Stocking with a limited budget

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I need to consider something regarding inventory on a limited budget. Most of my products are manageable, cost-wise; however, some are not. The higher end products are $150-200 each. Is there a work around here? I am not dropshipping, so I must stock at least a few of these higher priced items. In your experience, how many vendors/wholesalers are willing to supply small quantities or individual orders as they come in? Is this uncommon? Will this hurt my sales if customers have to wait three days beyond? What have you experienced? How did you work around this? I'm trying to avoid holding so much money in inventory until I see a sales pattern. Doing the right thing?
#budget #limited #stocking
  • Profile picture of the author justray
    anyone have any experience with this question?
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    • Profile picture of the author eric w
      In your experience, how many vendors/wholesalers are willing to supply small quantities or individual orders as they come in?

      This depends on what vendors you're working with...you need to know this ahead of time simply by asking the vendor....ask them and you'll get your answer


      Is this uncommon?

      No..it depends on the vendor, but it's not uncommon.


      Will this hurt my sales if customers have to wait three days beyond?

      Well, since you say you're not dropshipping and you're keeping a small inventory, why would customers have to wait 3 days and beyond? When I carry inventory, I ship within 24 hours of cleared payment and many times I ship the item within hours of the sale....and i let my potential customers know that in my auction and website shipping info.

      If you're talking about waiting 3 or more days for the package to arrive, then that's not a problem for the overwhelming majority of customers. Ordering something online and receiving it within 5 days of your order is good...of course you can offer faster shipping since you have the items in stock, this a great way to keep customers long term.


      What have you experienced? How did you work around this?

      I'll answer these 2 together. It's about your research beforehand. I know how much money I can make before I buy an item. I know my costs and the price I need to sell it for to make a profit.

      I crunch the numbers for dropshipping, if possible with a particular item and for having inventory. I only get inventory if I know I can make substantil profits per item or if it's high demand and I can sell many of them.

      If after my research, I'm not sure about how much quantity I can move of an item in the time frame I've chosen, then I'll keep a few in stock to test and see if they move according to my research. If so, i buy more stock, if not I move on to another item.

      I hope this is helpful to you.

      Originally Posted by justray View Post

      anyone have any experience with this question?
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      • Profile picture of the author Julia Russo
        Don't know what you are selling but let me give you my experience:

        I live in Atlanta and have the advantage of having many of my suppliers near me. I have worked with several of my main vendors to ship product to me within 2-4 days and I generally get delivery in one day after shipping. Of course, I allow for that time in my stated shipping times on my website.
        Note that some suppliers will tell you they have a minimum order (say $100). But ask them about the times you may need to make a smaller order--many will say that they charge a $5 fee for under the minimum order. I have taken advantage of this many times when it becomes necessary to get one or two items when I don't need $100 in inventory. They will not tell you about the under the minimum order unless you ask.
        Starting with a new vendor, you may ask for samples. You may have to pay more than the standard wholesale price but you will still get a lower than retail price for a sample.
        If you are really limited in your budget and are not seeking drop shippers, stick with one or only two suppliers to deal with. Get a feel for what you could do on a larger scale. See if you can deal with them, see if you sell that product profitably, and see if the process of dealing with them is easy and profitable.
        Signature
        Wholesale/drop ship tutorials--LEARN HOW and where to get drop shippers
        http://www.storkandveil.com/wholesale-drop-ship-info/
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  • Profile picture of the author justray
    Thank you, Eric W. and Julia Russo. My budget is shoestring, so I must plan and buy carefully, for now. My niche requires me to buy very low end (not really a problem), and highter end (where careful budgeting comes in to play). Is it a best practice to spell this out on your website that "we must place the order from our vendors, first; then upon receipt of said item, we will ship to you?" Or is it something you build into your shipping terms for that item alone?
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    • Profile picture of the author Julia Russo
      No, do NOT tell the customer about your personal relationship with your vendor. Just know the shipping time frame, buffer it with an extra day or two for "just in case" scenarios, and post an ESTIMATED delivery time. Have them email or call if that is not soon enough so you can recommend rush service (and charge dearly for it).

      You should have the customer's best interest in mind but you DON'T let it rule your life. YOU must be in charge of your policies, not the customer. Draw up a list of policies concerning the things you promise to do and cover things you can NOT do for upfront clarity. FAQs are good for this. Always have a return policy, refund policy, shipping policy, payment policy, etc., that spells out what they can expect. Don't overthink all this! Just make adjustments and be open to changes on the fly.
      Signature
      Wholesale/drop ship tutorials--LEARN HOW and where to get drop shippers
      http://www.storkandveil.com/wholesale-drop-ship-info/
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7867012].message }}

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