Wholesalers are an important component of a supply chain because they sell finished goods to retailers, effectively connecting manufacturers to store owners.
To find a wholesale distributor that is affordable, convenient, and reliable, businesses must conduct thorough planning and research. With the right supplier, retailers will be able to operate productively and efficiently.
The 10 best practices that businesses can utilize to find the right wholesaler are-
A distribution channel refers to the chain of intermediaries that a product or service will go through before it reaches its final buyer. Retailers should identify and understand their industry's distribution channel because it will give them insight into what type of supplier is compatible with their business.
Some of the most common wholesalers a business will partner with are-
- Manufacturer - Retailers can purchase some products directly from the manufacturer.
- Exclusive Distributor - Also known as an importer, an exclusive distributor is a company that has the right to sell a product in another country. They typically sell to smaller, local wholesalers, but sometimes retailers can purchase directly from them.
- Regional Distributor - These are wholesalers who sell boxcar-sized lots to local suppliers. The product is then supplied to small businesses.
- Jobbers - These are individuals who make daily deliveries of goods to brick-and-mortar stores.
Companies can reduce their spending by avoiding wholesalers and buying directly from the manufacturer. This is recommended for businesses that are selling branded products.
Depending on the manufacturer, they may have minimum order requirements. In the case that a company cannot satisfy the minimum order, business owners should ask the manufacturer if they could recommend a distributor. This will help owners find reputable suppliers who have the products they need.
When meeting with wholesale suppliers, managers need to gather essential information about minimum order requirements, unit prices, and the locations that they can deliver to.
Business owners need to be transparent and honest about what products and services they are looking for. It may also help to inform the supplier that the company is conducting thorough research and is speaking to competitors. Doing so could drive the supplier to offer better or discounted prices.
When researching for wholesalers online, business teams need to be specific with their search terms. For example, they should use keywords about the product or product type. It is also helpful to include product or brand names, as well as model numbers. These details will help search engines narrow down distributors who are the best match to the keywords.
Companies should compile a list with all potential wholesalers that have the products and services they need and contact them for quotes. This will provide insight into what the average price is for certain products and which supplier is most affordable.
The online commerce company, eBay, has wholesale options that are suitable for smaller businesses looking for low-volume products. Companies can contact sellers on eBay to see if they can facilitate business-to-business sales and supply products in bulk.
The largest business-to-business marketplaces typically have a wide range of products for low prices. Alibaba, Buyer Zone, and Busy Trade are some of the most popular places to find manufacturers, importers, and distributors.
There are also industry-specific marketplaces that businesses can partner with to stock their inventory.
Business owners can gain a lot of information about the best suppliers and wholesalers in industry groups and professional networks. Connecting and building a relationship with other experienced executives will help business owners learn more about their industry.
Online forums and websites, such as LinkedIn, are also helpful for building professional connections and can serve as a source of free information that business owners can refer to when making critical decisions.
Industry-specific trade publications provide a great amount of information and tips that businesses can learn from. These publications will also have advertisements from wholesalers and distributors, which business owners can use to build their network.
Additionally, there are many online resources, such as online newsletters and blogs. By subscribing to these websites, management teams will be updated daily about industry news.
Trade shows are events where distributors and manufacturers from throughout the region or country come to showcase their work and products.
These shows enable retailers to meet and connect with many suppliers in one day. It also reduces instances of miscommunication since both parties can have conversations and see certain products in person.
Discovering the right wholesaler is a trial and error process. The main initial goal a business needs to accomplish is delivering a product to consumers. As the business continues to grow, owners can take the necessary steps to find the best supplier that can enhance their bottom line.
By following these practices, businesses will be able to find a wholesale distributor that best matches their needs.
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