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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2771 - March 29, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

Product Sourcing - Life Returns to Largest Wholesale Trade Show

By Skip McGrath
EcommerceBytes.com
March 29, 2012




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The first time I went to ASD in Las Vegas in 2007 it was still called ASD/AMD - the merger of two large wholesale trade shows. Today it's known as ASDLV and is one of the largest wholesale trade shows in the world.

I have been going every year since then and watched the show through the recession. Just two years ago, there were about half the vendors and the aisles were almost empty. This year, both Vegas and the show are back. The show, which used to be spread over several hotel venues, now takes up the entire North, Central and South halls of the Las Vegas Convention center. And the casinos and restaurants are full.

Walking down the aisles of the Las Vegas Convention center, the first thing that strikes you is you think you have accidentally wandered into the a United Nations meeting. Walking just one aisle of the Closeout and Liquidation section, I think I heard at least 17 different languages - and not from the vendors, but from vendors and buyers both.

ASDLV is a 50-year-old wholesale trade show that originally began as two associations joined together to launch a trade show and product expo group for the general merchandise market. Over the years ASD, originally named ASD / AMD has grown and evolved beyond its humble beginnings. Today ASD showcases over 4,000 vendors and is like six tradeshows in one featuring merchandise in the following categories:

  • Gift & Home Tradeshow
  • Fashion Accessories Trade Show
  • Jewelry Trade Show
  • Health & Beauty Trade Show
  • Toys & Novelties Trade Show
  • Closeouts & Liquidation Trade Show

ASD brings together a variety of merchandise in one consumer-goods tradeshow. But for me it's gotten too big. The show is simply overwhelming. Each aisle of the Las Vegas Convention center is about 1/4 mile long and there are a total of about 40 aisles - so to see the whole show you will walk about 10 miles pulling a rolli-bag behind you to hold all the brochures you collect.

But if you sell online - this is the place to be. The variety of merchandise is simply stunning. There are goods at every price point from dollar store flotsam to $12,000 Rolex watches and Diamond Necklaces. If you can name it, it's here: Tools, handbags, perfume, toys, jewelry, gourmet food items, electronics, cosmetics, sunglasses, belts and wallets, dresses and scarves, and on and on and on.

The amount of liquidation and surplus goods for sale is simply amazing - and most of it is brand name: Cusinart, Makita, DeWalt, Lego, Oster, Sony, Calvin Klein, Yves St. Laurent and just about any brand name you can think of. Of course there are a lot of knockoffs too. Now I know where those vendors on the lower East side of NY get all their stuff.

Some of the best deals are to be made on the last day. Vendors sell off their entire booths because they don't want to ship the stuff home. I saw one vendor selling hair care appliances (flat irons, curling irons, hair dryers, etc.) who had $5600 retail value that he was wholesaling for about 50% - but was offering everything in the booth for $2000.

And then there are the show specials. Karen and I were looking for toys to sell in the summer toy season and came across a distributor selling name brand toy puzzles for toddlers. The puzzles retail for $9.95 each and are available on Amazon for about $8.50 each, normal wholesale was $4.60 each - I made a deal for 4 cases - one of each different puzzle for $2.45 each with free shipping. Almost all of the vendors were making deals like that if you placed your order at the show.

Three hot new product areas this year were RC Helicopters, new LED light products, and third generation solar lights.

  • RC Helicopters have been around a few years but this year they are bigger - up to 3 feet long and many of the have cameras. Some of the cameras record on a drive while others display the image on an iPhone or iPad.

  • LED technology was showing up in everything from dried plant arrangements with super-tiny LEDs to LED Tactical flashlights with built-in Tasers.

  • Solar products were showing up in everything from solar powered fountains to solar powered backlighted house numbers, patio blocks and even a solar powered lighthouse for the garden.

  • Other hot items were insulated shopping bags so if you buy ice cream at the market and have to run some other errands before going home your ice cream won't melt.

And one big change from when I started coming to the show is far fewer vendors who were unwilling to work with online vendors. This year I only ran into one vendor who would not permit eBay and online sales, a few who would allow it but insisted that you have a brick and mortar store, and one vendor who said I could sell anywhere but Amazon because they were selling on Amazon themselves. As recently as 2007 you would run into dozens and dozens of vendors who did not want their products sold on eBay.

So if you sell on eBay, Amazon, Buy.com or your own website - sign up for the next ASD show. It's held twice yearly, once in Las Vegas in March and in New York City this year September 9-11, 2012 at the Jacob Javits Center.

About the Author
Skip McGrath is a writer, publisher and online seller. He publishes the Online Sellers News, a free twice-monthly newsletter for eBay and Amazon sellers. Learn more about his resources for online sellers on his website, SkipMcGrath.com.

About the author:

Skip McGrath is the author of eBay to Amazon , Making the transition from selling on eBay to selling on Amazon, and publisher of The Online Sellers News for eBay and Amazon sellers.

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