Source Products for Online Store: Effective Guide

Sourcing products for an online store can be challenging. It requires a lot of time, effort, research, and running costs. But if you’re serious about opening your online store, you need to find the right supplier first if you’re not creating the product yourself.

Establishing a business without leaving the comforts of your home is bound to be tricky. Thanks to technological advancements and global connectivity, which made product sourcing and selling online easier. There are numerous ways to populate your store with in-demand products and work with suppliers specializing in particular goods.

However, determining what products are most lucrative to your online business takes some research and understanding. This guide will walk you through the different methods of sourcing products for online stores.

What Is Product Sourcing?

Product sourcing is the process of attaining products to sell online or offline. The process involves buying bulk product inventory from a supplier and reselling them through your business. There are different methods of sourcing products for an online store.

  • Find a manufacturer to produce custom products
  • Purchase products from a wholesale supplier
  • Work with a dropshipping supplier
  • Attend trade shows to source products
person using black tablet computer on a white surface with plants and shrubs around
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Methods of Sourcing Products for an Online Store

Choosing the right sourcing methods can make a significant difference in the success of your online store. As a seller, you are looking for an efficient sourcing method for the best prices and quality.

A critical aspect is finding relevant products to sell. When sourcing products for an online store, you must make the most informed decisions about your products. Here are some of the most popular methods you could use to source products for your online store.

Partner With a Manufacturer to Source Products

Manufacturing products is ideal if your business is about a unique idea or a creative twist on an established concept.

This is an excellent technique to get goods if you’ve already verified the market for a product and are sure it will sell. Because manufacturing demands the largest initial outlay of investment, market analysis is crucial in this case.

You can source two types of products from manufacturers. They will either provide their generic stock with customization or produce custom products based on your specifications.

In general, manufacturing provides you with more control over pricing and branding. Also, you have control over the end product’s quality, which is less likely to happen if you drop-ship. After the initial cost, manufacturing can lead to cheaper costs per unit and larger margins.

Purchase Products From a Wholesaler

Buying products from a wholesale supplier is a good option if you want to start your online business up and running quickly. This method is simpler to manage than other sourcing options like handcrafting goods or manufacturing.

Wholesalers frequently provide a wide variety of in-demand products. As a result, you run a lower risk of getting your hands on a product that people don’t want.

Moreover, wholesale provides you with a considerable profit margin as you can order in bulk at a lower cost per unit. Differentiating your product is one key challenge of wholesale.

You might sell products comparable to those sold by several other stores. So you’ll need to compete with them on both pricing and branding.

Work With a Dropshipping Supplier

Dropshipping is undoubtedly the easiest method of sourcing products for your online store. This method involves both product sourcing and order fulfillment.

As a dropshipper, all your product sales are made through suppliers who store and distribute the merchandise on your behalf. There is no intermediary.

The process is absolutely simple. You only need to collaborate with a dropshipping supplier to complete the process. After that, you can start marketing the things you’ve added to your store. The source will be notified when you place the order, and they will send the item to you.

In this method, your supplier controls production, packaging, storage, and direct shipping. Dropshipping is scalable, easy to start, and costs little upfront.

Attend Product Trade Shows

Another common method of product sourcing is to attend a product trade show. Different businesses and buyers Businesses and buyers gather at a trade show to showcase and discuss the latest products and services.

These events are usually held in large convention centers and run for several days. Additionally, there are smaller regional and local trade shows that are held all over the world.

It offers customers a great chance to try things before they buy them and connect with other business owners. It also offers countless product ideas as inspiration. Trade shows also provide different exhibition events and workshops.


While sourcing products for an online store, you must understand how to find the best products to suit the needs of your store. You need to get the most out of the sourcing process.

Product sourcing can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it can be invaluable for a growing online retailer. With so many suppliers available to work with, it is imperative that you select the right suppliers for your business. This article outlines the different methods of product sourcing to help you choose the one that best fits your requirements.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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