New Extreme Sports Website – SickSport.com

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universalduotone_supudFor a few years now, I have been wanting to get a website up to sell extreme sports equipment.  I started out with an affiliate site for paintball and airsoft guns, but both companies for whom I was an affiliate went out of business.  I then remodeled the site and found a few different affiliates with a range of products.

I then decided now was a good time to create the site that I have been wanting to build for sometime.  I originally was going to use http://SickSportsGear.com, but after the weeks of time I put into the current site I just could bring myself to start over for the third time.

I have decided to use http://SickSport.com for the extreme sports equipment website.  I am using zen cart, a free open source eCommerce solution, on the back end.  It isn’t as SEO friendly as Wordpress, but it is much better for an online store.

Finding suppliers for the site was much more difficult than I thought it would be.  Searching Google brings up thousands of sites where they act as the middle man between you and the distributor.  Most of their prices are more than most sites, so it doesn’t make sense to go that route.

One resource that is time consuming, but free and real is ThomasNet.  It is a database of manufacturers, distributors, and service providers for many categories.  There are thousands of listings and most of them weren’t helpful for what I was looking for, but I did find a few.

I also searched a few of the products that I was going to offer and noticed that several sites used the same ID number for that product.  I learned that the letters were abbreviations for their supplier and the numbers were the ID numbers the supplier used.  Many websites get there products from the same sources.  Finding the sources can prove difficult.

One conversation I had with the outsourced help for a sports related website told me they drop ship from several different companies.  My question was if they offer drop shipping for businesses, but they thought I was asking if they drop shipped products from other companies.  I haven’t learned who they get their products from yet, but over time I’m sure I will.

Another strategy to find suppliers is to join the related association.  If you are looking into a sports website, join the National Sporting Goods Association.  You will then have access to hundreds of sources for products.

Forums are another great source for information.  Many questions are answered by other users and they often post links. Post a question in a related forum or even yahoo answers.  Many people are eager to help if they can.

I have around 400 products on the site now with more added everyday.  I haven’t received any sales yet, but it has been less than two weeks.  I am getting organic traffic from Google so it shouldn’t be long before I make my first sale.

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