In 2018, with advanced online business tools like Shopify, Oberlo, Salehoo and Worldwide Brands at your disposal, it's easier than ever to start an online business – and not just the usual "affiliate marketing" stuff, but a real online store selling tangible products for high prices.
I recently set up an online store that specialises in carpet washing equipment and supplies – like vacuum cleaners, carpet washers and detergents. My most expensive item listed for sale – an industrial carpet washer – is on offer for nearly $1,000, although I'm yet to sell one (it is a new store).
The best thing about it was that I could get all these goods drop shipped from suppliers in the United States, with no minimum orders but still at trade prices (although not as cheap as if I'd bought them in bulk). I found my suppliers, who I'd never had any contact with before, through two directories called Worldwide Brands and Salehoo.
Membership to these directories is expensive, at as much as $299, so before joining it's vital that you know what they offer – and what they don't. Neither of these directories is perfect, but they may be useful if you can afford the membership fees and intend to sell goods online.
Both Salehoo and Worldwide Brands are databases of about 8,000 "certified" or "screened" suppliers – that means wholesalers and drop shippers that have been checked and verified to be legitimate.
They both offer millions of products across a wide range of niches for sale at prices that are often, but not always, cheaper than in stores.
If you have a retail store and struggle to find reliable suppliers, either of them may be worth looking at – but if not, invest your money elsewhere.
Like other tools though, both Salehoo and Worldwide Brands are easy to use and can be effective in the right hands – just don't buy them if you're not going to use them.