Any seller serious about creating a long-lasting profitable business will realize the importance of finding a good wholesale source.
Unfortunately, it isn’t the super-quick task most people would like it to be. Wholesalers aren’t exactly squabbling over sellers; indeed, most don’t make any effort at all to attract small to medium size businesses. Why? Because they are doing just fine selling to large retail stores with multi-million dollar orders.
So how does anyone find a good wholesaler then? The key is to do a lot of research. Begin with keyword searches in search engines using ‘wholesale’ in front of or after the name of the product you are looking for. Remember that there is usually more than one way of referring to a product. While you may be searching for ‘throws’, the wholesaler may be listing them as ‘blankets’, ‘covers’, and ‘home decor blankets’. Or they may even refer to them by the name of the fabric they are made out of.
eBay can provide some fabulous wholesale buys also. In fact, there is an entire category dedicated solely to wholesale lots! Just search for the product you are looking for with the keyword ‘wholesale’ or ‘lot’ in the search string.
If you still can’t find what you are looking for, then try an online wholesale directory. Directories take a lot of the leg work out of finding suppliers. Good directories will thoroughly research all the contacts they recommend, removing the risk that you’ll end up dealing with a fraudster. While directories don’t automatically point you to the best supplier with the lowest prices for your item, it will give you a starting point.
Another way of finding wholesale suppliers is by contacting the manufacturer directly for the product you are interested in selling and asking them who their wholesale distributors are. This is a slightly scary option (particularly if the manufacturer is in a non-English speaking country!), but it can be extremely beneficial in the long term.
If you live in a big city, trade shows are possibly one of the best ways to make wholesale contacts. A trade show is where related industries gather to showcase their products to potential buyers. Trade shows are not open to the general public, only to other businesses. Not only can you sample the quality of the product at a trade show, you can also talk directly to the manufacturer or product creator! Just make sure you come prepared and don’t waste their time with questions you could have found out by reading the brochure!
Finally, it’s important to realize that most wholesalers adjust the price per unit according to the order quantity. For example, throws might be $10/unit for an order of 15-30, $9/unit for 30-50, and so on. This means that as a small business, you might not be able to get the prices you were hoping for at first. It also explains why eBay powersellers are sometimes able to retail items for prices below your wholesale price. Once again, this emphasizes the importance of establishing a niche where there is less competition.
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