5 steps to finding a great wholesale distributor
When you are looking for a wholesale distributor for your business, the first thing you need to do is decide what you want to sell. Once you have done this, you can start looking for the best wholesale distributor to meet your needs. These five steps will help you accomplish this.
1. Choose the right distribution channels
There are four main ways a product makes it way from a manufacturer to a retailer. They are:
• Manufacturer, where you buy directly from the manufacturer.
• Importer/exclusive distributor, where a distributor has exclusive rights to import/distribute a product in a particular country; they may then sell it to other wholesalers or directly to retailers.
• Wholesaler/regional distributors, who work across a particular geographic region selling to local retailers.
• Jobbers, or individuals who make local deliveries to retailers.
When you start your business, you need to understand these channels and which ones will work for you.
2. Buy from eBay
Smaller wholesalers might use eBay to sell their products, and this may be suitable for your business if you are starting out, dealing in small volumes and are looking for a low-risk way to start shipping products.
3. Make changes as your business grows
You may find that larger wholesalers won’t work with you initially or you cannot meet their minimum purchase requirements. This will likely change as your business grows and you work with higher product volumes. Don’t feel that you have to stay with your first wholesaler; choose those that meet your business needs best, building a supply chain that works for you. Consider using supplier management software such as that provided by https://www.contractswise.com/ to help you with this.
4. Learn the industry
Take time to read up on the market you are selling in and the industry in general. Subscribe to magazines, trade publications, online newsletters and blogs. This will this help you learn the business, build a professional network, and provide access to wholesalers who advertise through these publications/sites.
5. Attend trade shows
Trade shows are one of the best ways to build your business, allowing you to meet manufacturers and distributors and begin to develop relationships that will stand you in good stead in the future. Look for trade shows that cover your market using a trade show directory; many let you search by location, industry, and dates.