One of the most important components of any e-commerce business is cost-effective wholesale sourcing. If you search the Internet for wholesale suppliers, you may find a long list of possibilities. However, there are major discrepancies in wholesale sourcing in terms of reliability, quality and pricing.
Take advantage of our tips to help you find wholesale sourcing that will lower your risk and enhance your business.
Places to Look
Wholesale sourcing abounds on the Internet, and you can easily begin with general search engines to find your initial possibilities. There are even wholesale-specific engines like goWholesale or Wholesale Central to narrow your search right from the start.
However, while the Internet is a valuable source for finding wholesalers, it is not always the most reliable. Once you have business names, take the time to research those businesses before establishing a relationship with them.
Another good place to find wholesale sourcing is trade shows. These gatherings are not typically open to the general public, so you will need to provide proof that you are a legitimate business before you can get in the door. Trade shows allow you to meet wholesale suppliers face to face, giving you an opportunity to check the business and their products firsthand.
The Value in Research
Once you have wholesale sourcing in mind, research the companies you are considering thoroughly before signing on the bottom line. Agencies like the Better Business Bureau and Dunn & Bradstreet provide important information about wholesale sourcing. Wholesale forums can also give you feedback from businesses that have worked with the supplier in the past. If you see a trend on these forums, or an extensive number of negative comments, it should be a red flag warning you to look at other companies for your wholesale sourcing.
Factors to Consider
While you are researching your wholesale sourcing possibilities, consider the following factors:
- Reliability of the company
- Costs and options for shipping merchandise
- Business hours and quality of customer service
- Terms of sale and return policies
- Location and online ordering options
By weighing each of these variables, you are more likely to find the best wholesale sourcing for your specific needs.
Questions to Ask
To help you collect the best information from potential wholesale sources, we have a list of questions you should ask every company before signing on the bottom line:
- Who pays the freight on returns?
- Do you offer refunds or credits for returns?
- Do you offer discounts for volume purchases?
- What is your order processing time?
- Are there advertising restrictions?
Advertising restrictions on the merchandise can make it difficult to effectively market your business. Other questions listed here will indicate how the wholesale supplier deals with his customers and whether service is a top priority for the company.
Finding wholesale sourcing takes time and effort, but the rewards are far-reaching. Researching companies before working with them ensures you find suppliers that are consistent in terms of their pricing, service and quality. When you find reliable, quality wholesale sourcing, you can effectively build a customer base and a healthy bottom line.