It’s a common question business owners ask - “How do I find
wholesale suppliers?” If the task of
finding a wholesale supplier seems like a “no brainer,” you’ve not tried it
before. It can be a daunting task. These tips will help you find and
successfully utilize wholesale suppliers for your wholesale business.
What is a Wholesale Supplier?
Wholesale suppliers buy and sell products in bulk. They purchase the items from the manufactures. Then the wholesale suppliers sell those goods to stores, shops, online retailers, and other businesses that turn around and sell the products for a profit.
Because wholesale suppliers purchase products in high volume directly from the makers, they can do so at a considerable discount. Therefore, they can resale the goods so cheap; small businesses can turn around and make money off the items.
Wholesale companies rarely operate out of brick-and-mortar stores. Instead, they typically simply “supply” their customer’s wholesale needs by connecting product manufacturers with sellers. This service renders them priceless to those who are in the retail industry.
The Challenges of Finding Wholesale Suppliers
The most common method people use to find any information these days is by conducting a google search. While in itself, that is not difficult at all to do, the onslaught of results can be overwhelming.
Not all wholesale suppliers are created equally. There are excellent services, and there are snakes. Sifting through all the wholesale companies takes time and a bit of knowledge. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you very well may get burned. Check out the suggestions below so you’ll be a step ahead when conducting your search:
Top 25 Tips for Finding Wholesale Suppliers
If the wholesale company you are considering isn’t reliable, there’s no need to look any further at it. Prices, products, and delivery time don’t matter if there’s a good chance you’ll never actually get the goods. How do you find a trustworthy wholesale supplier? Although no plan is foolproof, you can start by checking out a few things, like their online presence, length of time in business, references, reviews that are not within their control to manipulate, and any licenses or accreditation they may possess.
Just because a wholesale company passes the test of being trustworthy doesn’t mean you can depend on them. Even the most honest supplier can run into snags - like getting your products to you on time. It doesn’t also have to be their fault for their lack of reliance to shake your own sales business upside down. An undependable wholesale supplier can quickly put you right out of business. Be sure to see what a company’s past and present customers have to say about the manner in which they deliver. Take any complaints to heart.
3. Reputation matters
Reputation goes beyond trust and dependability. It delves down deep to determine what a company is truly about. Dealing with a well-established company has its perks. Companies get good reputations for a reason. They earn them. They stand to lose a lot if they don’t deliver the excellence their clients are used to. Besides, you are more likely to attract customers when they find you deal with a wholesale supplier they have heard of.
4. Note the niche
The type of product or products you sell will make a huge difference in what options you have for a supplier. The more defined your niche is, the less you’ll have to choose from.Don’t let that detour you from insisting on finding the best wholesaler possible, though.
5. Probe into their price point
Look for wholesalers who offer solid, fair prices. Beware of those whose prices look “too good to be true.” They probably are. If the products tend to be a little overpriced, research to see if perhaps there’s a good reason - like excellent quality or if their count might include more than the ones you are comparing them with.
Distribution is the manner in which a product reaches you from the manufacturer by way of the middleman or wholesale supplier.The four main channels goods are distributed through are manufacturer access, a delivery person, regional distributor, import. If you can buy wholesale directly from the wholesaler, you’ll save money by cutting out paying for middleman fees. Some goods are only available from wholesale import suppliers and those who have the right to wholesale within the region.
7. Buy in bulk
Buying wholesale is, by definition, purchasing in bulk. The more you buy at one time, however, can greatly determine your buying price. Consider purchasing a lesser quantity initially, until you get your business rolling. Then, bump the quantity up, so you spend less and make more profit.
8. Shipping prices
Shipping prices can make or break the ultimate bargain you are, or aren’t, getting on wholesale buying your products. You may be getting them dirt cheap, but if you are paying sky-high shipping fees, you aren’t getting a very good deal after all. Take handling fees into consideration too.Don’t forget to figure out the all-important unit price.
9. Shipping modes
Wholesale products are delivered in various modes. Some come by train, others by plane, and still others come by ship. The shipping mode will impact the price you pay and the speed in which you receive your goods as well.
10. Shipping methods
Some wholesale companies deliver straight to your doorstep. Others require you to pick your goods up. There are also those who will ship products to your customers. Those companies are called “drop shippers.” When choosing a drop-ship wholesaler, you’ll need to be very careful. Everything they do or don’t do will reflect on you since they will be delivering straight to your customers.
11. Size of the wholesale business
Some wholesale suppliers are tiny, while others are large, worldwide corporations. There are advantages to both. Small companies tend to be more personal. You’ll often get more individualized attention, especially if you have an issue or a question or concern. But, dealing with small companies comes with risks too. They are more likely to go out of business. Larger, more established companies don’t pose as high of a risk for going out of business, but you may not be as important to them. They have plenty of customers and can easily do without your business. You might consider choosing one that’s a happy medium.
The size of stock a wholesale supplier generally keeps is a very important factor to consider.If you have narrowed down your choice to a specific wholesaler, but see they don’t have the amount of stock you will require, you might try talking to them. They may be willing to vamp up their supply if they are sure you’ll be buying the extra.
13. Quality of products
One of the main criteria you should investigate is the quality of the products in question. If your products are cheap, you’ll not be in business long. Their products become YOUR products. You will be held responsible for them.
The only real way to find out about a product is to request a sample. Even if you have to pay for it, it’s a wise move. Examine the product with a fine-tooth comb. Check out how durable it is. Visualize how your customers will see it. Take into consideration the vibrancy of the colors and overall look and feel of it. There’s nothing that can replace the value of acquiring a sample or box of samples.
15. Geographical service
As you begin to seriously set apart wholesale companies that are of interest to you, be sure they service your geographical location. Especially if you are in a rural area, not all companies will deliver to you. If not, you may entertain the thought of going to them. That may or may not be practical, though.
16. Ease of doing business with. Some companies are a joy to do business with.
They cheerfully help you place your order, deal immediately with any concerns or problems, and deliver their goods on time and in perfect condition. Customer reviews and feedback will give you an idea of how pleasant the company is to deal with. You’ll never really know until you actually deal with them, though. It’s important to note that if at any time you become dissatisfied with your wholesale supplier, you have the right to take your business elsewhere. Never sign anything that denies you that right.
17. Added incentives
Does the wholesale supplier offer any extras when you order? Some include racks to sell the goods on, free products, and other great incentives that can really add up. Even if none are outright offered, there’s nothing that says you can’t ask for perks.
What happens if your products arrive damaged? What happens if they don’t arrive at all? Is there a guarantee that holds after you sell the products to your customers? Check out all guarantees and make sure they are binding and in writing.
You may have the perfect wholesaler picked. But, when you make an inquiry, there’s a definite language barrier. Or, you may have difficulty in understanding their outline concerning their services or descriptions of their products. International dealings in wholesale are popular and are often very profitable. But, you must be sure that any language barriers can be resolved and that communication, both verbal and written, can flow smoothly.
20. Rules and regulations
If you think once the product you’ve purchased from a wholesale organization hits your hands, it’s entirely up to you what you do with it, think again.Because you are representing someone else’s product, you may encounter some stipulations. Know before you make the purchase.
21. Selling platforms
There are a number of products that cannot be sold on certain platforms, like Amazon, eBay, etc. The rules may be set into place by the platform powers that be, or by the manufacturer and/or wholesale suppliers. Be sure to check before making your purchase, so you don’t get stuck out.
22. Special requirements
Some wholesaler suppliers have special requirements that you, the wholesale buyer, must meet. You may be required to purchase a given amount over a set period of time.Such requirements can wreak havoc on your company’s budget if you are not prepared or set up to comply. It is not uncommon for wholesale companies to require a minimum purchase, so check for that while you’re at it.
Believe it or not, some wholesale companies have advertising protocols.One company may insist that you advertise in a certain manner while another may restrict you from advertising altogether.Read the fine print to find out how advertising applies to the product.
24. Sifting out
Now it’s time to weed out the good from the bad. Then, select your ultimate favorites from the list. Make pro and con points on each and narrow your choices down to the supplier you feel is head and shoulders above the rest.
25. Making contact
After carefully considering all the tips above, it’s time to make a move. Having done your homework, select the wholesale supply company of your choice. Contact the person in charge. If at any time, any one of the team members is less than courteous and helpful, that should be a big red flag. If all goes well, congratulations! You are one step closer to actually being in business.
According to the statistic website, Statista, Retail sales accounts in the US alone rang in at 5.46 trillion dollars last year and are projected to reach up to 5.99 trillion by 2023. If you are jumping in to get your piece of the action, with these tips and resources, your chance on succeeding will no doubt be multiplied.