Commodities are economic goods, usually unprocessed that are used as raw materials in the production of other goods and services, or resold. They are grouped into agricultural goods (e.g grains, sugar), livestock and meat, metals (e.g gold, iron ore), and energy (e.g crude oil).
Ordering for commodities like Shea butter, dry ginger and others for your business should be easy but there are often trust issues that can get in the way. To meet your demand, timing, cost and trustworthiness often come into play. However, finding genuine sellers of commodities is the first critically important step before even timing and cost.
Here is a list of the top 5 places to find these genuine sellers:
Physical trade events
Trade events are exhibitions where businesses in a particular industry display and promote their products to prospective clients. The events are sometimes open to the general public while others are classified as ‘trade-only’. You’ll usually find sellers of commodities (exhibitors), company representatives, top professionals within the industry.
Attending a trade event grants you access to special pricing offers and valuable insights concerning the commodity you’re looking to purchase. The presence of different sellers of the same commodity provides a quicker means to evaluate them, compare prices and get competitive information within a short space of time. Also, face-to-face interaction with the sellers makes it easier to discuss specific features and conditions. Such discussions can build a close relationship that could be beneficial in the future.
Another advantage of trade events is the avenue they create for buyers to connect with one other. Here, they can discuss issues and together, find solutions to specific problems they encounter.
Online trade marketplaces
Over the past decades, the world has experienced an increase in transactions of economic activities online. Covid-19 had helped accelerate the need for online interactions too.
Online trade marketplaces are e-commerce platforms where buyers meet sellers. A third-party, the platform, mediates between the buyers and sellers. Some of these marketplaces serve multiple industries such as Alibaba. While others are focused on a specific industry e.g Cokodeal, which focuses on connecting African exporters and international buyers of foodstuff and commodities. The benefits they offer are innumerable. Not only can you shop for commodities of your choice from the comfort of your home, but you can also register for free and communicate with the sellers online.
You have access to a large pool of suppliers without having to physically move around expending energy. These platforms usually require the sellers to display complete information about their commodities so the buyer can make an informed decision. There are commodity descriptions, photos, specifications and price. The seller can also specify if the stated price is negotiable or not. They also help verify the suppliers to ensure the safety of the platform.
One beneficial feature online trade marketplaces has is the availability of reviews. Former customers of a seller often leave reviews on the site. So any prospective buyer can read through and determine if the seller sells genuine commodities, is trustworthy, and has good customer service.
Online forums such as Nairaland and Quora bring different people together to share their views on different issues.
There are subforums where people can discuss business issues, too. Sellers often take advantage of the online traffic on these sites to advertise their commodities. The online forums serve as a platform for buyers to openly discuss the price and features of the commodities with the sellers without making any commitment.
The only disadvantage is the fact that sellers are unverified and not moderated. But, buyers can some times research a seller by asking other buyers on the platform about them before buying their commodities.
Word of mouth
Word of mouth is a very powerful tool in business. Satisfied customers of a seller are always happy to refer new customers to the seller. Word of mouth is intensely personal as it takes a lot of trusts for people to make referrals.
Customers usually get no financial benefits in speaking well about a seller, so the believability of the recommendation is high. If a former buyer claims that a seller is genuine more often than not, it is true. This is also why reviews on online marketplaces are powerful – it’s another form of word of mouth.
Business directories can be found online or in telephone books. Finding genuine sellers of commodities on business directories is quite easy.
The directories are listed by industry so you can quickly find sellers of whatever kind of commodities you’re looking for. The directories give the phone number, email and other important information about the seller. This helps in saving both time and money.
However, you have to already know what you want when using business directories. It’s often best to use an online marketplace or online forum and only use a business directory to cross-reference the address of the business.