It seems like every business owner is hoping on the e-commerce train. In fact, most of the items that a person needs in their day to day life can now be purchased online, so why not office equipment? Last year, Staples also joined the e-commerce revolution by launching their own website where consumers and independent vendors can come together in an online marketplace that is geared towards anything office or business related. Many small businesses that might have been denied access to stock their products in a brick and mortar store are now able to sell on staples.com. This marketplace has the ability to host a much larger variety of products than any physical location could stock, and it saves many of the suppliers a huge amount of overhead and in manufacturing costs.
If you are an independent business owner and you want to cast a wider net to increase your customer base, then you should consider selling on staples.com. Selling your items or products on a well known and trustworthy website like Staples will increase your sales and profitability tenfold. The vendors that partner with Staples must undergo a rigorous vetting process that ensures that all items listed on their website are of the highest quality and are coming from ethical companies. If you feel that you have an item that fits well within the scope of the products that are offered at staples, then you will likely benefit from selling on staples.com.
Once you have determined that you have a product that works well with the scope of items that are sold on staples.com, the next step is to get certified by a third party so that you can apply to be a vendor. You can use one of the following four outside agencies to get this certification: the Small Business Administration, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the United States government’s Central Contractor Registration, or the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. You should expect proof of certification to be asked for during the application process.
Once you are certified, the next step is to submit your application. The amount of processing time for vendor application can vary, but with Staples it is typically within 30 days of submission. Once you have become an approved vendor, the next thing you will need to do is to work with Staples to determine the appropriate price point for your products. You want to make sure that it is high enough that you have a margin of profit, but low enough that it will attract buyers. When you have determined your price point and Staples has approved it, they can then move on to your last step. This last step is to receive the SKUs for each of your products. You can expect a unique SKU for a each product, and for each variation of a product. For example, if you sell office chairs in two colors and two different materials, then you will have a SKU for each color as well as for each type of material.