster you will start to turn a profit on your investment.
  • They are usually priced at a PERCENTAGE OF RETAIL VALUE. Since they are also manifested, you will know what the original retail value of each item was. This allows you to price your items more effectively, by showing your customers their savings over the original retail value. For example, you may have an item on the load with a $300 retail value. Assuming you paid around 30% of retail value on the load, you will have paid $90 for this item. You can price it at $200, showing your customer that he will be saving $100 off the original price, while you are more than doubling your investment.