Overstock.com has managed to thrive in the online word by differentiating themselves from other established online retailers, like Ebay. In 2014 the internet giant did over $1.67 billion in revenue and now has well over one million products for sale on the site.
One of the major differences between other eTail websites and Overstock - now known simply as O.co - is that they do not allow individual manufacturers to participate on their main website. However, O.co does offer a sub-market for smaller manufacturers called the Main Street Revolution, which they created to support small businesses that meet specific criteria.
As a manufacturer or supplier looking to market and sell your products on the website, you must be very well-versed in their expectations.
Criteria Needed to Get Your Products Listed on Overstock.com
The Main Street Revolution does not cater to everyone. The first step in learning how to get your products listed on Overstock.com is to review the types of businesses that will qualify to join:
Becoming a Supplier on Overstock.com
Setting up the infrastructure to run a small business is more time consuming and expensive than most entrepreneurs realize. Building a secure website, designing a data tracking system that integrates online orders with in-store purchases, setting up credit card processing services, and everything else that goes into selling products online add up. Overstock removes all of the hassle, time, and money required to accomplish all of those things, while simultaneously bringing the exposure and credibility that come with having an established partner with tons of organic internet traffic.
It is a great opportunity and can push a small business to the next level, but not every business qualifies. There is a set of requirements and expectations that all suppliers and manufacturers must meet in order for Overstock to approve them to join the site.
Overstock is particularly sensitive to legal or liability risks in their supply chain. They have stated that if they "become aware of any violation of law by an employee or supplier in the production and supply of material purchased" they will immediately terminate the employee or supply agreement.
As a supplier, you must have an open door policy when it comes to your production practices and facilities. They will want to know where your factories and warehouses are located, and how frequently you audit the operations at all sites. It is not enough to simply abide by the law, you must also be prepared to prove your compliance if any issues arise.
Overstock gives their suppliers more leeway in handling merchandising than many of the major eCommerce retailers. They allow you to drop ship products, manage your inventory, and choose your own integration preferences. However, you must be able to perform up to their standards, so you have to be able to show that there are sufficient methods in place for tracking and managing your merchandise.
In essence, the Main Street Revolution is different than other eCommerce partnerships because they are providing an outlet for your business rather than partnering directly with you. Once you know how to get your products listed on Overstock.com, you are free to operate as you choose, so long as you maintain a high level of customer service and always operate within the bounds of the law.