(this post is really old, I don’t know when I originally wrote it)
I get a lot of emails from people asking for the latest “what’s hot now” trend. And so no one ever likes to hear my speech about it, but I will give it here. I don’t follow that stuff. See, this guide is not a full time thing for me. I don’t spend my entire day looking for suppliers for people. I wrote the guide to help people out, to give them a good start, not to do all the work. So, as a result, the merchandise that I keep on top of has more to do with what I am interested in knowing about than what seems to be the hottest thing.
So that’s first. If I don’t know offhand someone that might have what you’re looking for, I’m actually not going to track down a vendor that sells it. You’re the one that is going to buy it and sell it, you’re the one that has to do the legwork.
Now the other part about the aforementioned merchandise is that it is problematic. See, when you have a category that is ridden with scam artists and counterfeit merchandise, where only a small percentage of the dealers are legitimate (and thus hard to find), I don’t bother investing the time to find those few. After all, this stuff is only going to be hot for so long. An example, designer handbags, athletic shoes and urban apparel. The vendors in my guide that carry this stuff, I just so happened to come across through referrals. I don’t seek them out because there are far too many problems with the sellers of this merchandise to whittle the list down to the few good ones.
And yeah, I know you can find all the handbags, Air Force Ones, etc. you want on the internet, but 99% of them are fake. I see the emails, I see the websites, but hey, don’t listen to me, blow your money. Lately people have the hot Vuitton bags. FAKE, FAKE, FAKE. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
People send me emails saying that they have someone that is going to get them current Nike Air Force Ones at less than wholesale. Whatever. Let me say this again and again and again: if something is very hot, and is selling extremely well in the stores (or in the case of Vuitton bags, sold out everywhere), the chances of it making it to the off price market are slim to none. Off price is about excess, it’s about overstock, cancelled orders, needing to turn inventory into cash fast. It’s not about undercutting traditional regular-priced distribution channels and circumventing authorized retailers. These manufacturers do not exist to service the off price market, it is a necessary evil of an inefficient marketplace.
Another thing you have to constantly realize is that jobbers are not the only ones competing for this merchandise. There are off price stores like Nordstrom Rack, Loehmann’s, Century 21, regional stores, exporters, etc. competing for this merchandise as well.
If you feel like you must, must, must have the latest, greatest, hottest, be prepared to lose a lot of time and money before you luck out, if you ever luck out finding it.