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If you're on the lookout for inexpensive wares to peddle via your brick-and-mortar shop or eBay reselling business, consider the Associated Surplus Dealers/Associated Merchandise Dealers (ASD/AMD) Trade Show Las Vegas (produced by VNU Expositions). "It's a cost-effective way for small [entrepreneurs] to get into the marketplace-it's one-stop shopping," says Athene Mihalakis Kovacic, editor in chief of the ASD/AMD Merchandise Group, a division of VNU Expositions, in Santa Monica, California. "You can find a huge selection of things you could be interested in selling-all in one place." With about 3,500 exhibitors, the products range from deep-discount dollar-store items to general merchandise, including toys, gifts, electronics, health and beauty products, and fashion accessories.
According to trade show producers, buyers from companies small and large are welcome. "The buyers are going to place orders-it's not just swapping business cards and saying 'Send me info later,'" says Julie Ichiba, group show director of the ASD/AMD Merchandise Group. Kovacic and Ichiba also note that the shows are highly entrepreneurial-on both the buyer's and vendor's sides.
Mike Vandal of Big Values Inc. (dba The Big Dollar Stores) in Fridley, Minnesota, has been attending the twice-yearly show since 1988 and says it's helped him make valuable connections and source merchandise to stock his chain of dollar stores. "It's a good show," says Vandal, 43. "Though I would recommend [being] cautious if you're a new store, because it's almost like [being] a kid in a candy store. There are so many goods that you can get over-excited. You need to go with a budget or a game plan in mind." Vandal, for one, has met national exhibitors at the show who helped him expand his offerings beyond what was available in his area.
Interested buyers can attend the next ASD/AMD show scheduled for August 15 to 19, 2004, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Expo and Convention Center, and the Mirage Events Center. Registration is free, and you can register at the show or anytime before. Check out www.merchandisegroup.com for more information.