How to Get Around Distributors that Require an Offline Store

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This is really annoying me. Manufacturers and distributors constantly tell me I need an offline store to sell their goods.

I have contacted over 10 distributors of various products. Every time they demand an offline presence to sell online. My interest is in selling the products via eBay and, then a month later, also an ecommerce store.

I always ask why they require an offline store, and just get a response like, "because that's what we require".

So it seems the only way to sell most products (at least here in Australia) is to have an offline store. My two ideas to get around that were to 1) lie about an offline store and hope 2) speak with the owner of a partially related store and partnering with him or getting him in on the trickery.

Your thoughts?
#distributors #offline #require #store
  • Profile picture of the author BKenn01
    Usually that is a company that does not want their product sold on ebay. Probably because of 2 reasons, to protect their brand and their other dealers. If you lie its highly likely you will get caught because if you start selling a lot they will pay attention to your account which might include a visit by a salesman. The type of companies you are dealing with are protective of their brand.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
      Every one of the companies have people that sell their products in online stores and on eBay.

      I understand what you said about protecting their dealers. Makes strategic sense.

      Hmm, really having trouble finding good brands and products to sell.
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        That's a problem you will never have when dealing with manufacturers overseas, but you won't buy brand name products.

        If overseas suppliers offer any to you - BEWARE!

        You can buy small quantities direct from real manufacturers in China and other countries. Avoid the traders in their thousands posing as manufacturers on popular sourcing platforms.
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        Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND http://powerlabelsforprivatelabelingprofits.com Safe sourcing and easy importing from China & many other countries.https://ko296.isrefer.com/go/pcs001/whay/
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  • Profile picture of the author alksense
    Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

    This is really annoying me. Manufacturers and distributors constantly tell me I need an offline store to sell their goods.

    I have contacted over 10 distributors of various products. Every time they demand an offline presence to sell online. My interest is in selling the products via eBay and, then a month later, also an ecommerce store.

    I always ask why they require an offline store, and just get a response like, "because that's what we require".

    So it seems the only way to sell most products (at least here in Australia) is to have an offline store. My two ideas to get around that were to 1) lie about an offline store and hope 2) speak with the owner of a partially related store and partnering with him or getting him in on the trickery.

    Your thoughts?
    I've been approved with a few suppliers who originally had told me that I needed an offline store to get an account with them but only after showing them solid sales numbers from my online stores (literally sending them my merchant account statements) but even then most of the time they will not stray from their company policies.

    No matter what you do I would not lie about it. If you want a build a real business you want honest relationships with your suppliers that will benefit the both of you. Try being persistent but also look into other suppliers.

    One thing I would say to do is stop telling them you want to sell on eBay. By far the majority of suppliers I sell for have policies in their terms that forbid their retailers from selling on eBay. Try the eCommerce approach but again even if the suppliers you're finding only work with offline stores and you have no sales history you will probably be out of luck.

    Try finding "future competitors" sites in your local market that sell online for multiple brands and that do not have physical locations (check their about us pages). This way you will know that their suppliers do work with online retailers prior to contacting them.

    - Anton
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  • Profile picture of the author IvoryPulse
    Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

    This is really annoying me. Manufacturers and distributors constantly tell me I need an offline store to sell their goods.

    I have contacted over 10 distributors of various products. Every time they demand an offline presence to sell online. My interest is in selling the products via eBay and, then a month later, also an ecommerce store.

    I always ask why they require an offline store, and just get a response like, "because that's what we require".

    So it seems the only way to sell most products (at least here in Australia) is to have an offline store. My two ideas to get around that were to 1) lie about an offline store and hope 2) speak with the owner of a partially related store and partnering with him or getting him in on the trickery.

    Your thoughts?
    Stop thinking of how to get around that and start dealing with a problem. You can either drop off your idea, you can open a small offline shop, or you can keep looking for manufacturers and distributors who will be ok with your terms.

    Try tweaking your correspondence to avoid problematic parts and have all the answers ready - it's not likely anyone will go against their company policy if you can't offer them something worth it.

    And whatever you do, just don't lie about having the offline store.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
      Yeah, I won't lie. Feel uncomfortable just thinking about false information.

      but only after showing them solid sales numbers from my online stores
      How did you get those numbers in the first place without these products? And yes, Anton, I've tried the ecommerce approach. Distributors seem more willing with this, however, I don't have a store as I want to first know what I can sell (the market determines the product then the product determines the site). Maybe I just have to invest in the store then hope I can sell related products.

      Will now look into manufacturers overseas. I guess for most you buy the items in bulk yourself then store them in your garage?
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      • Profile picture of the author alksense
        Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

        Yeah, I won't lie. Feel uncomfortable just thinking about false information.



        How did you get those numbers in the first place without these products? And yes, Anton, I've tried the ecommerce approach. Distributors seem more willing with this, however, I don't have a store as I want to first know what I can sell (the market determines the product then the product determines the site). Maybe I just have to invest in the store then hope I can sell related products.

        Will now look into manufacturers overseas. I guess for most you buy the items in bulk yourself then store them in your garage?
        To get those numbers I worked with suppliers who did not require my company to have an offline store. That's the way that most of them work in the states but I ran into the same issue as you with a lot of "old school" suppliers.

        When I was importing containers I used a company in Long Beach, California who would pick them up from port, bring them to their warehouse, unload them, then ship items when I told them to. I was living in NY the entire time and I never even visited the warehouse. If you can afford it that's the way to go. I stopped importing four or five years ago though and now only work with suppliers who drop ship. It fits in much better with the lifestyle that I've designed for myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    When you say distributors and manufacturers, are you taking on bulk wholesale inventory? or wanting them to drop ship? Sounds like they aren't interested in drop shipping. What qualifies as an offline store, an actual store front? or if you have small warehouse space to take on bulk quantity? Sounds like you are contacting people that don't want to drop ship for you.
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    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt "Trust, BUT VERIFY" ~ Ronald Reagan

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