How to Get Wholesale Electronics
The consumer electronics market is booming. Everywhere around the world, people are buying gadgets, smartphones, remotes, cables, and lots of other electronic merchandise. However, to me personally, buying wholesale electronics is a category that exists on a whole different level.
Buying and selling electronics in bulk gets me a decent amount of money, whether I’m selling them online, at local flea markets, or even in any of the regular retail shops I own. And, I’m not talking about selling cables or repurposed PCs individually. I’m talking about selling pallets, or even truckloads of electronics. And, after the list below, anyone who’s interested in wholesale electronics will know the basics of the sale.
Buying Wholesale Electronics – Step by Step
1. Choosing the Specific Field and Category of Merchandise
As a wholesale electronics salesman, I have two options when it comes to merchandise. I can either sell a specific product or deal with every type of product on the market. To beginners, I would recommend sticking to either one product or a few products with a limited amount to sell. For example, I started out selling various cables. Then I branched out into selling computer components, such as hard drives, processors, coolers, etc. Only when I had found my footing did I move on to other areas. The best thing to do is have a test group – five or six product types, with small sample sizes. Well, small for wholesale trading, anyway.
Believe me when I say this, but keeping in touch with other salespeople will help out immensely. Normally I join a few wholesale electronics’ forums and ask around for info. These forums let me know where electronics sell, where the products move the fastest, as well as what kinds of prices I should be looking into. Taking notes is important, and it’s simple – all I do is copy-paste the info I need.
3. Communication with the Source
Newbie wholesale electronics folks should try to keep in touch with their source. This interaction is of vital importance. The minute I got hold of my first source, I talked to them in every way possible. I used the phone, I e-mailed them – I even visited them a couple of times. What a wholesale electronics merchant absolutely MUST have is information. In other words, I need to know my merch. I need to know where it came from, what condition it’s in, if it has issues and the whole list of goods that I will get on the pallet or in the truckload. This list is also called a manifest.
So let’s talk condition of goods, and let’s talk talking about the condition of goods. A seller can have several responses to what the condition of the electronics might be. When the goods are “salvage,” they require fixing before I can sell them. Furthermore, if they have “customer return” on them, the products are either defective, or the buyer simply wanted to return them for any other reason. “Shelf-pull” stuff normally refers to the goods that stores use to display the products. Finally, “new” products are either those that never got to the retailer or just overstock. In my experience, most wholesale electronics truckloads end up being customer returns or salvage.
There are times when products won’t have manifests. This lack of manifests doesn’t necessarily mean that the manifest-less product is faulty. Normally, it means that the previous retailer forgot to itemize it before sending it onwards to a secondary chain of supply.
Additionally Checking the Product
Before moving forward with the sales, I always request an inspection of my product. It’s important, and it saves a lot of money in the long run. Next, I google the UPC code or the ID of the product, just in case. Maybe the seller posted higher or lower retail value – these things happen more often than one would think. For instance, a product will cost less when resold on secondary sales sites. However, there are times when they retain their original value, or even cost more, depending on the situation.
An important thing to note is that when buying and selling wholesale electronics, they will cost more and have a higher value. So, in order to make sure I sell the best products at the best prices, I must be careful of inflated manifests. These manifests normally double a product’s retail value for a preposterous asking price. The solution to this problem is simple – I choose a different supplier and do the same thing.
4. Discussing Payment Terms
Once I have the merchandise’ specifics nailed down, it’s time to talk prices. Much like regular wholesale, wholesale electronics trade is done via wire transfers. However, there are wholesalers who will work with outside financing that invoice factoring companies tend to offer.
PayPal is always a good option for purchasing a single pallet. That way, a potential wholesaler can sample the goods’ quality. Credit cards also work here. If I want to inspect my goods before purchase, I will opt for “cash and carry.” In fact, I request cash and carry whenever I can, as it is a safe, secure way of buying electronics.
One thing I tell every potential wholesale electronics enthusiast is to avoid Western Union. Any wholesaler asking for WU is most likely a scammer.
5. Requesting an Invoice Post Payment Terms’ Agreement
Let’s say that something is wrong with the invoice I requested. What I do next is make a request for information about a specific product’s quantity, its precise condition, as well as possible alternatives to it. Furthermore, the invoice must have the estimated date of delivery.
Certain sellers will have the “all sales are final” label slapped onto the invoice. Normally, I double-check everything on it, just to be on the safe side before signing it and paying the agreed-on price. Naturally, if a buyer receives non-conforming goods, they have alternative solutions. But, it always pays out to just talk to the seller and iron everything out in advance.
6. Pay the Invoice
One of the most important things to maintain during a wholesale electronics business is a hard paper trail. I print and save every single receipt I get. That way, if a seller opens up a dispute, I can provide the paperwork to prove everything went well on my end. Not to mention that this paperwork helps if I have any disputes myself.
Besides receipts, I also print out any provided manifests. Next, I use a “Landscape” oriented Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything I expect out of a shipment. Furthermore, I go out of my way to get the seller to sign the invoice. That way, I get myself a contract that offers me a guarantee of everything I agreed on with the seller. I sometimes request an e-mail or a text from the seller wherein they have to guarantee the condition of the goods I paid for. These e-mails and texts become legally binding if a seller makes a promise and a buyer fully agrees to it.
7. Discussing Shipping
When it comes to shipping, I pay attention to the seller’s specific hours at the dock, normally during the weekdays. If I have to pick up the goods myself, I always, always come early. Arriving late normally results in missed appointments and losing out on the goods. Not to mention that I compromise my wholesale electronics gig by acting unprofessionally towards a seller by being late.
It is very important to get the bill of lading, or BOL, if the seller chooses to ship the goods, as well as any kind of tracking information, of course. Most major trucking companies provide tracking of goods. On the other hand, smaller ones usually don’t. However, I can still phone them if I want to locate my goods during shipping.
8. Receiving and Inspecting the Goods
Like everything else, wholesale electronics can be faulty or lacking. Therefore, the minute my shipment arrives, I get the list of goods the seller provided. I check off everything to see if it’s in order. If the shipment doesn’t have a manifest, I normally count and inspect the products myself.
Next comes the comparison of numbers. If the number deviates over 5%, I immediately call the seller. They then have the choice of either refunding me or making up for the difference. Furthermore, if I receive products that are supposed to be new, but end up as salvage or returned, I don’t even inspect the delivery. I call the seller the second I spot the discrepancy and ask them for a full refund.