Online suppliers are often seen as a curse for traditional retailers but they can also be a great source of unusual and profitable goods for market traders.
There is a huge and diversified range of goods available from online marketplaces like Ali-Express. In the past, retailers have relied on wholesalers to bring them goods but now it is much easier to go direct to the supplier yourself.
Often you don’t have to purchase large quantities so experimentation is easy. But even if there are substantial minimum purchases, you can often find a similar product on eBay to test customer reaction, and then go direct to the manufacturer/supplier once the product has been proven.
Many traders have found very profitable products using online buying, and even if customers know that your product can be purchased cheaper online, the fact that you have it available now is a strong buying incentive.
One trader has suggested that you keep your purchases under $1,000 to avoid goods being embargoed by Australian Customs. He says that is not to avoid tax or customs payments but simply to streamline delivery. A one week delivery can stretch out to one month by the time Customs write to you (bizarrely they use snail mail), ask you to fill out customs forms, and then release the goods.
There are a number of guides about buying wholesales from sources like Ali-Express and simple product searches using the term “wholesale” may give you other useful leads. “The world is our oyster” and the online enemy can become the market trader’s friend with a little research. Good luck!