How to Find a Wholesale Distributor

Wholesale distributors are important in connecting store owners and manufacturers, regardless of whether you own a brick-and-mortar business or an ecommerce store.

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Find the right Small Business Wholesale Supplier

You may be able to work with one wholesale distributor, or many, depending on your business size. It can be difficult to find the right partner. Find a wholesale distributor who:

Connects you to the manufacturers and products that your business requires

  • Prices you can afford
  • Serves your geographical region
  • Reliable, trustworthy, and easy-to-work with

You must know the products that you sell before you can search for the right wholesaler. Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, you can start looking for wholesalers to help you run your business.

  1. Understanding the Distribution Channels of Your Industry

A product can be shipped from manufacturer to retailer in many different ways. Wholesalers may not all be able to serve the same market. Knowing your industry’s supply chain and distribution channels can help you choose the right wholesale supplier to support your online or retail business. There are many types of wholesalers:

  • Manufacturer: You can purchase some products directly from the manufacturer. Boutiques generally purchase from small manufacturers (often one-person).
  • Importer/Exclusive distributor: A company may have sole rights to import and distribute products in a country. Some companies sell directly to retailers while others sell to local wholesalers, who then sell to the stores.
  • Regional Wholesaler/Regional Distributor: These wholesalers typically take boxcar-sized loads and then sell them to local wholesalers.

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Jobbers: They deliver daily to local grocers or brick-and-mortar shops.

  1. Go to the manufacturer first
  • Your profits will be cut if you pay wholesalers. You can eliminate the middlemen by starting at the source.
  • If you are selling brand items, contact the manufacturer directly. Depending on the minimum order requirements, they might sell to your company. Ask them for a list if you are too small or only sell through established channels.
  • You will be more competitive in the market if you have fewer people to deal with.
  1. Make a productive first contact with a wholesale supplier

Start contacting wholesale distributors using the contact list from the manufacturer, telephonebook listings or a wholesale directory.

  • Minimum order requirements
  • The wholesale unit prices
  • They supply the region

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This initial contact can be made by phone or email. If you have any questions or wish to proceed, you can follow up by telephone. Be honest about your goals and do not try to be bigger than you actually are.

  1. Find Specific Information in Online Searches

Don’t search for distributors or wholesalers if you search online. Include keywords relevant to your niche or products. You can use product names, model numbers, and brand names. You can do a WHOIS search if any potential distributors you locate don’t have a phone number or email address.

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You’ll find more wholesalers than you think. This will allow you to compare prices and get an idea of what the industry average is.