Whether you’re an established business or about to dive into your first venture as a brand new entrepreneur, finding reliable wholesale suppliers is crucial to your success.
It can be difficult to understand what to look for if you have little to no experience evaluating potential suppliers.
If you need help searching for a trustworthy wholesaler, this guide is for you. Keep reading for the things to remember when selecting a wholesale supplier for your business.
A reputable supplier will have years of experience and a client review section to back it up. They should also be able to provide references you can talk to about the service they provide.
To confirm the reliability of a wholesaler, look up online comments on their website or business listings. Another option is talking to local businesses for feedback.
Make sure the supplier provides third-party testing and certification for its products. This will ensure that all of their products are authentic and high-quality.
Avoid companies that also sell to consumers directly, as they might encroach on your customer base.
2.Product and Industry Knowledge
The best wholesale suppliers have thorough knowledge about their products and your niche. Such suppliers are good at maximizing value in the supply chain, ultimately delivering a service that adds value to their client’s operations as well.
Seeking such partners will boost your own knowledge about the industry, which will make you a better business owner.
3.Ready to Ship Inventory
If your supplier doesn’t have inventory ready for retail, then delivering products on a consistent schedule may be difficult for them. It will also make it tough for you to run your business efficiently and maximize profits.
Go Wholesale is a great example of a retail-ready wholesale supplier that you can rely on.
The best suppliers offer competitive pricing with scope for you to make your desired profit margins. They should also offer discounts, loyalty benefits, extra features, and services as part of the package.
Working with wholesale suppliers that offer more returns for your money is the best choice, even if the benefits are not necessarily monetary.
However, a common trap that buyers fall into is agreeing to deals that seem too good to be true. Be careful with companies offering very low prices since they may be trying to push a truckload of damaged products into your hands.
5.Minimum Order Quantity
Most wholesale suppliers have a minimum requirement for orders placed. This helps them keep their operations profitable while keeping prices low. Make sure you are aware of this requirement and whether it matches your business needs.
The best suppliers will allow you to order low quantities as frequently as you need. This is a lucrative opportunity if you’re just starting out and don’t want to lock all your capital in too much stock.
Pay attention to whether a supplier’s customer care service meets your requirements. Make sure they have a dedicated support team. Opt for a supplier that assigns clients individual sales representatives to take care of issues immediately.
If your wholesaler doesn’t provide the timely support your business needs, it can cost you customers today and your business tomorrow.
The average lead time tells you how long you must wait between order placement and delivery. This metric is crucial—you’ll rely on it to keep your business operations and deliveries on schedule.
If you partner with local or national suppliers, lead times should be manageable even during the busiest times of the year. However, if your partner is an international vendor, then the lead time and reliability should be carefully reviewed and considered.
The best suppliers offer plenty of order methods, both online and offline. If they’ve been in operation for years, their ordering process will be streamlined and simple, making order placement accessible and quick.
B2B marketplaces are a great option if a simple order process is your priority. These online platforms offer a much more robust and responsive digital ordering process.
The closer a wholesaler is to your location, the better it is for you. A short distance keeps shipping costs low and gives you the option to pick up orders yourself. You won’t have to worry about extended lead times, either.
However, if you choose to sell specialized items, you may have no choice but to source products from abroad.
10.Samples or Trial Period Offers
Ask around if the suppliers on your list offer samples (paid or free) or a trial period. Most wholesale suppliers will let you test a sample order before finalizing a contract.
This will help you understand how working with a particular supplier might play out in the future.
11.Scale and Variety
If you’re running a big retail or reselling business, you should consider the size of the supplier you’re partnering with. A large enterprise will have no trouble delivering however many units you need, up to the thousands. They should also have a wide variety of products you can choose from.
If you’re working in a niche market, a reliable supplier with the inventory you need will be sufficient.
12.Contract and Returns Policy
Reading the fine print is one of the most important things in the buying and selling process. Peruse the contracts of as many suppliers as possible so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Look for suppliers that outline fair terms that protect their business without exploiting clients. Protect your interests by asking about the company’s compensative actions for late deliveries, damaged products, and other potential conflicts.
Learn more about the company’s returns policy. Since you’re buying products in bulk, you don’t want to tie up so much capital in inventory that won’t sell and can’t be returned.
Sourcing products for your inventory is one of the most important elements of setting up your business. And finding the right suppliers for your needs will make all the difference to your profit margins and future success.
We hope this guide will help you navigate your options and find the one that will benefit your business the most.