Buying stock: Know your product before you buy

Do your research to ensure success

This section examines the actual buying process, helping you get the product you want for the best possible price.

Before you part with your cash, it is, of course, advisable to find out as much as possible about the goods you are about to buy. When dealing with large, established wholesalers, check the products as much as you would in a retail outlet – the stock is generally similar and although you may not be covered by guarantee (more of that later), you will find that your supplier will be happy to exchange shoddy goods that were promised to be in perfect condition.

Try to open the boxes and have a look at the product – make sure you are aware of what you are buying.

However, you need to tread more carefully when dealing with catalogue or chain store returns wholesalers. Although you can pick up some excellent bargains for your business at these outlets, the quality of the goods varies as they have been returned to the department store by customers for a wide range of reasons.

Wholesalers should mark their items according to their condition – i.e. ‘as new’, ‘guaranteed working’, ‘damaged/broken’ or ‘unchecked’.

As well as the Russian Roulette of unchecked goods, it is advisable to steer clear of damaged items unless you fancy yourself as a modern day Hannibal or Face from the A-Team, happily transforming broken bits and pieces into something that will blow people away (with admiration, that is).

Try to open the boxes and have a look at the product.

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