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Wholesale Trade Shows: A Perfect Place To Find Products To Sell on eBay

January 28th, 2007 by Skip McGrath

We are off to the Seattle Gift Show today. This is a large show with over 500 manufacturers and wholesale suppliers of great stuff to sell on eBay.

Trade shows are one of our favorite places to find new merchandise to sell on eBay. My readers know that I am a believer in niche marketing.  Well a trade show is a great place to find those niche products.  They are also the best place to find the newest products, place your orders and be one of the first to show up on eBay.

A few years ago a lot of the suppliers at trade shows would not sell to small eBay vendors, but that has really changed.  You still run into a few wholesale suppliers who insist you must have a store, but I have found that most of them understand the power of the internet and the breath of eBay and will work with you.

The other thing I like about the shows is that you don’t have to deal in huge volumes.  Most of the wholesale suppliers will deal in small orders under $500 and man of them have a $150 or $200 minimum order size.

You don’t actually purchase products at the show. You place orders and the goods are shipped to you. So don’t worry about having to walk out with bags and boxes of goods.  But you will collect a lot of catalogs and they can be heavy, so take a shoulder bag or a small rolling bag. 

If you see something you like, don’t jump on it right away. Remember you want to do a little research on eBay to make sure their is a market for the product and not too much competition.  The Seattle show has computer terminals in the lobby that I can use for this purpose. Or you can carry your laptop as most convention centers are wireless hot zones.  Lastly, remember that you don’t have to place your orders right at the show. You can collect the catalogs, go home, do your research and place your orders later.

My best selling eBay book, The eBay Wholesale Buying System comes with a complete list of wholesale trade shows and small manufacturers and dealers that will deal with eBay sellers.  We also include a directory of wholesale merchandise marts, gift marts, wholesale jewelry centers and design centers.  You also get this information as part of The Complete eBay Marketing System, so you don’t have to purchase both books if you also want to learn how to start and run an eBay business.

Wholesale trade shows are not for the general public. They will ask you for identification and your sales tax number before letting you in the door.  So get a sales tax number and a business card in the name of your business before you try and register. 

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