I am thinking about buying items wholesale and selling out of my home. Can anyone tell me how to get started and give me any good websites to buy wholesale. Also, for anyone that already does this out of their home, would shoes and handbags be a good idea to start off with? If not, what about junior clothes for girls?
Pam from Georgia
First, it is illegal to use your home for business in many cities. Check with your city first. Call the city clerk or zoning office.
Next, what do you want to sell? In order to get a wholesale account with a wholesaler, you often have to buy a minimum of merchandise every month. My ex-wife did embroidery on tshirts, and bought wholesale shirts from a company. They had no minimum purchases but you did have to show them your DBA (Doing Business As) which is like a business license for a small business. It allows people to write checks to "John's Business" instead of "John Smith". That also means you will have a separate checking account just for your business.
Running a small business, even out of your home, is quite involved, especially the accounting part of it. If you have had at least 2 years of accounting you could probably get through the paperwork. Doing the paperwork incorrectly could get you a big fine or jail time. Make sure you read instructions carefully and do it right, or hire an accountant. Your accountant should be involved EVERY month, not just during tax time. If you involved him/her only during tax time, it is too late to fix mistakes you have made.
Running a one-person business is immensly complex (thanks to our politicians) but it is not impossible. Read, read, read and try to get help from experienced people.
Also, you have to know about how to market yourself. Ask yourself, "Why would people drive out of their way to my house just to buy X? When they could buy it for a little more at the store that they get all their other things from?"
I like what was said so far! Its so true, having a business is to exhausting! I would also like to note...if you buy wholesale and it doesn't sell, you are stuck with alot of extras(and it's only a good deal if it sells?). Remember shipping: if it is fragile you will be accountable for replacing. Think: why would someone buy from me instead of a dot com store? What do I offer that people want, that sets me apart? Good luck.
I'd avoid buying anything that has sizes, such as shoes or clothing. It can be difficult to order and you may have lots of one size left over.
About the business licenses and using your home for a store, it really can vary from place to place, and from state to state. There may be reports to send in to the city or state and any income will need to be reported to the Feds also.
If your state has a sales tax, you are buying tax free but are also responsible for paying taxes on those things that are sold. Most wholesale distributors require a business license with a resale license or certificate.
There are a lot of considerations involved in starting any kind of business so do your research.
Email me at mlfota AT yahoo.com and I can give you a great place to start selling wholesale! Do you enjoy homemade bath products if so this will be right up your alley. Look forward to hearing from you!
Everything written so far is true, but don't let it discourage you. As long as you have an accountant & you never over spend yourself you should do okay. If you run a very small business it's not that big of a deal as long as you never bother your neighbors with noise, parking or traffic.
You can sell things wholesale at swap meets, & this way you won't have the over head of an actual place of business. If local laws allow, you could set up a business in your garage, but I would never let people into my house these days, especially if you have a family. You just never know. *The person who wrote about not buying things that need special sizes (like shoes & clothes) was right on. Another point is not to get involved in things that go bad in time or storage (like make-up, perfume or canned food goods etc) soap & bath products might be okay, as long as you are careful to store them in a cool place with little light, but be very wary of these things & be sure to do your research.
If you are selling to the public, think about buying insurance in case anyone gets hurt (like slipping on ice or falling down on your property) A few years back at a local art & produce fair an elderly lady was struck by the wind hitting an "EZ-up" tent booth. It knocked her down & she was hurt. Someone had to pay her medical bills! That's why you may need business insurance. (One more item of note: many people refuse to sell baby clothes & toys in case a child may choke or get hurt... some insurance companies refuse to offer insurance to those make & sell baby items)
But first things first: You'll need to get a wholesale/tax number. (available from your state) Then you might also need a business license from your local town or city. As far as zoning goes, it only matters if you are actually selling out of your house, because parking & traffic are issues. And YES you will definitely need a separate banking account for your business. If you buy wholesale, someone has to pay the tax on the items you buy. Either you or your customer (usually not the wholesalers) Before any wholesalers will do business with you, they will send you a form to fill out asking for your wholesale number etc. If you have a tax number you can order without paying taxes opn the wholesale items, but Someone always has to pay sales tax: In my state if you resale things, make, or remake things from wholesale items you purchaced without paying sales tax, you have your customers pay the sales tax, then send that tax money into the state. Depending on your business, you can sometimes just pay tax on your wholesale purchases when you buy them. That way you have already paid the tax & this can save steps, but this is rarely done. As previously stated, you will need to comply with Federal, State & Local Tax & business laws.
Your accountant will let you know the ins & outs of what things you can declare for tax purposes. Things like your separate computer & printer for your businesses records, If you have a single room for your business sometimes you can declare say for example an eighth of your house payment etc. (Ask your accountant!) The tax people expect you to loose money for the first few years. You can deduct your business start up costs & sometimes gasoline & mailing costs as well as many other things. Now, you have an idea why you HAVE to have an accountant. (it's WELL worth their cost) Save EVERY single business receipt & give these to your accountant. You may be audited seven years or so later & you want every "I" doted & every "T" crossed! Ask your accounted about "red flags" when you file your federal, state (& sometimes city) taxes & especially have receipts for these things! In my state, if you get a tax number & don't make any money from your business after 3 years, they call it a "hobby" & not an actual business. Then your tax number is usually revoked.
Here's a few ideas: You can buy (in bulk) things to start a "Dollar Store" You can buy from "Overstock & Liquidators" you could buy from "Importers" (but I wouldn't recommend importing yourself unless you know something about it) A good way to begin is to either buy a book about opening a business in your state or taking a class or two at your local community college or a class online. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a library online with all kinds of forms: http://www.sba.gov/library/forms.html & a volunteer from the SMA will meet you (usually at your local library) & answer questions about starting a business.
Small Business Administration:
Starting a business (California)
Starting a business (Oregon)
Starting a business (Washington)
Just GOOGLE your state!
Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business ($23)
You could sell on Ebay...that is pretty easy and if you are going to put the time into it, it will pay off. I started with little things I could find (clearance stuff) and sold them, then I started to stock up on things that I thought would sell. Sometimes they sold, other times they didn't. I always make sure it is something I would buy before considering selling it. Always be honest listing things and you should do OK.
What I didn't sell there I tried to sell at flea markets (locally). There are many ways to sell...as I am sure you know. I have a company that I ordered from wholsale. They never were a problem for me and I didn't have a special limit I needed to buy. I also didn't need a tax ID to order from them (which many wholesale places require). If you'd like to know the website, email me at katieandjeffy AT netscape.com and I will give you the info.
hi well your in georgia and so am i. i have tried the whole internet thing and didn't really make a lot of money when i looked at the amount of time involved.ill tell you what has worked. i buy from china wholesalers in atlanta and sell in my store and at the local auctions and i have made money doing it. one thing i can say about auctions is if you buy it from one don't bring it back to the same one to sell it go to another one. when you buy you pay your sales tax so you don't need a tax number and when you sell the seller pays the tax so its collected by the auction. i've been doing this for 5 months and on average have made about 300.00 per week after expenses but it will take about 2 months to see a return on your initial investment as you'll have to continue to replace what you sell. i really hope this has given you some info to be able to make a more informed decision
Hi I was wondering if anyone had the name of the company or a website for the one in Atlanta. Also does anyone else have websites for the wholesalers?
I am selling on eBay but there has been quite a learning curve involved. I want to stress that you need to do some pretty thorough research before you even think of buying anything to sell. When I say "research" I mean an investigation to see what is selling well. It's not a good idea to just take a fancy to a particular product that you think would be nice to sell, or that just because you like it, everyone else will too. It just doesn't work like that.
Then you need to know who to trust when it comes to sourcing those wholesale products. There are a lot of middle-men out their who are on the lookout for beginners and they will tell you they have got the real goods at the best prices. If you don't take their word for it but check their prices against what the same items are selling for on eBay, you will quickly discover that if you had gone with them you would have been stuck with products you could never sell for a profit. You need to be realistic and understand that your profit margines might be quite low and that is why it is so important to be dealing with genuine wholesalers. Nowadays many of them will also dropship for you, but you will obviously be giving up some of your profit for this service.
If you want to take a look at the wholesaler directories I use, you can find them at:
I have learned a lot from all of them.
Wishing you good luck,
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