Now that you’ve clearly explained why a vendor should work with you and how that relationship will work it’s time to start finding vendors. It might seem like a daunting task, but luckily there are numerous ways and places to find them.
Vendors will already be using social media to market their stores so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find and contact them. If you’re starting a B2C marketplaces check out social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Pinterest. Use your niche’s keywords in the network’s search function or search hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to bring up topics or accounts that you can research.
B2B sellers can also use the aforementioned social networks but prioritize searching on LinkedIn first—not only are you more likely to find the right potential vendors there but they’ll be more accommodating to you contacting them on a professional network than on a platform like Facebook.
This might be difficult for a while because of the on-going pandemic but you can also source vendors offline. Etsy started out recruiting sellers by visiting craft fairs, explaining the Etsy platform, and then invited them to create a store. Events like tradeshows, expos and even meetups could provide a good source of potential vendors—once things like this start up again!
Vendors on other platforms
Recruiting vendors from other marketplace platforms might seem a little underhand, but there’s nothing wrong in talking about the benefits of your own marketplace and giving sellers options. Airbnb started out this way: they would contact people advertising their properties on Craigslist and offer them an alternative.