Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Use Trade Shows to Source Products: A Guide for Retail Stores and Online Sellers

How to Use Trade Shows to Source Products: A Guide for Retail Stores and Online Sellers            

Why trade shows are more important than ever to finding wholesale product for your store and online business.

I am now strictly an online seller, but I did have a brick and mortar retail store for over ten years.  It doesn’t really matter which you are, but in both environments, I always found trade shows to be my single best venue to source wholesale products to resell.

Here’s why trade shows are important to retailers, both in-store and e-commerce:


Trade Shows Help You Develop Relationships

Over the years one of the most important things I have learned is the importance of developing a good relationship with my wholesale suppliers.  And that is one of the biggest advantages of attending trade shows like ASD Market Week – you get to meet the sales reps in person and take that first step in developing a relationship. Now you are probably thinking, “With so many people going through the show, how would any sales rep remember you?”  You would be surprised.  When I see a product that interests me, I don’t just ask for the price and a sales sheet.

I actually take a few minutes to chat with the rep and make a point of remembering his name and talking about a few things that he or she will remember.  Then when I get home I call or email them after the show and remind them of what we talked about. In addition to sales reps, in many cases (especially at smaller companies) the actual business owner attends.  This is an excellent opportunity to get to know the faces behind your potential suppliers. When I run into that situation I really spend some time with them and make sure they remember me.


Trade Shows Let You See the Product Quality and Expertise for Yourself

Another big advantage of shopping at a trade show versus via a catalog or a website is that you can physically touch the product, get a feel for its quality, and better assess whether you think it will sell in your venue. (Check out some of the hottest products from the August show.)  

At many of the larger trade shows like ASD you’ll find vendors from many other countries, which can lead to expensive shipments and high minimum quantities; it’s really important to judge the quality of an item before ordering it.


Trade Shows Save You Time and Money

Lastly, there is the endless variety of products at a show like ASD.  I also attend specialized shows in my various product categories including jewelry, apparel and sporting goods, but I can see all of these at ASD.  (ASD even offers on-site matchmaking tools to help you more easily find the best vendors for you.) Attending ASD means I can do a fewer number of total shows each year, saving me time and travel costs because there are so many product categories under one roof.

To view the original article please visit: ASD Online