How to Find Wholesale Vendors For Online Business? 7 Important Things You Need to Consider
January 6th, 2022
Are you looking for reliable wholesale vendors for your online business?
Are you afraid of getting scammed?
Undoubtedly these thoughts might be running in your mind when you start looking for wholesale vendors. More and more people are finding wholesale vendors from China or other online markets: the most important factor is the low price.
For those online sellers, they need to find good-quality products at a good price. Relying only on online directories is not going to help you much, because you don’t know the history and background of wholesale vendors there.
In this blog, we have included information about things to consider while you look for the best wholesale vendors. What’s more, you can also learn about how to find the most suitable suppliers for your business, etc. So, let’s begin.
Chapter 1: What is Wholesale? Why It Is Important to Buy From Wholesale Vendors?
When it comes to getting products for your business at a cheaper rate, wholesale vendors are the best option. Not only do they have a variety of products, but they also provide the best prices.
In this chapter, we are going to introduce some basic information about the wholesale business. With the information, you can understand why we recommend you to start buying from wholesale vendors.
1. What is wholesale and who are wholesale vendors? Wholesale VS Retail
Wholesale is a form of business in which vendors buy products in bulk. Wholesale vendors usually won’t sell directly to buyers, but to different retailers. It is a business-to-business model.
Retailers buy at least hundreds of pieces of the same product to get the cheapest rates and best discounts. Those people who sell products in bulk to retailers are called wholesale vendors.
The retailers come to them to buy products, then, sell the products to the end consumers for higher prices.
The differences between wholesale vendors and retailers mainly are the type of their customers, unit selling price and also their sale volume.
2. Different Types of Wholesale Suppliers In the Market
There are many different types of wholesale vendors. Different wholesalers sell to different markets and you need to find the right one for yourself. Here are the 4 common types of wholesalers that you need to know about.
If retailers do their homework well, they can buy products directly from the manufacturers. They are the first point in the supply chain.
As there is no middle man involved and you are buying DIRECTLY from the manufacturer, this is the most economical option.
But, there is a catch. Generally, the manufacturers have a very strict minimum order limit for the products. Usually, the SME’s can find this minimum order limit a little too much.
Another option is to go for wholesalers. These are the people who have already purchased from producers or manufacturers.
Now, they are selling the purchased products in smaller quantities to retailers and other businesses. With wholesalers, you will still get economical prices.
Even though the wholesalers also have a minimum order quantity, it is not as rigid as the one the manufacturers have. You don’t need to buy in hundreds and thousands but can also buy in smaller quantities.
Importers can be thought of as domestic distributors. The difference between them and normal distributors is that they buy the goods from other countries and sell them in the country.
Mostly, they buy from the producers/manufacturers in that particular country.
Sometimes, the supply chain of countries is so complicated that directly buying from the manufacturer can become very difficult. In these situations, it’s better to buy from importers to make things simpler.
In simple terms, a jobber is a merchant. He/she can be a wholesaler, reseller, or even an independent distributor who operates a consignment that has come in. A jobber mostly deals with supermarkets, drug stores, departmental stores, etc.
People tend to confuse jobbers with brokers. They are not the same. A broker must carry out transactions for the merchandiser. A jobber is responsible for supplying goods (inventory) to the merchant for final sale.
3. Advantages and disadvantages of buying from wholesale vendors
Wholesale vendors are an excellent choice when it comes to buying products for your business. Where there are advantages, there are disadvantages also.
Here, we will introduce the pros and cons related to wholesale vendors for you.
a. Wholesale vendors can continuously provide suitable products
The biggest advantage you get with wholesale vendors is the variety of products. They buy a variety of products and different businesses can find suitable products according to their needs.
To ensure the wholesale vendor you are going to has your desired product, you can always have a chat with them.
Confirm if they stock and provide the product you need to save yourself the hassle. If not, you might end up wasting time and money in contacting and meeting them.
b. Wholesale vendors can offer lesser MOQ than manufacturers
As already mentioned, buying from manufacturers/producers is the most economical method. The only constraint is that manufacturers always have a minimum order quantity. They do not change it for anyone.
In this situation, the best thing is to go for wholesale vendors of the desired product. They have a much lower MOQ as compared to the manufacturers and you can get any quantity you like.
c. Most wholesale vendors can help in one-stop product selection
When you look for wholesale vendors, try to see what they offer. Most of them have a variety of products in their warehouse.
If you are not sure what you want, you can also check if they offer you a one-stop product selection.
If they do, it can benefit the buyer immensely. You can go there, check the products and select which one you like on the spot.
Once you have selected a suitable product, you can make the purchase.
d. The quality of products will be controlled by wholesale vendors
For those wholesale vendors who want to keep in touch with their customers continuously, there is less chance of poor-quality products. The reason is simple, they need to make profits constantly.
So, the product quality is not the headache of the buyer/retailer. This can be an advantage and a disadvantage both.
There are all sorts of wholesale vendors out there and you don’t know who is selling good quality products and who is selling low-quality products.
e. It’s difficult to find reliable and suitable wholesale vendors
When you start searching, you will come across hundreds of wholesale vendors. Some will have stellar feedback and some won’t.
Some wholesale vendors get fake reviews, show fake sales, and even go to lengths to make them come across as good. In reality, they are not.
The trick is to do your homework well. Visit the wholesale vendors personally and check what goods they are providing. You can also ask their previous clients how their experience was.
f. Many wholesale vendors won’t cooperate with online retailers
Most of the wholesale vendors don’t trust online retailers. Getting them to sell you their goods can be very difficult if you are an online retailer. They don’t trust you and they don’t want to receive small orders.
4. What to consider before selecting wholesale vendors for your online business?
Finding reliable and trustworthy wholesale vendors can become difficult. Things like location, what sort of products they have, how do they match their shipping deadlines, etc are important.
Once you have analyzed these things, then, you should shortlist probable candidates.
Your location and type of business play a great role in wholesale vendor selection. You have to see how far or near the vendor is located for smooth operations.
If you are operating a business on a local scale, finding a local wholesale vendor is the best option. When you are doing business internationally, you can look for international vendors who know the tricks and trades of your business.
b. Product category
Another important thing to remember is that the wholesale vendor should have the right product category for your business. There is no point in going for a vendor who stocks shoes and clothes if you have a crockery business.
The best vendors are those who have a variety of products under one roof. They have many products they can source for you or other retailers. This allows you to have a wide choice to choose from.
c. Shipping deadline
One thing people tend to ignore is delivery times and the consistency with which the vendor meets shipping deadlines. Late shipments can be a big blow to your business.
To make sure this does not happen to you, check what shipping methods the wholesale vendor can offer.
What are the product tracking methods and what sort of guarantee does the vendor give for making sure shipping deadlines are being met.
d. Minimum order quantity
The wholesale vendors have different minimum order quantities. This means there is a specific lowest quantity that you can buy from them.
Larger vendors might have higher quantities. For example, they would only sell 200 units of a product nothing less.
Depending on what budget you have and how many products you need, check with the wholesale vendor beforehand.
e. Dropshipping service
If you don’t have a store to keep the inventory, check if the wholesale vendor provides dropshipping service. Most of the business is online.
Most online retailers don’t have a place to store the inventory. Hence, looking for a wholesale vendor who provides dropshipping is important.
Communication is important to decide whether the wholesale vendor is reliable or not. You should be upfront and discuss each and everything with them beforehand. You need to clearly tell them what you need.
Then, check whether they agreed to all the requests easily. If yes, be very careful when you need to sign a contract with the wholesale vendor.
There are a number of red flags to keep an eye out for which can tell you whether they are reliable or not.
Chapter 2: How to Find A Wholesale Vendor That Suits Your Business Best?
1. Go search engines or social media and conduct an online research
Most of the businesses are online now. This is why many wholesale vendors have an online presence.
The first step you should follow is to go online and search. There is a lot of information available online. You should check the official website of vendors if they have one.
Another option is to go to social media profiles. There will be some reviews of clients. Don’t trust these reviews blindly and do your research. Only then shortlist a vendor for your business.
2. Find wholesale vendors from the top websites like Alibaba.com
Just like search engines, websites like Alibaba.com have a list of verified wholesale vendors. Other platforms that you can choose are:
3. Ask people in the business for wholesale vendor referrals
Referrals are the best way to ensure you find reliable wholesale vendors. When people have a good experience with a vendor, they refer that vendor to others. Referrals ensure that the vendor is reliable and that the person/business has had a good experience.
If you are going to someone through a referral, you can even get good discounts and better prices. That is a win-win situation for everyone.
4. Check customs database for suppliers
There are different software out there that allows you to spy on the suppliers of the competitors.
The Jungle Scout Supplier Database is such software. This database has all the information about the shipments that have come into the country. It also gives information about which companies have called the shipment.
The best thing is that information is free. You don’t need to pay anything or any fees. Through this information, you can get the competitors’ suppliers and can contact them for your products.
5. Keep an eye on your industry trade publications for information
Trade publications have useful information about small manufacturers and wholesale vendors. The information in the publications is updated and accurate. Mostly, the publications are weekly or daily.
Be sure to subscribe to journals and trade magazines. Also, look around for online newsletters to know what is going on in your industry. You might come across an important vendor.
6. Attend International &local trade shows and exhibitions
There are a lot of trade shows that take place all year round. Some of the major ones are the Global Source Expo and the Canton Fair.
These trade shows attract vendors, manufacturers, businesses and entrepreneurs from all around the world. They showcase the projects and are available on the spot for answering different questions of potential clients.
If possible, you should attend some sort of international or local trade show/fair. There is so much variety there and you can choose from some local/international wholesale vendors. The best thing is that your initial queries can be answered on the spot.
7. Join professional networks where provide useful information
Professional networks provide you with a list of wholesale vendors that you can choose from. They have updated, reliable and accurate information about businesses.
You can join networks like the Chamber of Commerce of your area and build good business connections. Through these networks, you can easily find reliable and trustworthy wholesale vendors.
Chapter 3: How to Shortlist Wholesale Vendors From Large Databases?
1. Visit the factory to ensure they are actually existing.
Do you know how easy it is to make a profile online and claim you are a wholesale vendor?
Even on some of the best websites, there is no way to check whether the wholesale vendor is genuine or not. Some websites don’t always authenticate the dealers and only the ones with trademark assurance have been verified.
The first thing you are supposed to do is to visit the factory or vendor in person. If you can’t go, get someone trustworthy to check the vendor out for you. It can be a person you know about or it can be a sourcing agent.
2. Check their history of customer service
Customer satisfaction is important. What is the use of going to the so-called best wholesale vendor when he/she does not have a strong customer base? Or the previous customers who have worked with them are not happy?
Checking on the website for testimonials is not enough. The trick is to get in touch with previous clients. Talk to them, ask them how their experience was.
Online reviews can also be misleading, therefore, talk to them and check their history of customer service. The most important question here is that were they able to satisfy the queries of the customers or not?
3. Check their availability around the clock
Availability is another important parameter to check. Make sure to ask the wholesale vendor the following questions:
Are they available all the time?
Will they be there to tackle any issues if they arise in odd hours?
Will they answer your questions and queries if there is any ambiguity?
Do they offer around-the-clock customer support?
Many buyers who are from different countries have time differences with their suppliers. And sometimes, when there are any issues with your goods, you must ask for a reply or solutions from the supplier as soon as possible.
According to that, a supplier who has 24-hour customer service will be better for your business. It will save time and money.
4. Ask for a sample to know the product’s quality
One of the biggest red flags is when the wholesale vendor refuses to provide you with a sample.
You should IMMEDIATELY cease any type of business prospects with them. This means that they are not reliable and don’t want you to know the quality of their products.
All reliable wholesale vendors provide you with sample products. This allows the retailer or middle man to be sure about the quality of the products. This makes doing business much easier and helps build trust between the two parties.
5. Check the shipping method they opt for
The shipping method that the wholesale vendor opts for is important to see. If the vendor and business are both local, the most economical shipping method would be by road.
It can either be through trucks or railroads. It depends on the location of the vendor and the retailer.
If the vendor is international, there are multiple methods to choose from. They include shipment by air, sea and road.
Nowadays, a hybrid transportation method is being used. It is a mixture of all the shipping methods, and you can manage the time and cost well with it.
6. Try to negotiate the best terms with wholesale vendors
Never settle for the price the vendor quotes. There is nothing set when it comes to business. The wholesale vendors offer a lower price than the market.
But even at that price, there is room to wiggle. If you are a potential long-term client, they will certainly lower the prices for you further.
Negotiation is the key to getting the best prices. Negotiations are worth the risk. If it doesn’t go well, you will not lose anything. If it goes well, you might end up getting an excellent return on investment and the best deal in town.
Chapter 4: Tips and Tricks to Ensure you Avoid Getting Scammed
Scammers are present everywhere. You can do all your homework and still be scammed by the wholesale vendor you choose. This does not mean that you should not do business with them.
There are a few simple steps you can follow to avoid getting scammed.
1. Make sure the legal certificates are provided by the wholesale vendor
There are multiple ways in which you can check the authenticity of a wholesale vendor and see if they are legal or not.
In some countries, such as China, any business required a legal license from the government. It can be a small wholesale vendor or a multi-million dollar company. Always ask for the license before you go ahead and make a purchase.
There are some websites like scam.com that have a list of companies that have complaints of fraud against them. This includes wholesale vendors too. If the vendor you are in negotiations with is on it, be sure to check other legal documents too.
2. Directly contact the wholesale vendors and clarify your requirements
Try to reduce the involvement of any middle-man. You can easily look for vendors by attending trade fairs, going online, etc as discussed above.
Even if you have to hire a sourcing agent, be sure to contact the wholesale vendors personally. Set a meeting (virtual or physical) and talk to them.
In this meeting tell that all your requirements personally. It is better to be direct than explain your requirements to a middle-man who will then explain them to the vendor.
You can never be sure if the middle-man understood what you want in the first place or not.
3. Ask sourcing experts for help if you don’t understand the market well
If you spend all your time searching and verifying wholesale vendors, when will you focus on your business? Sourcing agents are people who help you with sourcing the best products at the best prices.
If you are not sure about wholesale vendors or how to deal with them, you can always hire a sourcing company like EJET to work on your behalf.
We are professionals and have great experience working with different wholesale vendors. We also can connect you with the best vendors and get you excellent rates.
4. Discuss all the detail about the order with the wholesale vendor
All your requirements should be discussed before you sign the deal with the wholesale vendor.
Things like your budget, the type of product you want, the shipping method, delivery dates, insurance, etc should all be discussed in detail.
You can make a checklist. Include all important topics you want to discuss and tell your requirements in detail. You can benefit by discussing alternatives in case some things don’t click.
5. Never only choose wholesale vendors because of the low prices
Low prices are a big attraction. Not only businesses but even normal people are also attracted towards a low price tag. The biggest mistake you can make is to go for the cheapest wholesale vendor ONLY because of the low price they are offering.
Remember, if the vendor is asking for a price much cheaper than the market, this is a red flag. You should avoid such vendors. There is a big chance they are scammers. Or, they could be offering very low-quality products.
Chapter 5: FAQs
1. Is it wise to avoid dropshipping promises early on in the agreement?
No doubt dropshipping is quickly gaining popularity. The reason is the advantages it provides to the buyer. But it should be avoided early on when you get into a new contract.
Dropshipping can increase costs as retailers don’t buy hundreds and thousands of pieces per shipment. If you are a smaller store, you will not get the best rates after you put in the price of dropshipping.
2. Is it possible to buy wholesale without having a business license?
Yes. It is possible to buy wholesale without having a business license. The only thing you need to look out for is the sales tax you will be charged. This could decrease the total profits and needs to be accounted for.
3. Is buying products wholesale and selling them forward legal?
Yes. You can buy products wholesale and sell them to the end buyer. This is called retailing. Retailers buy products from wholesalers and sell them to the end consumer for a profit.
4. What factors should be considered when shortlisting wholesale vendors for your business?
Location of the wholesale vendor, the customer service they provide, etc is some of the factors that you should consider before shortlisting them. Other factors have been discussed in detail above.
Buying from wholesale vendors and selling products at a profit is an excellent business. Initially, you can have a little problem in deciding and selecting which wholesale vendor you should choose.
Along with this, the fear of getting scammed scares some people. To avoid all of this, you can contact us at EJET to help you in this process. We have a network of reliable, trustworthy, and economical suppliers who work with us.