If you’re starting or running a retail or service business, then you’re probably trying to find good wholesale supplier. There are currently hundreds of thousands of companies in the wholesale distribution industry so finding and forming relationships with these wholesalers takes both time and research. So, if you’re just getting started, use this advice for how to find a good wholesale supplier.
The Wholesale Business
First, let’s take a look at the wholesale industry. This is a huge industry and tends to be highly fragmented. Only about 50 of the largest distributors generate 25% of the revenue. Wholesalers also serve retailers and service businesses through a wide range of channels and supply chains. At the top of this chain are the manufacturers who sell to wholesalers. Next, you have wholesalers who may also be known as regional distributors. They sell and distribute the good locally. Finally, there are brokers and jobbers who are responsible for delivering goods to small businesses such as independent produce stores.
When you enter the wholesale business, you’ll quickly find that it’s centered around volume. The more goods that you purchase, the lower the prices are, and the higher your profits can be. So, if you’re a small business, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to negotiate relationships from a wholesaler simply because your sales volume isn’t going to be that high. However, small wholesalers will sell and ship to small businesses and as long as you’re able to move forward and see increases in sales, you’ll be able to move up the supply chain. However, there are also wholesale suppliers who are willing to work with small businesses and you can reach good agreements with them that are mutually beneficial.
Probably the hardest part is finding wholesalers. This step takes time but there are a number of practices you can use to help improve your research efforts. First, start by searching the internet. You’ll want to search for wholesalers by product to help you find the suppliers that you can actually use. You can also search through online assocations, wholesale directories, or trade directories.
Trade shows and trade magazines can be good places to look but may not be your best option in some cases. Navigating a trade show takes both a budget and a significant amount of tie. However, you can use trade show directories to pinpoint events by industry and location to help narrow down your search. You can also look at magazines on your own time and find the wholesalers who are specific to your industry.
Word of mouth is also going to be helpful, although you may learn more about what not to do. Asking around at a networking event is a good way to find out who your competitors purchase from and finding out if their suppliers offer good service. You can also talk to brand manufacturers. They usually only sell in high volumes so this may not be a supplier, but they can refer you to those that will sell to small businesses.
When you think you’ve found a good supplier, you’ll need to make sure that you do your research first. Make sure to ask about volume discounts, order processing times, and return policies before choosing a company. Also, don’t forget to ask for references and do your own research. The Better Business Bureau is a great source of information and they serve almost as a background check for companies. A few hours of research can save you a significant amount of time and frustration in the long run.
Wholesale Suppliers Directory
If you’re not sure of where to get started, then you may want to look into Salehoo. Simply put, Salehoo is one of the largest online wholesale supplier directories today. Their directory encompasses over 8,000 wholesale suppliers and, as a member, you have direct access to all of them. What makes Salehoo stand out is that they’re interested in helping people succeed. You have access to articles and research related to navigating sales and marketing. They are well-rated by customers and also offer friendly and professional service so this is a good source to check out, especially for small businesses.
When you’re in the market for a wholesale supplier, you don’t have to approach this process blind. Use this advice to get started finding a supplier which will meet you and your company’s needs.