There is no well-organized system of wholesale supplies, and all of them demonstrate different quality levels. We should thank eBay for the appearance of websites with supplies listings that helps retailers in their searching. And now we also have AliExpress and Alibaba.
These websites have a lot of useful data for merchants: you can see what products are in great demand, how exactly they look like, and who their suppliers are. This information will help you to choose the future product range of your store.
Some web stores work with certain brands and unique products, that’s why they deal with local niche suppliers. Others turn to big supplies for popular products. Your goal is to find a credible and professional supplier that will provide some beneficial terms and deliver your orders in time.
Let’s consider the strategy of working with wholesale supplies that will meet your requirements.
What are the kinds of partnerships with wholesale suppliers?
It is very important to decide in what way you want to build your work with orders.
Dropshipping is becoming increasingly popular with web store owners. This business model implies that the supplier is responsible for storing, packaging, and delivering the product to the client.
Self-fulfillment or partial self-fulfillment is another approach, according to which you, the web store owner, store and ship products and hence have to manage higher costs.
Finally, there is a third-party fulfillment method. One of the bright examples is Amazon, which stores and delivers orders on behalf of merchants.
First, you should figure out what kind of fulfillment model suits you and then ask your potential supplier about it. For example, if you decide to go with dropshipping, pick the supplier company that works with dropshippers.
Where to find supplies for your web store?
It is very useful to attend trade shows for your business or make special research on the web. You can start searching for information about the most suited supplies from these huge platforms:
- Global Sources
- Light in the Box
Also, you can check this shortlist of websites with capable supplies for those interested in dropshipping:
- Worldwide Brands
Why do you need a direct connection with a supplier?
To make a direct connection with the supplier is more profitable than to deal with middlemen. So, it is very important to reach out to decision-makers. During the search, you can encounter counterfeit wholesales that are just dropshippers or retailers.
There are some tips in our article that will help you to determine the authenticity of supplies. For example, real supplies don’t have a lot of advertising, they don’t need to prove the quality of their products. Also, pay your attention to the pricing: if the company sells products to the public at the wholesale prices, it is no genuine wholesale supplier.
How to build a productive first contact with a supplier?
Identify the goal of your call or letter and try to build a professional contact and get as much information as possible. If you don’t receive an answer, you should try once more, suppliers can be busy. If there is no information for some time, you should keep looking.
As an example, you can begin with this text:
“Hello, I’m opening <a type of product> web store. Can I get some information about your minimum order requirements and wholesale prices? Thanks.”
Remember that a big company has a lot of employees and every time you can speak to different people. It describes the seriousness and importance of your business relationship, when employees know your name and the details of your bargain. These moments save time and inspire mutual trust. As your communication becomes stronger, you can get your personal manager.
What should you discuss with the supplier?
There are several important moments that you should discuss with your supplier at first. Early agreement on these matters can influence the success of your business:
- Better prices
Why are samples so important?
Providing samples becomes a common practice of supplies, especially the ones dealing with low-cost products. It is impossible to sell something if you haven’t even seen it. The personal experience of the sample ensures you against problems with poor product quality and hence increases the trust of customers.
You can write your potential supplier something like that:
“I like your presentation of <name of the product> and would like to cooperate with you. It would be nice to see a product sample before we start. Could you please provide one?“
In case you are buying several kinds of products, you should ask about the batch of samples, test them, and choose the most appropriate things for your web store. Supplies, in turn, can provide it for a fee. Primarily you are paying only for shipping.
If the supplier refuses to provide samples, you should find another one.
How to agree on a better price?
All members of the agreement want a better price, but a supplier won’t give you a discount without any reason. You should convince them, show the benefit of cooperation with you.
For example, you can work in this way:
- Demonstrate that you will enter a new target market with their product.
- Compare your offering with competitors’ pricing.
- Find a way to reduce financial risks for the supplier.
- Purchase different kinds of products, diversify your procurement.
- Ask about other benefits that they can provide you instead of the price cut.
How to start shipping?
To avoid possible constraints with shipping, you should figure out the way of shipping.
The shipping of products from remote countries takes a lot of time, and this process is very difficult to control. Beginners and small stores usually can’t get influence and a good price there, it is also hard to combine low pricing and timely delivery for their customers.
Serious supplies with long-term experience have an impact. That’s why, at the beginning, it can be a good choice to find the supplier that deals with dropshippers.
As well as others, dropshipping also has its benefits and drawbacks, and you should be ready for them.
- You don’t need huge initial investments and can pay for the goods after the customer pays you.
- It is easy to extend the product list: you can work with different suppliers and choose the most interesting items.
- There are no additional costs for storage, packaging, and delivery.
- You can manage your store from a different country and place and don’t need a lot of employees.
- You are responsible for wholesales’ mistakes, such as late delivery or low quality.
- Profit can be lower than you expected because of the small difference between the product price and the selling price.
- You can’t influence the quality or other indicators of products.
When you are starting your business and looking for suppliers, it helps to remember that all large companies were in your place, and you can overcome all difficulties with careful preparation.