When I first started my ecommerce website, I spent a lot of time researching how to find wholesalers to source my product from to list on my website.  Not only that, but once you find a wholesaler that seems to fit your needs, how do you get partnered with them to begin doing business?

As a new ecommerce website owner I lost a lot of hours of time teaching myself through trial and error, how to grow a profitable ecommerce store.  Here I'll share some of my best practices that I learned from firsthand experience on how to find wholesalers for your ecommerce website.

How To Find Wholesale Suppliers For Your Ecommerce Store

Most of you reading this are probably somewhat new to ecommerce and online business.  There are a few things that I wish I had known when I opened up my first ecommerce website.  Had I known these few things, I may not have failed at my first attempt to build an online business selling physical products, and I might have saved myself a few thousand dollars as well.

Why it's important to find a good wholesaler to work with

It's not uncommon for companies to post a website and claim they are a trusted wholesaler who can offer you products at wholesale cost, yet to find they cheated you out of your money.  How? Probably the most common way a wholesaler will scam you is they take your money and send you fraudulent product. 

Another way is by simply having you pay for the product up front, and never sending you anything at all! These types of fraudulent companies thrive off of new online entrepreneurs, who are unaware of what to look for. See the importance of making sure you have a good partner wholesale company?

On top of that, if you can find a good wholesale company with a strong reputation and years of experience, you will save a lot of time since their operation will be well laid out and a smooth process, resulting in little to know errors or miscommunications.

What to look for when researching wholesale suppliers

When researching wholesale suppliers, keep in mind the following:

  • Where are they headquartered?
  • Does their website look professional?
  • Do they have online reviews such as Google reviews?
  • Do they offer a free sample product for you to test and see?
  • How do their prices compare to competing wholesalers with the same product?
  • What fees do they charge?
  • Are they close enough to your location for you to visit the facility?
  • Do they offer drop shipping services?
  • How long have they been in business?

These are just a few to begin with.  The idea is to get a feeling for how they operate, and whether they are someone you will be able to work with and trust.

Almost all good wholesalers will offer you a free sample product for you to try and see for yourself.  If not, be cautious on doing business with them.

If you are able to, its a good practice to visit the facility and see their operation in person to check out how their business runs.  This also allows for easy communication should there be any errors of difficulties that need to be addressed.

Not all wholesale companies offer drop shipping services. This may or may not be a deciding factor for you.  If you are new and have little capital to begin, I suggest finding a wholesaler who offers drop shipping, as it will save you money and lower your risk when starting up.

When all is said and done, does the product, communication, service and overall operation seem like its professional and will be easy to work with?

What you may need before you can partner with a wholesaler

Depending on the company you partner with, some wholesale suppliers will have a few requirements to even consider doing business with you.  This is especially important in considering when you are a brand new ecommerce website.

Most of the time the requirements will be listed on the wholesalers website, if not, simply email them or call them from the contact info listed on the website.  If you can't find that, you probably shouldn't do business with them anyways.

Some of the potential requirements you may need to have in place are:

  • EIN (employer identification number)
  • Reseller permit or sales tax license
  • Proof of business existence (articles of organization for example)
  • Previous or expected amount of sales per calendar year

Most of that information you will know up front, but others such as getting an EIN or obtaining a sales tax license may be something you aren't sure how to do.  The process for obtaining either of those may vary from state to state, so its best to go to your state website and research the process, or search in Google “how to obtain…(EIN or sales tax license)…in (your state)”.

Where To Find Trusted Wholesalers For Your Website

To speed up the process in searching for trusted wholesale companies, there are a few options you have that will be very useful in your search.  You can use a wholesale directory such as Salehoo, or partner with a drop shipping data feed service like Inventory Source.

Recommended: 4 Ways To Build A Profitable Online Business

Salehoo is a wholesale directory that has done all the research for you in terms of finding a trusted wholesaler.  Their directory lists hundreds of companies that have been researched, and approved by their research team.  Salehoo allows you to filter your search to find companies that offer drop shipping services, or even to find companies in specific market industries to ensure they sell the product you want to resell.

Salehoo comes at a one time cost of $67 for a full years access, but is well worth the money because it will save you a LOT of time in the long run.

Inventory Source is a great option if you are planning on working with a company to automatically list products on your website for you.

Inventory Source works with many of the top wholesale companies, and they will take all the products you want to list from your chosen wholesale supplier and list them with photos, description, and price markups for you.

They will even update the inventory that your wholesaler has on a daily basis, and all it costs is $49/month with options to upgrade for additional services.

The benefit of Inventory Source, is that you get the benefit of great options for wholesalers to work with, and you get the service of having the products uploaded for you (a very time consuming process if done manually).

What questions do you have regarding researching and finding wholesalers for your ecommerce store?  Post your comments below and I will personally respond asap!