I know a little bit about the wholesale/retail industry so let me tell you what I know.
What Is Wholesale
A wholesale company is the place where retail stores (like Publix, clothes stores, furniture stores, etc) get their products from. They buy them in bulk because its cheaper and easier to manage their sales. You know what I'm talking about if you've ever been inside Sam's Club, where you can buy giant containers of ketchup for the same price of a normal size bottle and boxes of 40 packets of ramen noodles for $4.00. Generally products don't cost anywhere near what they sell it for in order to make it. Like toy army men, for instance, they might sell 20 of them for $5.00 which would come out to only 25 cents a piece. While that may seem low, it probably only costs 5 cents a piece to make them. When you buy from wholesale companies, you're paying what it costs to make the item. You could open a store selling cell phones or other gadgets, for example, and only pay what it costs to make the items: You are then free to raise the price however much you want to make as much profit as you can.
Make A Website
In this day and age, you no longer need to open an actual store in order to sell products. With the help of ecommerce and other internet products, you can now open an E-Store right on the Web and operate it from home. If you've been looking for that one thing that would set you free from your day job, this could easily give you the freedom and independence you need to start enjoying your life rather than worrying about that next pay check. The first thing you will need to do in order to setup your own ecommerce website is to find a good web hosting company that provides you with decent storage and excellent bandwidth. Some hosting companies are free and some you have to pay for, but as with anything, quality comes at a price. The free web hosting websites will give you a small amount of web space and a decent amount of bandwidth but will usually include ads somewhere on the page. You also must make sure that the web hosting company that you choose will offer a "cart" and fully functional ecommerce programs. For my own online store, I use Free Shopping Cart Software – Free Online Store - eCommerce Shopping Cart Software Hosted . 1freecart provides a very good service free of charge and also allows you to upgrade your account whenever you want to. It comes with a comprehensive control panel, paypal optimization (ability to receive funds including credit cards, echecks, money orders and direct bank deposits!), and fully operational ecart software.
Signup for Wholesale Companies
Here comes the tricky part: Once you have your ecommerce website set up, you now have to hook it up with wholesale companies so you can begin to make sales. This may sound simple but from personal experience, it can be a real hassle. Many wholesale companies want to charge you a $100 or more membership fee to use their products, which is fine if you're serious about creating and managing an online store but if you're just dabbling in it, it wouldn't be financially sound to make an investment like that. I imagine there are a few free wholesale companies out there but I haven't found any. Also, you have to make sure that the wholesale company has products that people will actually buy. Browse through their selections, ask questions, and don't settle for second-best quality. Put some thought into it too: What kinds of products would you buy? Whether it be sex toys, electric guitars, computer parts, or any other assortment of goods, you can sell just about anything if you put enough effort and creativity into it. Also be sure to check and see if the wholesale company of your choice offers dropshipping. Dropshipping works like this: A person makes a purchase on your website and you send their address to the wholesale company. The wholesale company will then package the product for you and mail it to your customer with your name and logo on it so it looks like you were the one that sent it out. This way your estore looks more professional and no one needs to know that you're really just some guy sitting at your house making a website in his spare time.
Putting The Products On Your Site
Ok, so you've already gotten a wholesale company hooked up to your website. The next task is simply putting all of the products on your store. While it sounds easy, it actually takes a lot of time and can be very frustrating to the webmaster. Generally, you can just copy and paste the descriptions and pictures in to the form 1freecart offers you, but it would be more advisable to enter in your own descriptions. It's fine to keep the pictures (how else are you going to show your clients what they're buying?), but as there are so many people out there with their own online stores selling the same products that you are, it's best to make your description unique and creative. When you put the products on the store, you will also be presented with the ability to put products into different categories (furniture, technology, etc) and you will also be responsible for the shipping price. It is completely up to you if you want to offer free shipping, deals, discounts, sales, or whatever else you want to do.
Naturally, a big part of selling products online is about advertising. You can purchase both untargeted and targeted traffic for really cheap prices or alternatively, you could connect your website with another person's store or even a completely unrelated website, for that matter, and share traffic. This means that the people on your website will see an ad for the other person's website and vice versa. Purchasing things like banners ads, Google Adwords, and other links and advertisements can make your traffic (and sales) skyrocket over time.
A good source of sales is also available through Ebay. Ebay gets several million hits a day and most of them make a purchase of some kind. All you have to do is post your products on auctions or an Ebay store (Ebay now allows you to actually create your own storefront through them, just like any other ecommerce shopping cart website like 1freecart.com.) and wait for customers. Combine this with your online store and you will be practically guaranteed a few dozen sales each week. Be careful about putting products on auction, though, as the wholesale company could suddenly run out of stock for a certain product and then you'll be stuck in the crossfire to deal with a hot-headed customer who wants to know where their product is.
Whatever you choose to do, the wholesale/retail business is a giant industry and can truly make you money online with little effort on your part (once you get it going). If you are willing to put in the time and determination, your online store will begin making you an automatic income every week and all you will have to do is manage sales and make sure everything is running smoothly.
If there's any questions about wholesale or comments about what I've written, feel free to ask and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading and I wish you the best of luck with your wholesale business,