In order to maximise profits when you start your collectibles or memorabilia business, you need to ensure that you have a good number of suppliers who are able to consistently provide you with the most up to date collectibles products. There are a variety of ways you can find good trade suppliers and also a number of things to consider when you do find them.
Ask Other Stores and Check Their Stock
Many people find that when starting their own collectibles business it can be extremely difficult to source good suppliers and asking other retailers is often fruitless as they don’t want to share their valuable sources with a possible competitor. If you let the storeowner know that you’re going to be opening up in another location and therefore you won’t be a threat to their business, some will be willing to let you know where they get their stock from. If not, then you have to take the sneaky spy approach to finding out who their suppliers of wholesale collectibles are! This is actually far more simple than you’d think. Most collectibles will state right on the package who they are distributed by. If it isn’t stamped on the actual package, it will sometimes be stickered so that you can simply take note of the distributor name and contact them directly.
Another way of checking is to see what cardboard boxes are laying around or are outside. As cheeky as it may seem, looking to see which companies are sending goods to other memorabilia stores you know, can actually save you a lot of time in finding out good collectibles suppliers or memorabilia suppliers. If you have no local stores to do this, there are other ways of sourcing good trade suppliers.
Trade Publications and Magazines
Getting your hands on trade publications or specialist magazines for the collectible and memorabilia business isn’t as difficult as you may initially think. Many of these types of magazines can be found at your local newsagent and inside there are often distributors listed in a separate section. If they aren’t, then look to see who is releasing certain items. It usually says in articles which companies are dealing with certain products and you can then research the company individually for more information. Don’t limit yourself to just national magazines either, subscribe to international magazines, in particular American and Japanese. Often in the collectibles business, the next big thing will come from these countries, so staying ahead of the curve is a great business move and many companies are happy to supply wholesale collectibles to international businesses.
The Internet is Your Best Friend
One of the easiest ways of finding out who is your local wholesale collectibles to trade supplier is by researching online. You’ll find that most companies have an online presence and some actually list their entire catalogue on there. Spend time looking to see which companies will deliver to your area and contact them to see if they can send you out a trade catalogue. Many will even have sales reps in your area who will show up when they realise there’s a possibility of a sale there for them. Often, if you take out an advert in a specialist magazine, the sales reps will find you as they’ll see you there and realise you’re a possible source of future sales. The collectibles supply business is very competitive, especially if you’re willing to buy abroad, so look around and see who you can buy from.
Points to Remember About Collectibles and Memorabilia Suppliers
There are a few essential points to remember when you are getting involved with any supplier. Firstly, don’t rely on just one wholesale supplier. You need as many as possible so that you’re always able to get the items you need when you need them. Secondly, don’t be surprised if you need to pay up front for the first few months. Most suppliers won’t offer you a credit account until they see that you’re reliable and trustworthy, so set aside money for stock in advance. Thirdly, always keep looking for new suppliers who may be able to give you a bulk buy deal or offer you a better service. You’re not tied into contracts with suppliers and they should be willing to fight for your business. Lastly, if you’re importing items from abroad, make sure that you’re legally able to and are paying all the correct customs and excise duty on them. This can affect your overall profit margin and is important in the long term to know whether it’s worth importing or looking for local suppliers.