Wholesale drop shippers are trying to find you at trade shows...Where are you?
By Brad Beiermann
Did you know there are hundreds of wholesale companies looking for
online retailers to sell their products? Many of them offer drop shipping
services. If you are considering starting an online business or have already
started one, there are wholesale companies trying to find you. Unfortunately,
they are not actively looking for you on the Internet. Also, you cannot find
them on the Internet with a search engine such as Google. This is particularly
true for brand new wholesalers. Why? Some of the newer wholesale companies have
new websites. As some of you may already know, it can sometimes take forever to
get top search engine placement. A new wholesale company with a new website
simply does not show up immediately in a search engine (assuming they even have
a website). In fact, they may never show up on a search engine.
Question: Where can you find these companies?
Answer: The trade shows!
There are hundreds of wholesale companies who attend trade shows trying to get new business. When they attend a show, they are out to achieve some of the following goals:
1. Open new accounts with retailers
2. Build relationships with current retailers as well as new ones
3. Introduce a new product line
4. Get new product ideas
5. Demonstrate the company’s unique attributes
Open new accounts with retailers
Many wholesale companies offer “new account specials” at trade shows. As an online retailer, this is your opportunity to discuss discounts or special shipping requests face-to-face with the distributor. During the show, some companies will compete by offering a slightly better discount on the opening order, or perhaps, give a free gift or merchandise item of limited value for being at the show. In order to attract attendees such as yourself, they may offer some kind of freebie product sample to get you to drop by their booth. It might be a sample they would normally charge for if you requested it by phone or over the Internet. Remember, they are there to increase their sales opportunities.
Another nice service you might get from attending the show is a follow-up call from the wholesale company. They often get better results at opening new accounts by calling show attendees right after the show ends. Many online businesses use an opt-in email newsletter to get customer contacts. At the trade shows, the wholesale company may set up a “Prize Bowl” to collect business cards for a grand give-away drawing. This can be a great way for them to collect leads just like an opt-in email list.
Perhaps the biggest treasure you will find at a trade show are wholesale companies willing to eliminate their minimum order requirements if you attended the show. Many of them are really wanting to attract new accounts. So, often they will consider waiving credit checks, prepayments, and minimum orders on new customers they meet at the show. Folks, this is a huge opportunity if you are an online retailer seeking wholesale companies who will drop ship single item quantities without minimum orders. A wholesale company who typically has a minimum order requirement may drop the requirement for you by meeting them at the trade show. You will not find this kind of deal on the Internet or with a phone call. As the wholesale company is spending money to attend the show, they want to do everything they can to get a new retailer to sign-up.
Build relationships with current retailers as well as new ones
During the trade show, the wholesale company is out to build positive relationships with customers. They are there to take the time to sit down and talk. Often, they may have more senior employees with experience, to work the booth better. This demonstrates that they are taking trade show attendance seriously. If you are checking out a large wholesale company booth with heavy traffic, do not become frustrated if no one is available to talk to you. Be patient. It is sometimes difficult to for a company to judge how much personnel will be needed for a show.
Introduce a new product line
If you are looking for the latest product to create a nice niche for your online store, then the trade show is the place to find it. Most companies will bring their latest offerings to the trade show. Wholesale companies are often prepared to offer as much specific information about a new product line during the trade show. As an online retailer, this is your opportunity to see a working sample of the product. Sometimes they might not have a working sample of the new product. So, you might get shown prototypes, photographs, product specification sheets, or any other type of important material that will best display the significant features of the new product.
To get your attention at the trade show, many companies display life-size posters or even three-dimensional representations of their new products. We have found some of the best products for retailers to sell online by simply observing some of these large displays at the various booths.
Get new product ideas
Many wholesale companies are looking for new ideas and products to offer retailers. The trade show gives them an opportunity to speak with online retailers about various products that they could add to their distribution line for wholesale drop shipping.
Demonstrate the company’s unique attributes
In the three-ring-circus-like atmosphere of many trade shows, it is difficult to grasp the subtle or numerous differences between various companies offering similar products. Be sure to observe how they might be setting themselves apart from the pack. You might find a good deal of displays at their booth advertising "No Minimum Orders Required" or "International Delivery Available" or "30 Day Net Payment Option Available."
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