How to Source Wholesale Merchandise for a Flea Market or Resale Business

Source Merchandise Efficiently

If you are just starting out, you may not be very familiar with the different ways in which you can source products for your business. Here are a few starting points:

  • Trade Shows: Visit wholesale industry trade shows to meet companies face-to-face, negotiate deals in person and take advantage of a huge scope of products all under one roof. You can typically source everything you need in one visit to a trade show, from several vendors. For a list of closeout industry trade shows, visit the Association of Surplus Dealers online.
  • Internet searches: A simple Google search for “wholesale products” or other similar terms will yield a slew of results. When browsing through company websites, make sure to look for wholesalers who own and warehouse their own inventory if possible. In many cases, wholesalers who do not own their own inventory are brokers, or middle-men, and you can often overpay for products versus working directly with the wholesalers who own the products. If possible, choose a wholesaler you can visit in person to inspect the goods prior to making your first purchase until you are comfortable.
  • Trade Magazines and B2B Websites: There are many printed sources and wholesale search engines dedicated to helping businesses find product. Some of these publications include: Retailer’s Forum, Swap Meet Magazine, Independent Retailer, Solo Mayoreo (Spanish), Web Wholesaler, Western/Eastern Merchandiser and more. Popular B2B sourcing websites include: TopTen Wholesale, CloseoutCentral and WholesaleCentral. These search engines allow you to enter a search term and find wholesalers nationwide who can provide you with those products.

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