Knowing how to find wholesale suppliers is certainly one of the keys to building a profitable business. But it can be daunting to source new wholesalers when you are first starting out – even for established business owners looking for new wholesale distributors. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list explaining the best ways to find quality wholesale suppliers.
With all the wholesalers, distributors and a huge range of wares all in the one space, attending a trade show is the best way to make contacts with quality vendors that can help you to grow your business with the right products at the right prices. You will be able to make face-to-face business contacts with people from industries relevant to you.”
A good relationship with wholesale suppliers is important for both consumer and retailer. Purchasing from a wholesaler allows retailers to purchase items in bulk. Then, if prices are reasonable for the retailer, that generally means the consumer will be getting good value, too. This is likely to bring customers back to your store, time and time again.
Whilst you clearly can’t beat the benefit of attending Reed Gift Fairs Australia to source retailers all under the one roof, there are other avenues such as Google, Yellow Pages, Alibaba etc. Read on to find out more about how to access good wholesalers…
Where do you to Find Wholesale Suppliers?
Keep your options open. Don’t restrict yourself to only to one wholesaler as it can be very helpful to have relationships with more than one. Obviously, the best way to seek the largest range of wholesalers in the quickest amount of time is to attend a trade show, but you can also seek help from friends and family that are in business – they are often the most willing to share advice about positive and negative wholesaler experiences. You can also try putting your investigative skills to good use by doing a Google search on local wholesalers, or trying your luck on exporters from China’s Alibaba.
Contact Local Wholesalers
The mantra “shop local” can also apply to connections with local wholesalers. And doing business with local wholesalers has some strong advantages, such as the potential for cheaper delivery rates and the faster receipt of products.
But how do you go about finding a local wholesaler? You could start with the online Yellow Pages as a first port of call. Local councils can also be a great resource as they have knowledge of the businesses in their area. Most councils are happy to pass on information to small business owners looking to develop relationships in wholesale sectors that are established in their region. Some councils even fund special networking opportunities for businesses to connect with local wholesalers and smaller local boutique manufacturers. One thing to consider with local wholesalers is that they are also likely to sell to your local competitors, meaning like-minded local businesses can be saturated with the same goods. This can make it difficult for you to gain an edge over your competition.
Find suppliers on Google
Wholesalers are not always known for building the strongest websites, so our number one tip for using search engines such as Google to look for wholesale suppliers is to not give up too quickly. You may well need to extend your search beyond the usual first few pages before you find a wholesaler that interests you. This is because wholesalers often need to protect their prices and products from becoming public in order to be able to retain a competitive edge over other wholesalers.
A reduced investment in SEO and fewer product details online can make finding information tricky. If you are searching for wholesalers online, make sure that you open up your search terms. For example, don’t just search for “jewelry wholesalers”, but also use other key terms such as “supplier” or “warehouse”. Also, keep in mind that an outdated website doesn’t necessarily mean outdated products – as we said, wholesalers tend to keep their latest products and prices on the down-low from their wholesale competitors and the general public.
Attend a Trade Show
Of course, the easiest way to find wholesale suppliers with the biggest range all under one roof is to attend a trade show.
With all the wholesalers, distributors and a huge range of wares all in the one space, attending a trade show is the best way to make contacts with quality vendors that can help you to grow your business with the right products at the right prices. You will be able to make face-to-face business contacts with people from industries relevant to you. Attending a trade show is the perfect way to build solid relationships with a range of different wholesalers, all in one or two days.
If you are looking to source gift or homewares, Reed Gift Fairs is Australia’s premier trading platform for buyers and sellers in the gift and homewares industries. At Reed Gift Fairs in Sydney & Melbourne, you’ll find a huge range of wholesale goods including homewares, furniture, art, kitchen goods, fashion, jewellery, accessories, toys, gadgets and more. For more information on this trade-only event, simply click here.
How to Communicate with Suppliers
When looking to connect with a new wholesaler, it is important to have reasonable expectations and to be well-prepared about your needs as a business. You should start any communication by introducing yourself, explaining a little about your business, your specific role within the business and your needs from the wholesaler. Wholesalers do not trade with the public – they only deal with traders, so you will need to have your business details, such as your ABN, ready to provide upon request.
Obviously, you need to know what type of products you are looking to source, but here are some other common questions to consider in regards to prospective wholesalers:
- What is their approach to quality control?
- Is their pricing structure transparent and reasonable?
- What are their sales terms?
- Will you have access to a solid contact within the company?
- Do they have a returns policy?
- Where are they located and how will this affect shipping costs?
Being Confident and Professional
Wholesalers will take you more seriously if you come across as confident and prepared at your initial contact. Dressing the part helps if you are meeting in person. This doesn’t mean you have to dress in a formal suit, but it does mean presenting as neat and professional at all times.
You should also be prepared with information to help you make a lasting impression. Business cards with your business name, personal name, title, contact details and ABN are always a good first reference for all new business contacts. You should always ask for the business card of your contact at the wholesaler.
Let Wholesalers Know You Are Serious
Wholesalers get a multitude of requests for information so it can be difficult to stand out as a genuine retailer. The following can help make an impression that lets wholesalers know you are interested in doing serious business:
- Make sure that your emails clearly outline all your contact details, and don’t forget to include your ABN.
- Tell the wholesaler how you found them and let them know what interests you about their products – this will help them to see that you haven’t just stumbled upon them and aren’t wasting their time.
- Clearly outline what products you are interested in, the quantities you require and what information you need from the wholesaler to proceed with a potential sale.
- Follow up – if at first, you don’t succeed, try again. There is nothing like a follow-up email and/or phone call to let a wholesaler know you really do mean business.
How To Source High-Quality Products
There are a few key things you need to do to ensure quality when buying from a wholesaler. The main thing you need to do is to see the product for yourself. There really is no better way to know whether a product is something your business can stand by and promote unless you see the actual product. Testing the product yourself is a great indication on whether it is a genuine product that you could sell without reservations – it is also important in reducing potential refund or return requests for faulty products. Here are some points to consider when trying to source products of high-quality for your business.
Questions to Ask Manufacturers/Suppliers
Here are some important questions you can consider asking wholesalers about their product ranges:
- Can you visit the warehouse to see their range in person?
- Can you be sent a sample of the product to trial?
- Do they have an in-house quality control process?
- Are their production methods able to handle a high volume of orders in a timely manner, whilst also keeping quality control a priority?
- Do they have a returns process?
Visiting Wholesalers or Suppliers
When you find wholesale suppliers, it is best to make an appointment rather than making an impromptu visit to a wholesaler or supplier. Speak with your contact there and offer them the choice from a range of times that suit you. You might want to ask for a certain amount of time to be set aside so you have enough time to ask all your questions and inspect the products. Be sure to enquire if there is a dress code or any safety measures you need to prepare for prior to arrival. To ensure that your time on-site is well-spent, be prepared with a list of all the questions you want to ask.
In summary, you will be able to find quality wholesalers by preparing a checklist of things you need such as (1) Source first on the internet, using search engines like Google, typing certain keywords that match your product line, looking in directories (2) Attending trade shows to network and see the trends apart from meeting new suppliers (3) Setting up your business details like ABN, Company Name, providing good references, and finally, by (4) Asking the right questions whilst making sure to outline the products you are interested in, quantities you require and what information you need from the wholesaler.