In part 2 of my rolling/hands-on SaleHoo review (remember to read part 1 here) I will be taking a look at the wholesaler directory itself, and seeing if I can find a product or at least niche to focus on when I build my eCommerce website. Basically, I want to see if I can find a drop shipping supplier that will supply me with some kind of decent product that I can resell for a profit on my soon-to-be-created SaleHoo Store.
Having spent a bit of time over the past few days browsing eCommerce forums and blogs, apparently you should never attempt to sell an item that earns you less than $20 profit (not quite sure how this works with the high volume low price side of the market, but I’ll roll with it anyway). Also, I should look to steer well clear of selling fashion clothing or consumer electronics, because these markets are basically completely saturated.
A Brief Introduction To The SaleHoo Website
SaleHoo has been around for a while now, and has actually just been redesigned with a cool new layout and added features. You’ll notice a few different products for sale when you browse the website, but the one we are interested in at this precise moment is the wholesale directory. This is the “meat and bones” of SaleHoo, and is an annual-membership product which entitles you to an ever expanding directory of wholesalers, drop shippers, and manufacturers in different categories. For the very reasonable price of $67
Now because SaleHoo is a paid membership product I’m going to redact “sensitive” data out of my screen shots. However, you should still get a good feel for what I’m doing with SaleHoo to find a profitable product to sell on my eventual eCommerce SaleHoo Store website.
Picking A Niche
When it comes to using SaleHoo’s exclusive directory to pick a niche/category of products, it couldn’t get much simpler than using this screen:
Of course you are also free to do a plain old search as well. As far as a category goes for my website I’m looking closely at the trades and DIY side of things with the Business/Industrial category. Here’s what the Business/Industrial category looks like with a list of sub-categories:
So you can see there are also sub-categories within a main category of SaleHoo Suppliers. For example, there are Plumbing & Trade, Office & Stationery, and so on.
As far as a sub-category goes I’m currently leaning towards finding a supplier and products in the Plumbing & Trade section of SaleHoo. There are a few reasons I want to try this particular approach. Firstly, I know that the competition will be far too great in “hot” niches like fashion sunglasses or mp3 players. Furthermore, these desirable items from popular brands are supplied in big volumes, so I won’t be able to compete on price (especially considering that most people, myself included, buy “consumerist” goods through comparison shopping websites or Amazon). DIY enthusiasts and tradesmen, on the other hand, might be more inclined to purchase through an independent online retailer. Because they NEED a particular tool or item to get the job done, I also think there will be lower buyer resistance.
Finding A Supplier
One of the coolest things about SaleHoo is the simplicity and ease with which you are able to find a large array of potential suppliers within your category of choice. I recommend starting out by ordering suppliers on the basis of the length of time they have been in the directory. This means that suppliers with a proven track record will come out on top, and those with poor customer service, bad prices, or unreliable delivery will be lower down the list:
In any given category there will be a decent number of suppliers. Once you’ve ordered the list I recommend browsing through the short supplier bios until you find something that looks interesting. Because I’m looking out specifically for suppliers of DIY tools and hardware (as this is the niche I have tentatively decided on) I’m going to pick the top supplier on the list.
Opening up a supplier’s profile on SaleHoo reveals all the key details, including:
* The supplier’s website
* Contact details (including Skype if they have provided it)
* A brief description of the kinds of products on sale
* SaleHoo member reviews (these are VERY important and I highly suggest that you take the time to read these thoroughly)
Here’s what a SaleHoo supplier page looks like:
Checking Out The Products
When you find a supplier you like the look of in the SaleHoo Directory, you can click through to their website (I have blocked out any “giveaway” information here). At this stage you are subject to the whims of any given supplier. In my limited experience with eCommerce suppliers – whether they be manufacturers or drop shippers – they all tend to have fairly rubbish looking websites. Compared with the slick lines of SaleHoo, the site I have found that offers hardware drop shipping looks pretty terrible.
However, I’m going to roll with it any way and in part three of my SaleHoo review (which will be out by 11/24/2013… I promise) I will use a bunch of different research methods, including SaleHoo’s own Market Research Labs, to determine which products on the site I could potentially resell for a profit through my SaleHoo Store.
Thanks for reading part 2 of my SaleHoo review. To recap, in this part of the review I gave you a tour of the SaleHoo members area and we found a potential product to sell (a drill press for the DIY nuts out there). In the next part of the review I’m going to use SaleHoo’s Market Research Labs, along with some manual research options and keyword research tools, to see if there is any chance of selling the product I found for a profit on my upcoming eCommerce/drop shipping website.
At the very least, it should be a great deal of fun to try out the Market Research Labs and build my very first eCommerce website with SaleHoo Stores. I’m quite nervous about the whole process as it is a big departure from affiliate marketing (still my favorite way to make money online) or freelance writing. Still, if I can crack that simple goal of $100 in profit by the end of the year… and there are only 6 weeks to go until the end of 2013 … then I will be a very happy man indeed.
Thanks once again for taking the time to read this second installment in my comprehensive SaleHoo and SaleHoo Stores review. I would appreciate if you could either leave a comment, or share this blog post with your friends and family using the social sharing buttons to your left.
If you like the look of the SaleHoo directory, then click here to learn more about SaleHoo.