International Trade Sites for the Small Business Owner

For those starting a small business in retail, wholesale trade, flea markets, swapmeets, auctions, there are many local and international suppliers available to buy products from for resale and even more internet sites one can find. However, more often than not, one must be willing to invest hundreds of hours of internet or sourcing magazine research and often live sleepless nights if you don’t have an army of personnel at your disposal in order to find reliable and affordable suppliers. Through my own sleepless nights and hundreds of research hours I’ve developed a small, practicable system any small business owner, average consumer, wholesale, or webstore own can utilize in order to reduce the time invested, stress, and redunancy that comes with the tasks.

Many internet sites are available to those looking to get into trade or consumer product sales. Websites such as: www.globalsources,,, And while these sites are excellent for big time procurement managers for chains like Walmart, to the new small business owner that can be as overwhelming as they are time consuming. All of these sites require some form of user profile registeration and though they give you access to millions of suppliers around the world, shifting through this mass amount of information kills precious time… time you and I don’t have.

In order to ensure a successful small, supplier sourcing program, the first thing it takes is preparation.
By preparation, I mean start by identifying the specifics items you would like to sell. Shoes, Handbags, Computers etc.

The second thing you need is a great communications methodology. Many suppliers around the world utilize different methods and modes of communication. Different words mean different things. Clarification is always necessary when dealing with international suppliers. Often, suppliers are excellent in manufacturing but their communications is not always Harvard quality. You should develop template word documents for yourself with your company’s header and contact information (optional) in order to send to pre-screen suppliers from international supplier databases you have choosen.

Thirdly, you should develop a documentation kit for your yourself. I define a documenation kit as a consolidation the hundreds or thousands of emails, text messages, IM messages and writen correspondance you have with a supplier into a terse, well-written, one page summary of your business development plans with them.

Many small business owners in retail and wholesale trade are inundated decisions about what to buy, what are the hottest fashion trends, the top products for the year.

Two ways: Online line forms. Emailing each supplier.
1. Ideal Supplier Communications methodology
2. Documentation Kits Contents

1. Database of Suppliers ( I use access).
2. Word Document
3. Ebayers
4. Online auctioneers.

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