This week, I’m blogging about Wholesale Trade Shows. Yesterday, I mentioned that they’re wonderful for product niche discovery. That’s one part of product sourcing at trade shows. The other part is actually making wholesale purchases.
Suppliers prepare ‘show specials’ especially for wholesale trade shows and you will usually see them offered at every booth. Specials usually take one of three forms (or a combination of the three). They can be free inbound freight on orders, they can be a percentage off the usual cost on orders, or they can be extended dating on orders. All of these are good good good (as long as the products you’re buying are sellable products). For techniques on researching sellable products, please see the Guerrilla eBay Research System.
Trade show purchasing works best for items that you already sell or already know will sell. I usually take along a list of the items that are performing well on eBay, Amazon, etc, and seek out the reps for those products. I will then take advantage of show specials for these products, but I seldom buy into show specials for new products I discover.
Another aspect of wholesale trade show purchasing is “Cash & Carry” day. That is usually the final day of the trade show and as the name implies, you pay cash and carry the merchandise away. You can often get merchandise for deep discounts at Cash & Carry – the vendors don’t want to haul this merchandise back with them and are often happy to let it go for pennies on the dollar.