Distributor N2 Surplus expands its market reach
March 30, 2015 03:48 PM
For N2 Surplus Inc., a 9-year-old distributor of products ranging from office supplies and eyeglass frames to industrial valves and materials for scientific laboratories, selling through e-marketplaces to is a core to its growth strategy, founder and president Neal Brenner says.
Though tiny compared with many of its competitors in these product categories—names like W.W. Grainger Inc. and Staples Inc.—N2 Surplus goes up against the giants with its own formidable presence on the major online marketplaces of Amazon.com, eBay.com, Rakuten.com and NeweggBusiness.com.
The exposure on marketplaces in recent years, Brenner says, has helped it establish its N2 Surplus brand that it now also sells through its own e-commerce site at N2Surplus.com.
Selling through multiple marketplaces takes a lot of work, mastering the selling techniques and web content requirements of each, but it’s worth it, Brenner says. Like other manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers, N2 Surplus has found e-marketplaces a valuable venue for quickly gaining broad market exposure on highly trafficked, user-friendly e-commerce sites, learning about demand for their products, and sharpening their e-commerce skills.
Having started as a small seller on eBay.com not quite a decade ago, N2 Surplus now lists more than 12,000 products online for buyers in the United States and is looking to begin selling internationally. “We’re growing,” he says.
When N2 Surplus kicked off its online sales in 2003 on eBay.com, for example, it didn’t take long for it to learn how to sell through multiple marketplaces—taking advantage of each one’s selling features and customer base—and on its own e-commerce site as well, Brenner says.
N2 Surplus began selling on Amazon.com a year and a half after it launched on Bay. It started selling through Rakuten.com last fall, and then NeweggBusiness in January 2015. It also launched its own e-commerce site on the Bigcommerce e-commerce technology platform last September, choosing Bigcommerce for its ability to integrate product and order data well with e-marketplaces, Brenner says. The result, he adds, is a coordinated strategy of selling a varied mixture of new, remanufactured and used products across several e-commerce sites.
On eBay, where it all started for N2 Surplus and where buyers are accustomed to seeing used merchandise, the distributor still sells many of its used as well as new and remanufactured products across multiple categories. It sells a higher concentration of new products on Amazon.com and Rakuten.com as well as on its own site. On NeweggBusiness.com, however, it will focus on selling electronic components that complement the automotive and other electronic products Newegg offers.
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