25 Tips for Finding a Wholesale Distributor
What Are Wholesale Distributors?
Wholesalers act as a conduit between your company and the manufacturers of the products you sell. Distributors buy products directly from manufacturers to sell to retailers.
Many manufacturers do not distribute their products, so wholesale distributors are needed. The wholesale supplier has high-volume purchased products in stock to be able to supply them in the selected quantities to retailers. Retailers add a mark-up to the purchase price and sell the goods to individual customers.
The wholesale distributor is a vital part of your business as it acts as a link to the product. Timely delivery of products to customers, prices and the ability to respond to customer requirements will depend on which supplier you choose. Your business will be as good as the quality of the wholesaler you choose.
Here are 25 tips to help you find right wholesaler for your business:
1. Use a custom database where you will find contacts to companies
Searching for company data in the industry does not have to involve checking the national customs database, which includes the data of foreign suppliers sending containers. There are much easier ways to find a wholesaler. In the Datantify database you will find companies and contacts to them, filtering to individual industries or via the locations. Our database provides up-to-date data that is monitored on an ongoing basis. The database covers 194 countries.
2. Join Online Communities and Associations
By joining online groups, you can find recommendations about wholesale distributors that other business owners write about. This way you can find contacts and establish cooperation. In such spacers as forums and other industry websites, you will also find help with ordering an assortment and use the knowledge bases created by experienced users. In addition to the ideas for managing and distributing products, you will know what changes are taking place in customer demand. If you are looking for US wholesale distributors, you can join US based associations to find potential wholesalers. A list of member associations relevant to your industry can be found through the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors (NAW).
Another option is to check the Datantify database.
3. Look into e-commerce sites
Large e-commerce platforms like eBay allow you to sell goods to consumers. It’s also a great resource for connecting with wholesale distributors of products that retailers want to sell. People who sell directly to consumers on eBay already have some business aspect of theirs. Through this platform, you can contact them and find out about the topic. Shopee and Qoo10 are also dominant among the other platforms, these online department stores have sellers of various products. This way you can find your distributor that meets your requirements. If they are not available online, leave them a message with your contact details.
4. Build a network by register to LinkedIn
Creating a professional profile on LinkedIn will allow you to quickly reach business owners who recommend wholesale distributors. By keeping a profile, you will not only build a professional network of contacts, but also show yourself in the industry world by presenting your brand. You can write posts and articles there, and exchange knowledge. On LinkedIn, thematic groups have been created that members can join. There are also supply chain groups.
5. Ask for recommendations from members of the business network
Having a professional profile on the web allows you to get references and recommendations and access more contacts to proven distributors in the industry. If any of our contacts so far does not know the wholesaler directly, they probably know someone who has more information to share. You also have the option to ask about contacts in producer associations.
If we have never done this before it may seem strange, but it is not. Many people gain contacts in many companies and businesses this way.
6. Search in Google and others.
When searching for information using the traditional method in google, you can sometimes notice that a significant part of suppliers’ websites is not updated on a regular basis. This causes the Google algorithm to skip these pages due to the lack of search engine optimization on them. That’s why you need to know how to search more precisely and deeply.
The order in which the suppliers’ websites are located is not a determinant of the quality of their services. Great wholesaler pages can be on the 2nd, 3rd, or even 50th page of Google searches. In order to increase your chances of finding the right wholesale supplier online, you need to do a targeted search. It is good to combine these phrases with a specific product or region in which you are located. This will show the available options serving your area locally.
7. Participate in local and international trade fairs
Attending a retail trade show is another effective way to meet potential wholesalers. The fair includes exhibitions of various industries, during which wholesalers and manufacturers present their products. By taking part in such events, you have the opportunity to ask questions directly to wholesalers or producers you are interested in.
Then it is worth having something to write down or create a list from which we will choose a favorable offer for us in the future. During one day you have the opportunity to meet dozens of producers and distributors.
While at the fair, try to analyze the quality of products and prices offered by various wholesalers. Before you go to such an event, you can check the information on the activities of individual wholesalers in advance. Also prepare information about your company and be ready to answer questions about your business.
There are many trade fairs around the world during the year. Search for B2B trade shows or just trade shows that you can search by industry, city, state, country or even name. Some fairs are also conducted online, which has become more common during the pandemic period. During an online fair, you have access to chats and face-to-face conversations, which allows you to maintain the immediacy of traditional fairs.
8. Subscribe to trade publications for your industry
Updates related to your industry often take place through publications in magazines, magazines and business newsletters. By subscribing to publications, you will facilitate the acquisition of products and provide contacts to wholesalers. It’s a good idea to check the ad section at the end of each ad for the most up-to-date contact information for advertising distributors and manufacturers. In this type of publications, advertisers are most often producers or distributors of products. By subscribing to trade magazines you will also be aware of customer requirements.
9. Browse local business directories
If you are from the US, most libraries have online directories of companies and manufacturers. They contain profiles of many wholesalers, manufacturers and are updated. You can call before visiting the library of your choice to ask if there will be a librarian when you arrive. Such experienced service people can help you search for specific information in the databases.
10. Check out the big wholesalers in the marketplace
There are many popular B2B sales platforms on the Internet where brands sell products to companies. Online markets are a source of finding a wholesale distributor for your business. Register your account as a seller conveniently and connect with producers and distributors of various articles.
The very commonly used B2B markets are Alibaba, Ezee.sg, GlobalSourcess.com (Hong Kong), eWorldTrade (USA), EC21 (Korea), Handshake, Tundra, Faire. Such places offer competitive product prices.
11. Read the Label
Product labels contain the data and contact details of the producers. You can inquire about a wholesaler in this way. Direct contact with the producer is a more advantageous option, eliminating middlemen, which reduces selling costs.
There are situations when some brokers pretend to be legitimate distributors of certain products, but actually buy from wholesalers. They do this in order to sell products with an accrued margin, with the focus on additional profit. Therefore, direct contact with the manufacturer can protect us from overpaying for the margin.
12. Contact the manufacturer directly
If you want to sell individual products and have control over your business expenses, it is good to first contact the manufacturer of a given brand. By starting from the source and buying directly, you increase your profits, saving on the margins charged by brokers. If the producer decides that you company is too small based on his sales rules, you can ask him for a list of verified distributors with whom you could contact.
13. Pay attention to the niche
Choosing the type of products you want to sell on the market has a great impact on what supplier options you choose. Defining your niche and choosing exactly what you want to sell will make it easier to choose the right distributors. Make sure that when defining your niche you do not give up on finding the best wholesalers possible.
14. Quality of products
The key element of sales is taking care of the quality of the products we offer. Checking the quality of products must take place on an ongoing basis. Customers quickly notice poor quality and lose their trust and desire to buy in your store in the future. The products you put on your shelves are your products in customers eyes. It is your responsibility to further test their quality prior to sale.
15. Selling platforms
Before making purchases from wholesalers for certain products, check the rules and regulations of online sales platforms. There are many products that cannot be sold on eBay, Amazon etc. By checking in advance, you will protect yourself from ordering bad goods that you will not be able to put on the selling platform.
16. The wholesaler adds freebies
It is worth paying attention to whether the wholesale supplier offers any extras in the form of promotional options or in the form of free products. They can be, for example, stands for selling goods or shelves or shop banners. You can ask for additional benefits, even if they are not offered directly, you will show that you value the brand of this manufacturer.
17. Size of stock
Observing the wholesaler inventory volume is also an important point. Checking in what quantity the supplier usually keeps the products.
When choosing a distributor of interest to us, we can also discuss the subject of the available number of products. Seeing that it does not have the amount of products you need, ask if it is possible to order the right amount of goods for you. A wholesale supplier may want to increase their supply if they know you are ready to buy more.
18. Request a sample
We mentioned caring for the quality of products that we want to offer our customers in our store. One of the simple ways to check the quality of a product before buying is to choose a wholesaler that offers samples of their goods.
Even if the product samples will be paid for, it is worth choosing this option. After receiving the sample, test the strength of the product. When viewing products, take into account their appearance, colors and style. This will allow you to imagine how your customers will see the product in the store.
19. Choice of Shipping Methods
When selecting a wholesale distributor, the delivery options offered are equally important. Not all wholesalers have the same delivery options. Some will deliver products directly to your company, while others also offer delivery to your customers.
Delivery of products to your customers is offered by “drop shipping” companies. You have to be careful when choosing dropshipping wholesalers. All shipping activities or failure to meet agreed deliveries will reflect the image of your business.
20. Guarantee of Provided Services
Make sure the wholesaler provides guarantees for its delivery and product services. Any such guarantee should be binding and preferably in writing. You need to know what will happen if your products arrive damaged or if they do not arrive at all. The warranty must include corrective actions or information on these events by the wholesaler.
21. Rules and regulations followed by a given wholesaler
Different product regulations may apply to you even if you buy a product from a wholesaler to sell it in your store. Think carefully and see what you can do with each product from wholesalers. Distributors or producers may reserve various rights to the products manufactured, even if you have purchased them. Before making a purchase, ask or review information about these products and wholesalers
22. Check the geographic range on which they deliver
Having a collection of distributors of interest to us, check whether they support deliveries to your address. Especially when your store or business will be located outside the urban area. Not all companies have a route or willingness to deliver goods in the countryside or outside the city. An alternative option, if we have such a possibility, is to collect your order yourself if the wholesaler’s warehouse is within reach for us.
23. Sifting out the list of distributors
After you have compiled a list of distributors or manufacturers, separate the good ones from the bad ones. Seeing a clear division, you can freely choose the suppliers you are interested in, from among the good group.
Having a list of wholesalers that interest you the most, write down their pros and cons. This way you will see which cooperation will have the most advantages for you.
24. Contact and start cooperation
If you already have a ready list of finally selected suppliers, choose a wholesaler from it and contact him for cooperation. It is worth contacting the person in charge. This will avoid any misunderstandings or unpleasantness. The thing that will be a warning is whether at any time the service or a member of this company will be rude and unhelpful to you. Then take the next option from your list.
You’ve successfully established cooperation. Congratulations. Now you can experience the service in practice and develop your business.
25. Don’t expect to get immediate success
The first cooperation established with the distributor will not be the last and forever. Don’t rest on your laurels. Be ready to observe the market and the changes taking place. Maintaining your business may depend on various factors. Your venture may not seem effective when, among others, there is a strong competition selling similar products in your area, the wholesaler turns out to be not the right person or you will not see the profit you expected.
Remember that retail trade takes a lot of trial and mistakes. Concentrate on whether you are getting consistent profits, not how high at the beginning of your business.
The first step towards success in your retail business is knowing how to find wholesale suppliers. It takes time to learn how to run a business and fit into the supply chain in your industry.
Most manufacturers prefer to sell to wholesalers because they buy large amounts of products. Wholesale suppliers sell products directly to businesses at low cost if they purchase the required quantity of these products.
Establishing a long-term relationship is associated with fruitful cooperation for both parties. It is worth building such contacts, because it is a great help in building a company and its position on the market.
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