Some time ago I started a business, it originally was online only (mostly eBay) but after sometime I started selling offline as well. The offline part has been doing great, this is both good and bad. It is great that it is working out but it is bad that it seems like some days I am running out of stock faster than I can locate it.
Up until this point I have mostly been buying things here and there (huge comic lots from Craigslist, Anime from a place that was going out of business, Manga from Goodwill, Cards from my personal collection that I was no longer interested in, ect... Everything has been mostly local). Personally I really like my little offline shop and until now it has mostly been a bit of a hobby, but after seeing the kind of customer traffic it gets I want to get serious and even expand.
As you have probably guessed from the title I sell games and anime, honestly it is a bit more than that. The manga and anime were never really part of the plan. It was supposed to be a gaming shop but when I ended up originally putting a few of my older items in the shop they sold faster than anything else and I had people asking if or when I was getting more, so naturally I kept restocking.
Anyways it seems I am rambling a bit and by this point I am pretty sure quite a few of you are pretty bored. So I'll just move on to the questions I wanted to ask. I've looked around online and have found, well honestly not much. I'm would like to find a good supplier (or two) for several things.
I've had quite a few customers ask about Japanese snacks (mostly Green Tea Kit-Kats and different flavors of Pocky and Ramune Sodas). Though this is something I have been interested in for some time (originally for personal interest rather than business) I really don't know where to even begin on this one. Though a US supplier would be better than a foreign one due to the coming heat and the fact that chocolate seems to dislike that that is unless I hold off till Fall or Winter. Anyways, where should I begin hunting for a supplier? If I go with a foreign one do I need any special paperwork to import food items? Anyone here import or export chocolate (or other food (or temperature sensitive) items), if so any advice? Any suppliers you would (or would not) recommend?
Right now my sources for manga have been local but I am looking to find somewhere online to buy from. Though I've thought about contacting publishers and distributors for stock I would rather wait a bit before doing that. Mainly because I've noticed that most of what I sell has mostly been older stuff, the newer manga hasn't really sold as well (I'm guessing due to it's availability at other stores) So anyone have any suggestions for a good site to buy books cheap with decent shipping rates? (Though anime isn't really a need for me right now I'm open to suggestions for places to acquire those for cheap as well)
My biggest sellers has been the big three of card games, Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokemon. These sell faster than any thing else in my little shop. It seems as soon as I find enough to stock it is already sold. I've run out of local sources for these cards. I've cleared as much of my personal collection as I can, I've bought every lot on Craigslist (not just for my area but the surrounding as well). I have pretty much cleaned my area of unwanted cards. I have searched around online for these card game and all I have found has been packs and boxes at retail price. So does anyone here know where I can find these games at a wholesale price?
If you've made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read this