Most businesses use this page to tell you how triumphant and wonderful their journey has been and they omit the struggles everyone faces when they start out. We are going to keep it real and tell you our FULL, genuine story (including the terrible parts!) because Big Brand Wholesale has a back-story that many find inspirational... and even a little funny :)
This led me to contact big brand companies and try to purchase wholesale direct… which *sounded* like a simple task but I quickly discovered how wrong I was! Door-after-door was slammed in my face due to:
- Not having a warehouse with a pallet jack, loading dock or a fork lift. I was shocked; because I don't have a warehouse I can't buy???
- Unaffordable "minimum purchase" financial requirements. A 25-year-old-just-fired-new-mother absolutely doesn't have $5,000 to buy Smashbox lipsticks! Jeez! Can't I just buy $50 worth??
- Giant minimum purchase quantities. Where on earth was I going to put 2,500 suitcases? I'm not an airport! Can't I just buy 4 pieces?!
- Insufficient company yearly sales requirements, no Tax I.D, no EIN and no LLC which made it so I couldn’t even apply to become a buyer! It would have been easier for me to donate plasma, blood, eggs and a kidney all in the same day than to come up with all that paperwork!
The vendors I found that were willing to sell to small businesses (or literally brand new sellers) were nothing but frustrating. You didn’t get to know WHAT you were buying, it usually wasn't name brand and it was typically a mixture of stuff, which often included totally trashed merchandise that can’t even be salvaged. I even got suckered into buying this because I was a new seller. Wanna hear a funny story (it's only funny because I'm still in business!)...
I then open Box 2 and it's the purses. Immediately I notice something chalky and black on the first one. "Must be dirt or something" I think to myself. I pick up the second one, more black powder stuff. Third is the same. Fourth is wet. Fifth is wet and black....it then dawns on me....this is probably BLACK MOLD!
Box 3 is the panties. I don't remember the exact piece count but it was a ton. Maybe 3,000 or so. I believe they were only 12 cents a piece or something like that. Anyways, I pull the top trash bags off the box and open the first interior trash bag and the worst smell I have ever smelled in my entire life permeates my nostrils. It's this smell like no other...don't laugh, but it smelled like...burnt hair mixed with burnt rubber mixed with....literal mushroom farts... but wait, it gets worse! The panties were thongs straight from China, in China sizing and with tags on them that showed a picture of a little girl and said, in big, bold, English letters, "Kid Thong".
Now let me explain, this is early 2006. Back then eBay was still new and in favor of sellers because ebay wasn't greedy a**hole yet. Back then there wasn't really any major-major-major "rules" online because mainstream eCommerce as a whole was brand-spanking-new and the main concern was sellers not shipping stuff or shipping counterfeits. Nobody really considered issues like thongs for babies, cosmetics older than your child and moldy crossbody bags. Back then, as long as the seller could show it was Delivered, the buyer was out of luck. It took companies a couple more years to realize that sellers can be scammers too. PLUS, I had made another massive mistake. Although I bought the cheap panties through eBay, the seller had contacted me outside of eBay and convinced me to add on the purses and bags. It is safe to say, this experience was filled with "Life Lessons" for me... as well as a 6-foot-high pile of sexy underwear for toddlers in my living room. Yes, I can absolutely assure you that I cried myself to sleep that night.
After a few days the seller responds and hes like...
This story goes on and on, so let me spare you the details and fast forward to how this ended....which was me, having to start completely over, from scratch after working so hard to save up money. It was really awful. It was super depressing. It would have been so much easier to give up. Thank God for good friends and cheap wine. #BoonesFarm2006.
So I spend a while rebuilding to get back to where I was before this horrid scam.
- Let eBayers, Amazon Sellers, Flea Market sellers, College students, retirees and whoever else wants a better life to have a source to buy from that doesn’t have unaffordable minimums, doesn’t require business licensing or a loading dock.
- Let these buyers know EXACTLY what they are buying without stating "You might not get what's in the pics".
- Find a way to let buyers purchase only the type of merchandise they want. The “Little Guy” doesn’t want a mixture of random categories; they want niche products and they want to know what the heck they're getting! *pounds fist on table*
- Make sure buyers know the “quality” of items. If it’s damaged; TELL THEM. If it has clearance stickers, make them aware, and it it’s absolutely amazing stuff, tell them how great it is. A buyer should never feel like they were cheated out of their hard earned money.
- Create a system that allows buyers to communicate with a REAL person quickly and efficiently.
- Buyers have given their blood, sweat and tears to be able to afford the inventory they purchased. Package it nice because nothing says "we don't care" like being delivered a busted-up box covered in taped-trash-bags!
- Ship FAST. Little guys can only afford to buy when they NEED inventory. Nobody buys milk 8 weeks in advance. You buy it when ya need it! Treat the inventory like dairy! Whoa, that got real weird, real fast.
- And finally, treat people like people, hence the reason this "about us" isn't some corporate speech with photos of us in suits. Never send form-letters or copy and paste responses. Have an actual person type an actual response. #alwayscare