In our country today, everyone is trying to save money. No matter what you want to buy, you're always trying to find the best deal. Very few people have enough money to buy something the first time they see it. Most will shop around at many stores before buying an item, especially something, which costs over $20. It's a fact of life that prices will vary by huge amounts from store to store. There can even be two stores right next to each other offering an item at very different prices. Most people are not getting the best price for what they are buying. In a recent survey of 300 shoppers published in the Wall Street Journal, 82% of those interviewed thought they could have made their most recent purchase at a better price if they had looked around more carefully.
None of this is new to you. You've probably already found the best bargain stores in your area to buy all the things you need on a regular basis.
However, there is something that you may not know about: did you know that you actually can buy many products at even lower prices than the best discount store in your area? How is this possible? By buying at wholesale prices. By buying products at the same place that your local store buys. This is what we would like to explain to you now: how to buy almost anything you need at wholesale, so that you can cut your spending by 50%.
In short, the purpose of this book is to show you how to save money on all your purchases by buying products at wholesale prices. In addition to showing you some sources for many different types of products, this book will give you some tips on how to negotiate the best prices and will show you how you can use this knowledge of buying at wholesale to make some extra income for yourself.
Finally, for those who really want to get into this as a business, which will allow you to save the most money on your purchases and have a good income outside of your present job, this book will explain the basic steps necessary to set up your own business including how you can obtain a line of credit of $5,000 to help you get started, and where to get all your business stationery and equipment at the lowest possible wholesale prices.
For all this information, just turn the page and enjoy this journey into the world of wholesaling!
Buying Wholesale Versus Buying Discount
How much money can you really save if you buy at wholesale prices? To answer this, let's look at the profit structure of the retail market.
Most retail stores will mark up the price of their products 100%, or double their own cost. In this example, you can obviously save 50% of your money if you make your purchase directly from the wholesaler, instead of buying from the store. Essentially, by buying directly from the wholesaler, you are not paying any service premium to the retail store. The retail store can charge more than the wholesaler because it is more convenient for the buyer to find most products in a retail store than to hunt around for a wholesaler that does not have a prime storefront location in the middle of town.
Also, many wholesalers will not sell items to an individual consumer; they will only do business with an established business that will buy in volume from the wholesaler. Often the wholesaler will have minimum purchase requirements, which can be as low as $500.00 or as high as $20,000.00. Basically, most people accept retail prices as a fact of life because it takes some extra effort and time to figure out how to reach the wholesaler directly, and in many cases, it just is not possible to deal with the wholesaler, unless you are an actual business (which is a good way to get wholesale prices and which will be the topic of a later chapter).
Now let's look at the structure of discount pricing, which is what most people look for in saving their money. When a store offers discount prices, they will not mark up the item 100%; they will offer a discount from the full retail price of 20-40%. They still need to make a profit, so they won't reduce the price 50%, but they are making less of a profit in the hopes of getting people to do business with them. As an example, take an item that normally sells for $100. The store paid $50 for that item. Instead of charging $100, the store may discount that item to $80 or even $60. At the lowest discount you can save $40. However, that doesn't give you as much of a saving as buying the item yourself for $50 directly from the wholesaler. In other words, even the best discount value will not be as good as buying the item at wholesale.
The only exceptions to this rule are liquidation or closeout sales, where the store sells the item at below its own cost, because it must regain some of its original investment in the merchandise. In this case, you may get a better deal from the store than if you went directly to the wholesaler, but these cases are not easy to find and don't occur very often.
Another point about buying from a discount store is that you have to be careful about how many of their products are really being offered at discounts. A common strategy is to lure buyers into the store with large discounts off normal retail prices on a few popular items. Then when you are in the store, many of the other items will be selling at full retail price. In many cases, you just won't be able to tell if an item in that store is full retail or discounted, since it's impossible to do price comparisons on every item when you're in the store itself.
So far, we've been using the example of a typical 100% markup. There are many types of products that are not marked up that much, but the overall principles discussed still apply. For example, products in the electronics business are not marked up as much as gift items. In other words, an answering machine, considered an electronics product, will be marked up only 50% by the retail store. Consequently, the discount offered by a discounter of electronic goods will not be as high as 40%; it will be closer to the range of 15-30%.
Let's take a specific product, a Panasonic answering machine. Currently, one model retails at about $50. The major discount stores are offering it for $44 (a discount of 12%). National Wholesale Company (a genuine wholesale company to be discussed in a later chapter) offers it at $30 (a discount of 40%). Even though the wholesale price is not a 50% discount from retail, it still gives a large saving when compared with the discount store.
The only issue we haven't addressed is the importance of volume. We have been slightly simplistic in this discussion, since we haven't considered how volume changes the wholesale price. If you buy 10 of an item from a wholesaler, the price per item will be less than if you buy 1. If you buy 1000, the price will be much less than if you buy 10. What this means is that it is possible to find that a discounter who buys in huge volume may offer a product at the same price at which you could buy it directly from the wholesaler. Since the discounter is buying from the wholesaler at a lower price than you are, he can mark the price up a little bit and still match the price you are paying to the wholesaler. This will only apply to those products where the volume is very large, and again, you must be careful about other products that same discounter is offering--they may be much higher than the wholesale price you can get yourself.
This discussion has just been a brief analysis of the structure of the retail market. It is clear at this point that it is much better to buy your products from the wholesaler than from retail stores or from discount stores. Now the question is, who are the wholesalers that you can actually buy from, and how do you find them? That is the subject of the next chapter, which lists some major wholesalers that are happy to sell in limited quantities to consumers and do not have restrictions about selling only to stores.
This chapter will give the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and some background information on several excellent sources for buying at wholesale prices.
Most of these sources do not require any minimum purchases. Many of them offer the service of drop shipping, which means that they will ship products to any address you give them. This is useful if you are actually running a business of reselling to customers. With drop shipping, you can have products sent directly to your customers, and you do not have to hold on to any inventory.
One of the companies, National Wholesale Company, even offers a guaranteed credit line to anyone who applies. The other companies will take accounts on credit once you have established your credit rating with them, but National Wholesale Company will extend a credit line of $5000 to you right from your first order.
Following are the companies we've selected as excellent sources for
Products at wholesale prices.
GENERAL MERCHANDISE, OFFICE PRODUCTS, ELECTRONICS
GIFTS, NOVELTIES, PERSONAL ACCESSORIES
NATIONAL WHOLESALE COMPANY, Inc.
321A Merrimack St.
Methuen, MA 01844
978-738-8883 X102 FAX 978-738-0555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Wholesale Company is probably the best wholesale company to begin with, because they offer a huge selection of products at excellent prices and they provide excellent support services for starting your own business.
Products: National Wholesale Company, in business since 1982, carries over 61,357 products in its office products division, and over 4,300 products in its novelty merchandise division. Office products include equipment such as computers, copiers, fax machines, paper shredders, telephones, answering machines, cash registers, typewriters, calculators, and office furniture. In addition to equipment, National Wholesale Company carries a full line of accessories such as paper, pens, forms, file folders, ribbons, computer disks, and virtually any product you would need in an office. Finally, as part of the office products division, there is a wide selection of electronic products, such as TV's, CD players, Walkman's, VCR's, and many other consumer electronic items. All of these electronic products are featured in their 830+ page office products catalog.
All of the products carried in the office products division are well-known brand name items, backed up by full manufacturer guarantees. The brand names include Sharp, Ricoh, Magnavox, Toshiba, Casio, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard, GTE, Parker, Cross, Sony, JVC, Brother, Pioneer, Olympus, Hitachi, and many more.
The novelty merchandise division carries a wide range of gift and novelty products, including jewelry, decorative glassware, porcelain figurines, hand-carved decorative items, cutlery, miniature, brassware, toys, luggage, lamps, auto accessories, household accessories, and many other high impulse purchase items popular in the mass market. All of these novelty products are featured in a 300+ page full color catalog.
National Wholesale Company has no minimum ordering requirements; it offers drop-shipping, toll-free credit card ordering, un-imprinted catalogs, full marketing support, and professional consultation to its dealers.
In addition, National Wholesale Company offers a guaranteed line of credit, which works in the following way. Once your application for a credit line is received, you may order any product from the novelty merchandise division with only a partial down payment and the balance on credit, which can be paid off net 30. You can automatically qualify for a starting $5,000 credit line by simply sending in the application found at the back of this book.
Finally, National Wholesale Company offers a special introductory business package for those who want to set up a business reselling their products.
For $149.99, they will send you an executive business package, which contains the following features:
--A dealership number which allows you to purchase any of their products at true wholesale
--Unlimited free consultation in setting up your business
--The $5,000 line of credit (call 978-738-8883 X102 for full details)
--1 830+ page full color catalog from the office products division
--1 300 page full color catalog from the novelty merchandise division
--Several special full color sales flyers that help increase sales
--Free advertising and layout service
--Leasing program available on many computer products
--Complete marketing and advertising support
--Many ways to profit including; mail order, the internet and sub wholesaling
To order this special Partner in Business dealership, designed to set you up immediately in your own business, use the order form included at the end of this book.
American Automobile Brokers, Inc.
24001 Southfield Road, Suite 110
Southfield, MI 48075
In business for over 30 years, American Auto Brokers, Inc. sells and leases domestic and foreign cars, trucks, and vans at discounted prices and has your dream vehicle factory-delivered to a new car dealership near you with the paperwork done, ready to drive away. Your savings depends on the prices in your area.
E&B MARINE SUPPLY
201 Meadow Rd.
P.O. Box 3138
Edison NJ 08818-3138
E&B Marine Supply has the lowest discount prices for a large variety of boating supplies. They offer products for power and sailboats. They even sell life rafts, dinghies, and rowboats. Along with equipment for boats, they offer a full line of clothing.
2545 Chandler Avenue, Suite #2
Las Vegas, NV 89120
All of the earrings, brooches, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and rings in Eastern Jewelry’s collection are made with 14-karat gold over sterling silver, and most of the jewels are genuine. Eastern Jewelry is really a wholesaler, but they will sell to individuals too. The prices here reflect radical discounts from the usual retail price.
Wedding Ring Hotline
172 Rt. 9
Englishtown, NJ 07726
Wedding Ring Hotline makes it possible for you to buy wedding bands, diamonds, and engagement rings factory-direct at savings from 30%-70%. Manufacturer of its own line of classic-style rings, Wedding Hotline offers selections in yellow and white gold, as well as Comfort-fit wedding bands.
U.S. GOLD CHAIN MFG. CO.
11460 N. Cave Creek Rd.
Phoenix AZ 85020
U.S. Gold Chain Mfg. offers low factory prices for gold chain by the inch. They provide all materials you need to start your own gold chain business: chains, display, signs, jewelers' tools, clasps, and instructions. The chain is 14kt gold layered and comes with a lifetime guarantee. This business can be set up without any previous jewelry-making experience. Contact the company for more details.
115 Oak Avenue
Kannapolis, NC 28081
Carolina Interiors offers 30% to 60% off suggested retail prices for items such as furniture and accessories for dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms, complete with wall coverings, floor coverings, rugs & bedding. The brochure and website list some of the best-known names of over 350 manufacturers you can choose from.
CHERRY HILL FURNITURE, CARPET & INTERIORS
P.O. Box 7405, Furnitureland Station
High Point NC 27264
919-882-0933 (in North Carolina)
Cherry Hill carries a full line of furniture, accessories and carpeting for home and office. They represent over 500 different manufacturers, and offer a discount of 35-50% from retail on all their items. They have been in business since 1933. Contact them for a list of brands they carry. The best way to use their services is to look at your local store to see what item you want, and then contact them for the price.
2201 West Devon Ave.
Chicago IL 60659
Sheldon Cord, in business for over 40 years, offers a wide selection of furniture, including living room, dining room, bedroom, and kitchen sets. They sell to retail stores all over the country, but offer true wholesale prices on all their items to individuals. Contact them for a catalog.
BEARDEN BROTHERS CARPET CORP.
4109 South Dixie Highway
Dalton GA 30721
800-433-0074 / 404-277-3265 (in Georgia)
Bearden Brothers, in business since 1965, offers carpet from 86 major mills at 50-80% off of retail price. They only carry first quality carpets, no seconds, with full manufacturer's guarantees. They will ship carpets nationwide using the least expensive shipping service to your area. Shipping will be approximately 35-40 cents per square yard. The best way to use their service is to go to your local carpet store and decide what manufacturer, what style, and what color you'd like. Then call Bearden Brothers and order from them at a savings of 50% or more from your local store. They will also sell you the padding for the carpet at tremendous savings off of retail.
P.O. Box 1568
Dalton GA 30722
800-241-4013 EXT. 65
S&S Mills is a carpet manufacturer that sells its carpets to you at the mill price, which means you save from 50%-75% of the retail store price. They are one of a few companies that will sell directly to the customer, without requiring that you go through a retail store. They have no minimum order and carry a wide variety of carpets for home and commercial use. Contact them directly and they will send you free samples and a complete price list.
Chadwick’s of Boston
Brockton, MA 02403-1600
Chadwick’s of Boston, the “original off-price catalog”, is full of tremendous deals for women. You’ll save up to 68% here on sweaters, khakis, skirts, jeans, business suits, coats, and in materials such as wool, cotton, suede, silk, and rayon. You could buy a seasonal wardrobe here for very little money by mixing and matching separates.
PO Box 317746-BWBM
Cincinnati, OH 45231-7746
Sportswear Clearinghouse sells items such as T-shirts, caps, casual sport shirts, and socks imprinted with company logos, team names, and advertising slogans for 70% less than what you would find in a store. Non-imprinted items, such as sweatshirts are also available at good prices. Sizes run from youth XS to adult XXXL.
MASON SHOE MFG. CO.
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
Mason Shoe offers over 400 men's and women's shoes for dress, casual, and work. The prices range from $25 to $135. They have a special program for dealers, who can earn a commission of 20% on shoes they sell, without investing in any inventory.
Starting Your Own Business
Up to this point, we've discussed how you can save money on all your purchases by buying at wholesale prices. Now we'd like to discuss one more step you can take to insure that you never have to pay retail for any purchase again.
Setting up your own business is a great way to save money. In addition, it's a way you can actually make more money, even if you already have a job. By having your own legitimate business, you come out ahead both in spending and in earning.
First of all, what are the advantages of having your own business? The main advantage in terms of saving money is that you will gain access to suppliers that you could not have access to as an individual. There are many companies that just will not sell to a consumer; it's against their policy. If they did sell to consumers, they would be competing against the stores they are selling to. But once you are set up as a legitimate business, you become automatically qualified to do business with many of these suppliers.
As an example, when you have a business, you can go to trade shows, where suppliers display their products for all the retail stores to do their shopping. At these shows, suppliers will actually write up orders, often ignoring any minimum requirements they normally have for retail stores. They understand that stores must have samples to take back to their colleagues to study and decide if they want to carry the product in their store. This means that you can order samples from these suppliers at true wholesale prices. You could never do this without having a real business.
Another major place that you gain access to is the permanent showroom in your area for all the wholesalers. All major cities have a large merchandise mart, where all the suppliers can display their products on a permanent basis. With a business card or a certificate showing that you own a business, you can gain access to these showrooms. Without a genuine business of your own, you would not be allowed to visit these showrooms.
To find out where these showrooms are, you can either look under "wholesalers" in your yellow pages, or ask one of your local stores where they do their buying.
To find out about the trade shows, you can ask the wholesalers or the stores. In addition you can contact the association related to the area you are interested in, such as house- wares or giftware. These associations know what major trade shows are coming up in their product area. The addresses and telephone numbers of these associations are listed in a huge directory called the Encyclopedia of Associations, which you can find in your local library (the librarian will know about this book). At your library, you can also look for magazines that are specifically geared toward a particular type of business, such as Gift Reporter for the gift industry, where there will be listings of upcoming trade shows.
Another excellent reference source is the Wholesale by Mail Catalog, which lists 1,000's of wholesale sources with discounts of up to 90% off list prices. You can find out more about this valuable reference tool at the back of this book.
To set yourself up as a business is very simple. All you need to do is contact your local county clerk's office for the details. The regulations vary from state to state, but generally you will be required to register your company with the county clerk and pay some small registration fee. In addition, you'll need to apply with your state's taxation department for a sales tax number, which allows you to collect sales tax from your customers and which allows you to buy merchandise that you are reselling, without paying sales tax yourself. These steps are very simple and will be explained fully by your local county clerk's office.
After registering your company, the only other thing you need is professional stationery and business cards. This is vital, especially when you are just starting, because it is the main impression that suppliers will have of you. Sometimes, a business card alone is all that you need to enter a trade show. This should be your first investment in your business. (One excellent way to get both stationery and business cards is to take advantage of the special offer by National Wholesale Company for stationery and business cards, which is listed at the end of this book as part of the business executive package.)
Once you have registered your business and have printed your stationery and business cards, you'll also want to open a separate business bank account, so that all your checks are written on a company account. Again, this goes a long way towards building credibility with suppliers. Another step to take is to install an answering machine, to handle calls while you are gone. The machine can give your company name as part of its message, even if you are starting out with your home phone. Eventually, you'll want to install a separate phone line, but this is not necessary in the beginning. Again, the answering machine can give added credibility to your business, in addition to making sure you don't miss any important calls. (And you can buy your answering machine or any other business supplies at wholesale prices from National Wholesale Company.)
Now you are really ready to start doing business. You can approach any supplier and start buying samples at wholesale prices--any wholesaler will be happy to sell to you if you tell him you are thinking of marketing his product as part of your product line.
Another way having your own business helps save you money is in taxes. You can deduct any legitimate business expense from your income. Many expenses you would normally make anyway, such as travel or food, can now be deducted from your income if they are related to your business activities. You need to consult with an accountant for the details, but this can represent significant savings. This gives you an idea of how you can save money by setting up your own business. In our next chapter, we'll discuss more about how to make extra income with all this knowledge about buying at wholesale prices.
If you have additional questions about setting up a business, National Wholesale Company's free consultation service may be just what you need. You can sign up for their service at the back of this book.
Tips on Negotiating with Suppliers
One of the most important elements of increasing profits for you and your business is reducing your costs. This is as important as increasing your revenue. This area of cost reduction should never be overlooked, because it can yield very large profits to you. For your business to really enjoy the maximum profits, you should know some basics on negotiating prices with suppliers. That is the purpose of this chapter.
Now that you have a list of suppliers for virtually any product you might want to buy or sell, it is time to discuss negotiating prices. All the ideas in this chapter have been gathered from conversations with executives in wholesale firms.
No Price is fixed
No price is fixed when you're dealing with a wholesaler. This is unlike a retail store, where prices are clearly marked and rarely changed by bargaining. The wholesaler is always charging different prices to different customers (based on their volume), so he is much more flexible in his pricing.
Knowing that prices are not fixed is the basis for beginning any bargaining.
Develop A Good Relationship with the Supplier.
This one rule, developing a good relationship with the supplier, is probably the most important one you'll ever need, especially if you plan to do business with a supplier over a long period of time.
The reason for this is simple. If a supplier likes you and sees you as one of its better customers, they will be more likely to let you know about special deals they have in the future, such as company promotions, overstocked items, or new hot products. Any time they have a special deal that is limited, they will offer it automatically to their best customers. If you're on that list, you'll end up saving more money than most other customers. Also, once you've established a relationship with the supplier, they will be very happy to give you the very lowest possible price they can afford, because they value your business.
At times, it may be more important for you to put this relationship ahead of saving a few more dollars on a particular item, because the relationship will save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars over a long period of time.
To develop a good relationship takes common sense. First of all, try not to be unrealistic in your demands. You have to recognize that the supplier needs to cover his expenses, and must make some profit. If you try to squeeze a supplier too much in demanding a better price, you can ruin the relationship. There's nothing more aggravating to a supplier than someone who is completely unrealistic in his demands.
The best way to develop the relationship is to find one sales rep and stick with him or her. Making a personal contact will make everything much smoother for you, and will ensure that you get the best prices. Because the sales rep works on commission, he will do everything he can to help you do more business. He will take a personal interest in your business, because he knows his commission depends on how satisfied you are. If you are always talking to different reps, they will not know you and how much business you are giving them. People by nature are more conservative when dealing with strangers.
Always ask for 5-10% off the First Price
When you first contact a supplier, you can expect him to give you a price, which is about 5-6% more than what their regular customers get. This is because you are new to them and they need to make as much as possible on each sale. You should expect this and never accept the initial price offered. Start by asking for the 5% reduction, and then try for 10%. You need to persuade the supplier that you are very serious about his products, and that you expect to do large volume with him. Just say that now you are testing the waters with a small order, to see how the product works, how efficient the shipping is, and how reliable the company is. If you can convince him that you may give him a lot more business in the future, you can easily get that 5-10% reduction on your first order.
Order in the Largest Quantity Possible