Picking the right wholesaler is important for small businesses in the retail sector. After all, a good wholesaler can cut your costs and increase your profits. But finding the right wholesaler is not as easy as you think.
Inexperienced small businesses may feel overwhelmed with the supply of wholesalers, and could even fall prey to fake wholesalers. Read on to find out how to select the perfect wholesaler for your business.
Straighten Your Legal Status
To open a wholesale account with a supplier, your business needs to be legitimate, with all the necessary legal paperwork. Make sure you have everything lined up before you approach a wholesaler.
Start at the Source
Regardless of the products you wish to buy, contacting the manufacturer should always be your first step.
Some manufacturers even sell directly to retail businesses. If your order volume and/or frequency is suitable for them, you can try buying straight from the manufacturer
Manufacturers know their industry inside and out, and most likely work with a few trusted wholesalers. Some manufacturers even sell directly to retail businesses. If your order volume and/or frequency is suitable for them, you can try buying straight from the manufacturer, cutting your costs and shortening your supply chain.
But even if the manufacturer of your choice can’t sell directly to you, they can point you to the right direction.
Distributor or Wholesaler?
Distributors are wholesalers who only carry non-competing lines of products. Depending on the goods you’re looking to purchase from them, it may make more sense for you to pick a distributor over a general wholesaler.
Try the Internet
Although a strong online presence is crucial for all businesses in all industries, it seems that wholesalers didn’t get the memo.
Unfortunately, wholesalers don’t place great importance on SEO, web design, or catchy ads, making them very difficult to find.
A bad website usually suggests a less than top-notch company. Well, not in this line of business.
Be patient and Google alternative keywords, like “wholesaler”, “distributor”, or “supplier”, along with your product’s name. Look at all your results, not just the ones on the first page. If you keep scrolling down your search results, you may find a very outdated website on page 5, claiming to be a reputable wholesaler.
In any other industry, a bad website usually suggests a less than top-notch company. Well, not in this line of business.
Don’t judge them by their online appearance. Give them a call and inquire about their services.
Beware of Fake Wholesalers
When searching the internet, you may find lots of companies with flashy websites describing themselves as wholesalers. Beware: they may be just middlemen looking to insert themselves into your supply chain.
You can determine if you’ve found a real wholesaler by asking the following questions.
- Do they sell to consumers?
If yes, that’s a sure sign that they are fake. Wholesalers don’t sell to everybody, only to legitimate businesses that open a wholesale account with their firm.
- Do they ask for a monthly fee?
If yes, that’s another telltale sign. No wholesaler charges monthly fees.
- Do they ask for a minimum order?
If not, that’s a red flag. Wholesalers usually don’t deliver products under a certain volume, as it’s not profitable for them.
Participate at Trade Shows
Trade shows provide a great opportunity to meet potential business partners, including wholesalers. Look for trade shows in your industry. Participation may bring you other advantages as well, including finding new customers and checking out the competition.
Participation may bring you other advantages as well, including finding new customers and checking out the competition.
If you need tips for attending a trade show, check out our article.
Join a Directory
Directories provide a database of suppliers in a given industry. The company that compiled the information usually charges a fee for access to the database.
In return, they check the references of the businesses listed in their database, which means you can avoid running into scammers.
Wholesale Central, SaleHoo, and Worldwide Brands are a few examples of reputable supplier directories.
Widen Your Search
When looking for a wholesaler, don’t restrict yourself to your region, or even the US. Global trade allows you to get better deals from international suppliers all over the world. There’s usually one drawback: paying your supplier.
With Veem, painless international transfers are just a click away.
Sign up for a free Veem account and enjoy painless global payments.