Product Sourcing Using Trade Publications – Getting Inside Information

If you’re an online retailer — or any type of retailer — there’s probably no better reading material for you than industry publications. What other reading will help you source and market products and build your product lines around your customers’ needs? What’s a Trade Publication? According to Lisa Suttora, of, “A trade publication is a magazine, newspaper, or even email newsletter that is written specifically for industry insiders.” You can find an extremely broad range of information in a trade magazine: • The product lines that are selling • Ways other retailers are successfully marketing their products • Trending reports that show the influences affecting both what’s being manufactured now and what’s going to be selling • Information on upcoming trade shows • Supplier contact information • The new products that manufacturers will be introducing • Manufacturers’ reasons for going in a particular direction: what’s influencing sales, which products consumers are buying — the factors that led them to create a product line Invest in Knowledge Every industry has a publication, and they’re only available to subscribers. Some are free; some go as high as $250 a year. But the information in them can save you a lot of trial-and-error in your product sourcing decisions. It may be worth spending the money up front rather than trying to guess what will sell well and ending up with costly quantities of left-over inventory. Try Googling the name of your industry and the term “trade publication” or “trade magazine.” What’s in It for Me? The advantage of reading trade papers is you’re not blindly sourcing products. You have a foundation for making good product sourcing choices. These publications forecast trends six to twelve months in advance, so you can see what will be selling next season and start sourcing it now. You’re able to establish your corner of the market before trends reach their climax and the market becomes saturated. Idea Sourcing Trade magazines help you diversify your product line. They show you numerous trends, and give you ideas and multiple ways to approach selling in your industry. Says Suttora, “You’ve got to look at all the ideas available for different kinds of products to sell. You can’t do that in a vacuum — you need a system to help you have creative ideas.”