When you first get started in e-commerce, choosing wholesale suppliers for your business can be a daunting task. There are plenty of wholesale suppliers advertising their services and merchandise, but it can be difficult to determine from a website whether a particular company offers top quality merchandise and stellar customer service.
To help them in this process, many entrepreneurs turn to wholesale lists to find their distributors. While these lists often come at a price, e-commerce owners may decide it’s worth the money to get a narrower choice of wholesale suppliers that have been thoroughly analyzed.
But are wholesale lists really filled with pre-screened companies? Check out our pros and cons of wholesale lists to see if this is really the best approach for you.
What is a Wholesale List?
A wholesale list, also known as a wholesale directory, is a list of suppliers with the type of merchandise they offer and full contact information for the companies. The lists are often only accessible with a membership, for which the e-commerce owner pays a subscription. Wholesale lists may vary in terms of the type of merchandise included, the way in which the list is compiled and the information provided.
Advantages to a Wholesale List
A comprehensive wholesale list can be a boon to e-commerce owners that are just getting started in their business. These directories save a significant amount of time surfing the Internet, looking for companies that sell the types of products you want to market. Some directories might even provide information like customer reviews to give you an idea of the quality of the company.
Wholesale lists and directories can also keep you up to date on new suppliers entering the market and companies offering special promotions on their goods. You might also gain access to merchandise samples or updates about trade shows in your area.
Drawbacks to Wholesale Lists
While there are many benefits to wholesale lists, there are some serious drawbacks as well. In some cases, companies get on the wholesale list by simply paying a fee, and no one really knows whether the merchandise or service is particularly reliable.
It may also be difficult to know just how up to date the wholesale list is, and once you begin to work through it, you may discover that many of the businesses on the list are no longer in service.
Directories and lists also open themselves up to scams, and it may be difficult to discern the legitimate companies from the scam artists without significant research on your part.
If you would like to start out your e-commerce business by using a wholesale list to find suppliers, it is important to find a reputable list service for your needs. Talking to other e-commerce owners or perusing our wholesale list threads will help you tune into the directories that are used most often by others in the industry. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should use a wholesale list. The final decision is up to you.