Loading... Please wait...


How To Choose A Wholesale Supplier

Posted by

E-commerce businesses are only as good as the wholesalers they work with. Finding a high-quality wholesale supplier for your business is crucial to your success.

The stakes are high!


Get this right and your business will be off and running, select the wrong supplier, and you could find yourself “stuck in the starting blocks.”

Developing a great relationship with your supplier provides many benefits such as providing access to in demand products, potentially helping to secure better payment terms and providing your business with much-needed flexibility.

Forging an alliance with the wrong wholesaler can affect your ability to compete with other businesses in terms of price, product diversity and satisfying customer demands. In the end, an alliance with the wrong wholesaler will lead to diminished profit margins that have the potential to put an e-commerce company out of business.

Simply stated, a relationship with the wrong supplier can leave your shelves empty and drive your customers to the competition.

So how do you find a great wholesale supplier?

We break down 5 things to consider to help you work to develop the right relationship.

Find The Right Wholesaler For Your Size

According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are over 300,000 wholesale supply businesses nationwide.

As you can imagine, developing the right relationships will take time, effort and a great deal of patience to separate the cream of the crop from the disasters.

The size of your business and the composition of your store will play a major role in determining which wholesale supplier to align with.

Take your time and perform some research to figure out the type of price you can secure. Small to medium-sized businesses should select a wholesaler that provides focused attention and has a solid reputation.

Wholesaling is About Volume

When working with wholesalers, understand that the name of the game is VOLUME. The more you that you can buy, the lower wholesale prices become, and the higher your profits are as a result.

If you are a new small business, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to negotiate pricing from a high-volume wholesaler, simply because your sales volume won’t yet support buying in any kind of bulk.

Seek out smaller wholesalers that work with newer small businesses, and as you move forward and your sales increase, you’ll be able to graduate up the supply chain to negotiate higher volumes and lower rates.

Product Diversity

The wholesale provider you pinpoint should be able to offer the brands and products you desire to sell. Look for a wholesaler with a straightforward product catalog that can be searched with ease.

It should be full of product details that simplify the buying process. Furthermore, find out if the wholesaler will provide new products at a point in the future and whether they can access specific “key” products.

Finally, make sure the products are made available on a consistent basis so you don't run short on inventory.

Customer Service

Superior customer service is critically important. You should be able to tell rather quickly whether a prospective wholesaler and their staff are polite, helpful and responsive to your questions.

If it is not possible to speak with a customer service representative or decision maker right away when a problem arises, do not do business with that wholesaler. The wholesale provider should have a support number, live chat or help desk readily available. You should not have to wait an extended period of time for answers. A failure to respond to inquiries will only serve to sabotage your delicate customer relationships and ultimately ruin your business.

The bottom line is the wholesaler should be chomping at the bit to provide elite customer service. Otherwise, they either do not care about your business or are severely understaffed for their clients' demands.

Mind the Shipping

Prompt delivery is at the core of every e-commerce business model.

Do not do business with wholesalers that offer uber-cheap products yet have a reputation for late deliveries.

Tardy deliveries will undoubtedly result in major losses or headaches with irate customers.

Opt for a wholesaler with automated shipping alerts, experience with shipping products in your niche and the ability to track products. Do not lose sight of the fact that late deliveries will likely cost your business big dollars.

The Bottom Line

Perform your due diligence by taking the time to research a new wholesale partner. Make sure that they have the products that you want, or can help guide you in the direction of what sells.

A wholesaler should be more than just someone that you buy product from, they should be an important part of your business.

Take the time to build the right relationships and watch your business take off.


How To Start An Online Business

So you want to start your own online business but you have no computer knowledge, especially coding in html or php. Maybe, you have no idea where to find distributors to purchase products from and you have very little cash to get your venture off the ground. So why bother? With today’s technology and the abundance of [...]

Read More »

Transaction Processing