If you want to sell products online, you need to find a reliable supplier for your products. Without a supplier, you’ll struggle to keep items in stock.
Wholesale suppliers can provide you with the products you need, but how do you find the right one for your online store? It helps to have an understanding of what wholesalers do and where to find them.
What Does a Wholesale Supplier Do?
If you’re just getting started with e-commerce, you might assume that manufacturers and wholesalers are the same things. However, they each play different roles in the supply process.
- Manufacturers produce products
- Wholesalers sell those products in bulk
Manufacturers are the ones who produce the products, but they’re not in the business of selling those products. For this reason, manufacturers usually produce large orders that are parceled out and then sold through wholesalers.
Wholesalers are the middlemen. They bridge the gap between the factory and the customer. Just like retailers, some wholesalers sell niche products, while others offer a wide variety of items.
Retailers prefer to work with wholesalers because they offer a discount on bulk orders. The discounted price allows stores to enjoy a higher profit.
Finding and Choosing Wholesale Providers
It’s now easier than ever to find wholesale providers online. Some of the most popular and reputable wholesalers include:
- Global Sources
- Light in the Box
- eBay Wholesale Lots
Finding the right one for your online store will require some planning and research on your end.
Ask for Samples
It’s never a good idea to invest in and stand behind a product that you’ve never seen, used, or touched. Wholesalers know this, which is why they offer samples to potential customers.
Most of the top brands on AliExpress allow you to purchase samples, but keep in mind that not all wholesalers will offer this option. Because there are so many suppliers out there, you have the luxury of avoiding those who won’t provide samples.
Even after you develop a working relationship with suppliers, you can continue asking for samples and testing out products on your website.
Make Sure Your Initial Contact is as Productive as Possible
Your end goal should be to develop a professional working relationship with your supplier. But in those initial stages, you should be focused on getting as much information as possible, particularly during your first contact.
In your initial message, you may ask the supplier for more information on their wholesale prices and minimum order requirements. Don’t forget to follow up on your contacts. Remember – wholesalers are busy companies. If you don’t get a response right away, keep trying.
Bargaining for lower prices isn’t always an easy task, especially if you have a new relationship with the wholesaler. You have to prove that providing such a discount would ultimately benefit the wholesaler.
Maybe you can introduce the supplier to new markets, or reduce the risk for the supplier. Maybe you can consolidate your purchase orders, or offer to bundle different types of products as opposed to the same ones.
Finding a wholesale supplier can be a long and tedious process, but it’s worth the effort. Once you find a reputable and reliable supplier, you’ll hopefully develop a long and fruitful relationship.