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How to start an online supplement store

Updated April 17, 2017

Most online supplement companies sell vitamins as well as protein powders and carbohydrate drinks. Study which products other online supplement stores are selling. Online vitamin stores in business awhile know which vitamins sell best. Make a list of products you want to sell based on your research. Start thinking how you want to display vitamin products on your website.

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  1. Set up a spare bedroom or basement for your business office.

  2. Create a name for your store. Register your business name as your DBA (doing business as) through your county or city. Apply for a vendor's license at the same location because you will have to pay sales taxes on instate customers.

  3. Find a wholesale or manufacturer supplier. Access the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) at naw.org. Write the NAW for a list of wholesale suppliers. Visit Thomasnet.com and search for various manufacturer suppliers, according to Businessknowhow.com.

  4. Call several wholesale and manufacturer suppliers. Ask what types of products they sell. Obtain price lists so you can compare the unit costs for all products. Ask the suppliers if they drop-ship products, meaning they will ship products to your customers for you. Use a drop-shipper if you want to avoid carrying inventory in your home. Choose the supplier offering the lowest per-unit cost on vitamins.

  5. Create a website. Use some of the free website templates available at Yahoo.com or Freesitetemplates.com. Add pictures and descriptions of your vitamins, supplements and protein products.

  6. Create a domain name or URL (uniform resource locator) for your store. Go to Register.com or Godaddy.com and see if your domain name is available. Select the domain name, if it is indeed available.

  7. Find a company to host your website, such as Yahoo.com or Godaddy.com. Upload your website to the Internet per the instructions of your web host company.

  8. Advertise your online supplement store in health magazines like "Muscle and Fitness" or "Iron Man." Start out with small classifieds. Use larger display ads as your profits increase. Promote your website in various search engines like Google.com, Lycos.com and Altavista.com.

  9. Retain the names and e-mails of customers. E-mail them monthly coupons and special deals.

  10. Tip

    Establish a fair return policy for your customers. Allow them to return vitamins or supplements, for example, if they are physically unable to tolerate the products. People sometimes react differently to supplements or vitamins. You wholesaler or manufacturer supplier will likely have its own policy for returns.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vendor's license
  • DBA (doing business as)
  • Wholesale supplier
  • Merchant account
  • Sales letters
  • Brochures
  • Shipping labels
  • Shipping boxes

About the Author

Rick Suttle
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