AllBusiness.com has a great article entitled, Becoming a Reseller: A ‘Getting Started’ 101 for Small Business Owners. I'll be honest, BLT hasn't gotten to a few of the things listed in this article, but we still found it quite informative.
Becoming a Reseller: A ‘Getting Started’ 101 for Small Business Owners
By Caron Beesley
From beauty products to collectibles to eBay consignments, the opportunities for becoming a reseller are endless.
But what exactly is a reseller? A reseller refers to a business or business owner that buys a product from a manufacturer, vendor, or wholesaler at a lower cost and “resells” that product at a higher cost, either online or through traditional offline direct channels.
While some companies require you to carry an inventory, others may ship goods directly to the end customer, with you acting as the transactional/order processing interface, which makes reselling a popular startup entrepreneurial opportunity for home-based businesses.
The resale business model is almost limitless in its scope and opportunity. Some businesses focus exclusively on resale as their main source of income. Others choose to supplement their existing product and revenue streams with resale goods, either by becoming an affiliate or a channel partner of the manufacturer (a common approach for small technology businesses).
There are many channels for reselling goods. Some entrepreneurs resell goods through eBay or via their own websites. Others sell through their stores, or sell directly through B2B or B2C sales channels. Some even buy from eBay and resell through another channel.
While it’s somewhat of a misconception to suggest that becoming a reseller requires little upfront risk, training, or skill, becoming a reseller does offer entrepreneurs a great way to get into business.
If you are interested in becoming a reseller, here are a few things to understand about how the reseller industry works together, along with some pointers for finding, assessing, and securing the right reseller opportunity for you.
Finding the right reselling fit
Finding the right fit means starts with finding the right product(s) or even service to resell. This doesn’t mean you have to be a product expert, but you do need to be able to feel and demonstrate the motivation and emotional investment needed to make your resale business a success.
To assess the potential success of your chosen product, you will also need to research and understand the market landscape (demand, competition, price points, etc.)—something your supplier or affiliate will hope to see you demonstrate, too.
This Market Research online course from the SBA is specifically geared towards small business owners and walks you through each stage of conducting market research.
Finding the right opportunity
If you are looking to supplement your existing products and services with a resale relationship—for example, you specialize in computer repair services, but want to expand your offerings to include computer hardware and peripherals—you might want to consider a resale opportunity with a known brand manufacturer.
On the other hand, if you are a startup and are interested in becoming an Internet reseller, you may need to dig a little deeper. Read “Step One to Becoming an Internet Reseller: Choosing the Right Product,” in which startup expert Erika Wilde offers tips for not only finding the right product to sell, but also how to find and approach the source of that product, whether it’s a manufacturer or Internet wholesaler.
Read the rest here