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Dropshipping & Wholesale Suppliers Discuss Dropshipping on/off eBay, Amazon, Shopify, Etsy and other platforms.

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Old 03-16-2014
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Default Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

I've always been better with the written word than the spoken word, so I am putting a lot of thought into how to choose my words when phone-calling various sources and inquiring about their merchandise.

I wanted to know if anybody had any suggestions as to what I should say or how I should convey myself when calling different companies and sources to do business with.

For example, if I like Company A's merchandise and see it is selling well online, and call them to see if they will consider vending to me, what should I say to increase my chances of them taking me as seriously as a wholesale buyer? I can imagine the words "reselling online" turns a lot of vendors/manufacturers off.

Should I convey myself as someone with a store front, or one who sells outside of the online world? Truth is I only sell online. I want to build strong business relationships, and lying does not seem like a good way to start.

How should I direct this conversation when calling companies regarding their products? Selling myself on the phone to vendors is not a skill that comes naturally to me, so I can use a little guidance here. How do you start such a conversation when reaching out to vendors? Are phone calls preferred to emails?

lol sorry if this is silly, but even some rough examples of how you would carry out a conversation with a vendor when looking to buy from them would help me a lot!

Thank you!
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Old 03-16-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

First check that the company you are hoping to do business with, does not have certain conditions.

Some will only deal with sellers with brick & mortar premises. Some may have an annual turn-over for their potential people.

Check such facts before starting.

You could cold canvass them or you could email first.
Any chance of networking? Do you know anyone that could give you lead ins?
Just a couple of thoughts.

I dont think this is silly at all. It's a means of doing business.

That in turn is a means of making money.

Good Luck


Last edited by GreenBean; 03-16-2014 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 03-16-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Phone calls are definitely taken more seriously. But, I still like to sniff some vendors out via email simply because it's convenient and keeps a record of who I have talked to.

You're going to have to practice no matter what. You will be surprised how many vendors will respond positively to you if you let them know you're ready to spend money immediately.
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Old 03-16-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

In this day and age, many sources can understand the need to expand online - practice stating you are a mix of brick-and-mortar as well as online.

Keep in mind that whatever statmeents you make will likely have to be backed up by written communication sooner or later.
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Old 03-16-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Unfortunately, I do not personally know anyone in this type of work, so I do not have a means to get in contact with suppliers through networking.

@rsot - I can practice saying I have a brick and mortar aspect to my business, but at this point it would be a lie. What kind of written communication would they require, and how would that pan out if I say I do brick-and-mortar, but I really don't? I don't want to be dishonest with my supplier…

I will begin scoping out potential suppliers through email. Anything in particular I should include in my email to beef up my chances of a successful response?

Really excited about this part of my journey in the online business world
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Old 03-16-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Saying you have a brick and mortar shop when one does not exist can backfire.

It has backfired for another user. Hence making a fib from the start is counterproductive.

Your aim is to get trust with a company not fill them with fancy ideas nor waste time practising how to lie.

After all you do eBay Stealth

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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Probably one of the most insane suggestions I have read on here to lie about a brick and mortar.

OMG Coming from someone who never called ebay and dont know that the next question would be give me the name of the business, address, send me docs etc.

At the same time using google earth while you are online looking to see if it does exist.

Someone does not know that ebay also has access to business license if anything is public record.

Dont do this, not a good smart move at all.
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Old 03-17-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

If you want to look more established then you incorporate, rent a virtual office (service that gives you P.O. box in a building that will let you use the conference room or an office if need be) and use a domain email address. You will look as professional as any other more established business. Do not lie about having a brick-and-mortar location. However you can tell them you are looking into it.

Here is the reality of what you are trying to do though. Most of the more popular brands are not profitable to sell online or are extremely low profit. Does not matter what we are talking about whether it is electronics, accessories, clothes, household goods, car parts or just about anything else. You will be surprised how expensive these things are even in large wholesale quantities. Gone are the days that there is huge markup for a retailer, now it is the brands that have the power. In a retail store, you can sell the item for enough to pay your bills and add a few dollars to your pocket.

But online where there are tons of competitors, gray market sellers of these brands, and the few retailers who do get special pricing (best buy, newegg, etc), you would have to sell the item at the wholesale price to make a sale.
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

the harsh reality of online selling and wholesaling is amazon and ebay takes away your profit for 90% of the items to sell with their 10-20% fees.

I buy wholesale but only hard to find items that are priced above retail
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuremogul888 View Post
Do not lie about having a brick-and-mortar location. However you can tell them you are looking into it.
This is what I meant - not outright lying...I don't fib about business but as you are building your business, it is fine to state that you are looking into it with suppliers. We aren't discussing fibbing to eB either.
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamefreak View Post
the harsh reality of online selling and wholesaling is amazon and ebay takes away your profit for 90% of the items to sell with their 10-20% fees.

I buy wholesale but only hard to find items that are priced above retail
This is the hurdle that makes it so hard for most people to get started. Those percentages are literally enough to kill most small businesses. There are huge companies today that just 10% profit for the year is actually considered good for them and sustainable. Imagine if their only channels for selling were EB/AZ...they'd go bankrupt.
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Old 03-17-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

email is the best way to go. I have talk to many wholesale through email. you can think about your message carefully and send pics. much better
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuremogul888 View Post

Here is the reality of what you are trying to do though. Most of the more popular brands are not profitable to sell online or are extremely low profit. Does not matter what we are talking about whether it is electronics, accessories, clothes, household goods, car parts or just about anything else. You will be surprised how expensive these things are even in large wholesale quantities. Gone are the days that there is huge markup for a retailer, now it is the brands that have the power. In a retail store, you can sell the item for enough to pay your bills and add a few dollars to your pocket.

But online where there are tons of competitors, gray market sellers of these brands, and the few retailers who do get special pricing (best buy, newegg, etc), you would have to sell the item at the wholesale price to make a sale.

This is disheartening. What is a fella to do?

Guess i need to find the products... Ones that are not SO popular, but popular enough, eh?

Last edited by nodeal; 03-17-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

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Originally Posted by mctrader07 View Post
email is the best way to go. I have talk to many wholesale through email. you can think about your message carefully and send pics. much better
Can you provide me with a template or a quick overview of how my format should be in such an email?

What are some key things to say and include in the email, and what can help my business pitch sound best as possible?

Also, is it very problematic if I am contacting suppliers from a gmail address instead of a company domain name?

Last edited by nodeal; 03-17-2014 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 03-17-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Read what FM88 advised.

Look at getting a dedicated email to use for this venture.

Sometimes we need to hone our practices to get what we are after.

PM'd you too
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Here on the forum we have older posts by slapped & another user called gibsonton

They have outlined sourcing items as well.

Not sure you would need the one template for all suppliers. I tend to personalize what I say.

Just throwing in options

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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

have read a lot of slapped's stuff. Will look into gibsonton.

Will definitely individualize my emails. Good stuff, GreenBean. Thanks for the PM too.
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nodeal View Post
have read a lot of slapped's stuff. Will look into gibsonton.

Will definitely individualize my emails. Good stuff, GreenBean. Thanks for the PM too.
You are welcome
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Old 03-20-2014
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Default Re: Ready to start calling suppliers. How should I approach the conversation?

Each supplier you deal with is different. For me now days I only buy from people within the States. I am done dealing with importing and what not if costs me money so be it. Let it be somebody else headache.

However, I have found each supplier and contact is different. Some that I deal with it is easiest and most convenient to do so on the phone. Some are extremely busy and email like other have said are best to deal with that way. Even though I hate text messages I have one supplier who I primarily use that mode of communication because English is not his native language and sometimes I have trouble understanding him over the phone. Just gotta roll with what works.

I will say initially when I first get in contact with someone I want to do business with. I always like to talk to them on the phone first. Then as things progress just go from there.
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