6 Tips to Find the Right Wholesale Suppliers for Your Online Business

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When you start an online business, the spark of the idea often begins with the kinds of product you want to sell. The next question is where to get them. You want to look for a supplier to source your products, and it needs to be a company you can trust. Most online businesses turn to wholesale suppliers to keep their shops going.

what is a wholesale supplier, and why do you need one? 

wholesale supplier
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In a nutshell, wholesale suppliers have the direct line to the manufacturers. They buy the goods from the latter and sell them to retailers for a profit. This model has been around since the 19th century, when mass production and various marketing techniques came to light. 

This relationship between the manufacturers and suppliers is a convenient one. Wholesale suppliers make it easy to get the products to retailers without manufacturers having to shell out huge amounts of money, effort, and time to market and promote their goods. As the intermediaries in the supply chain, wholesale retailers are entitled to significant discounts because they often buy in large quantities.

It’s common for retailers to repackage products and sell them individually for a profit. Wholesale suppliers take away the struggle of having to develop your own product. Getting your products from them allows you to control your stocks without the added expense of storage rental. There is no product development process to eat up your capital and time, which will enable you to devote more effort to marketing your online store and product offerings

Needless to say, finding the right wholesale supplier for your online business can be both daunting and overwhelming. You need to consider many factors to find one that will suit your business and budget. Here are some valuable tips to do just that.

Tips to Find the Right Wholesale Suppliers

Understand Your Industry’s Distribution Channels

Understand Your Industry’s Distribution Channels

The supply chain can be a complex process, but you need to understand it to succeed in running your online business. Mainly, you’ll need to know how products are handed down from manufacturer to you—the retailer. If you want to find the best wholesale supplier, you’ll have to understand the distribution channels in your industry.

Also read Why Do You Need Creative Wholesale Bakery Boxes?

This includes knowing the role of manufacturers, importers and exclusive distributors, wholesalers, and jobbers. Wholesalers often serve a variety of industries, including food and beverage, apparel, and electronic goods. You might want to approach a smaller wholesaler first as it’s the easiest route, but be prepared for higher prices. Eventually, you can move up to bigger wholesales with better pricing offers as your volume increases.  

Take a Good Look at Your Business Profile

Your Business Profile

How big is your business? The size of your online business often determines the kind of supplier you will need. It can also influence your relationship with the said supplier. The bigger your business is, the higher the volume of stocks you will need, and the better pricing you will get.

To ensure a smooth sailing process and long-term trust, you want to build a solid relationship with your chosen wholesale supplier by signing a contract. This is ideal if your business is smaller in scale, limiting the volume of stocks you will buy. You want to find a supplier that delivers personalized attention, along with an excellent reputation in your industry.

Research the Best Platforms to Find Suppliers

Research the Best Platforms to Find Suppliers

The next step is to find the right platforms to conduct thorough research. One such platform is DHgate.com, a solution for those looking to shop wholesale. It’s home to thousands of suppliers, serving as a marketplace for numerous products in different categories.

This directory distinguished itself from its counterparts because it sets a low minimum order requirement for drop shippers and retailers. This means even smaller online businesses can find a wholesale supplier that will fit their needs. It allows you to buy in smaller quantities to check the quality before using your entire budget.

Other platforms include SaleHoo, Wholesale Central, Tundra, and Alibaba. You’ll need to be discerning when navigating through these platforms. You may also check industry groups, forums, and other professional networks to look for trustworthy suppliers. By building trust and connections with other retailers, they will help you find the best possible wholesale suppliers for your online business.  

Establish the Criteria for Selecting a Wholesale Supplier

So you have searched for possible wholesale suppliers and came up with a good list. However, you need to narrow this down and identify which one will be right for you.

Consider the following factors in doing so: 

  • Price
  • Product offerings
  • Reliable shipping
  • Customer service

Particularly, the product selection the supplier offers is a significant factor. You need to know if they provide the product and brand you want. This means the wholesale supplier you should be looking for offers a clear product catalog. It must be easy to search and come up with the relevant details to help you decide and make the whole process as simple as possible. You might also want to see if they will add products that they don’t currently have. They might also have exclusive access to certain key products. Consistency in offering these products is also vital.

Shipping is another crucial factor. No matter how cheap the products are, if they are shipped late, you will still lose a lot of money. Reliability is vital in choosing the right wholesale supplier. You may want to check if they have automated shipping alerts and product tracking.

Contact the Suppliers without Going through the Middlemen

Contact the Suppliers without Going through the Middlemen

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Sooner or later, you need to reach out to the supplier and establish a professional contact. However, it’s not always as easy as you may think. 

You need to try and see if you can directly talk to the wholesale supplier and not just the middlemen. On the first phone call, you should get a good amount of information from them. You may introduce yourself and tell them about your business and the kinds of products you are looking for. You should also find out if they have minimum order requirements and the price of buying wholesale from them. Getting a point person you know by name and who remembers your details is ideal.

If the first contact didn’t give you the results you wanted or didn’t get a response at all, you might want to follow up via email or call again.

Learn How to Bargain for Better Prices  

Learn How to Bargain for Better Prices

When the wholesale supplier gives you their price for your bulk orders, you might want to consider bargaining for better prices. It’s not an easy request, however. You need some kind of leverage to do that. You could offer to introduce them to new markets and show them how you can do so. 

Another way is to consolidate all your purchase orders. There might be incentives apart from price cuts, so you should inquire about those too. But then again, a good strategy lies in the tested and proven method of mentioning competitors’ prices. Whichever path you will take, you need to remember that bargaining for prices is not done on impulse but with careful planning.

In Conclusion

Keeping your online business going entails many considerations, and finding a reliable and trustworthy wholesale supplier tops the list. It can be tricky, but once you have found the right one and established a good relationship with them, you’ll be off to a great start. You can then proceed with the other concerns to establish your online business, such as finding the right e-commerce platform where you can sell your products. 

There may be some mistakes along the way, so it’s important to remember that the first wholesale supplier you will find will be for the long term. The process involves a lot of trial and error, but it will be easier later.