Amazon business provides purchasing solutions so that registered businesses and the people they have chosen as users, or designated associates, can shop for business supplies on Amazon. Anyone with a business-user account can purchase via Amazon.com on behalf of his or her company or employer. The administrator of the main account can add and manage business-account users and features, such as payment methods and shipping addresses, approval workflows, and reporting options, depending on the needs of the business.
With finding wholesale suppliers, your possibilities are really only limited by your creativity. Ultimately, you want to find unique wholesale accounts where you can develop a great business relationship with your supplier and provide an awesome product to Amazon customers. It’s easier to find a wholesale supplier if you know exactly which products you need.
You can search to see what types of products are popular before making a decision on what to sell. In addition, it allows you to filter products, see what they look like, find pictures, and look for detailed supplier information. Once you decide on a niche, it’s time to see exactly what types of suppliers are available. Experienced e-commerce professionals will tell you the horror stories they’ve encountered with wholesale suppliers, so this is an extremely important topic to touch on.
Overall, you’re trying to partner with reputable suppliers that deliver on time, provide a reliable contact, and give you some perks for working with them.
Some e-commerce stores can opt for the big suppliers in places, but sometimes a unique brand (like one that sells vintage clothing or furniture) would have to opt for a niche local supplier. Regardless, your goal is to find the best of the best.
And now, I’ll outline a step by step process that you can use to find and choose suppliers for your Amazon business:
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Understand Your Industry’s Distribution Channels:
There are many ways a product can go from manufacturer to retailer. Not all wholesalers serve the same market. Understanding your industry’s distribution channels, and knowing where you fit in the supply chain can help you find the right wholesale supplier for your retail or online business.
Here’s a quick primer on some different types of wholesalers:
- Manufacturer: For some products, you can buy directly from the manufacturer. This is basically what a “boutique” store does.
- Importer/Exclusive Distributor: In some industries, a company might have the sole rights to import and distribute a product in a certain country. Some may sell directly to retailers, but more often, they set up or sell to smaller local wholesalers.
- Wholesaler/Regional Distributor: There are usually regional wholesalers who take delivery of boxcar-sized lots, break them down and sell truckload boxes of products to local wholesalers.
Each product industry has its own unique distribution channels. Some retailers will move enough volume to bypass jobbers, or maybe in a smaller industry, importers sell directly to retailers.
When you first start, you’ll be buying from the smaller wholesalers at higher prices. As your volume increases, you’ll be able to get better pricing and/or move up the supply ladder to a bigger wholesaler.
Try the Manufacturer First
You might as well start at the source. If you’re selling branded items, go directly to the manufacturer of the product. They might sell to you depending on their minimum order requirements. If you’re too small for them or they only sell through established distribution channels, ask them for a list of distributors you can contact. By starting at the source (the manufacturer), you can either get the lowest prices or at least get a list of the most reputable distributors to kick off your search.
The fewer people you have to go through, the lower your cost will be, allowing you to be more competitive in the marketplace.
Whether or not you are ready to make a purchase or do business with them, you can usually get them to send you a sample of the products in question.
Have a Productive First Contact with a Wholesale Supplier
Take the list of wholesale distributors you got from the manufacturer, and start contacting each one. What you’re looking for are minimum order requirements and their wholesale unit prices. To get the best responses, be honest about what you’re looking for (don’t try to sound “bigger” than you are), keep your emails short and to the point, and be friendly.
You may also consider picking up the phone to make initial outreach calls or to follow up with the people you’ve sent your introductory emails to as well.
Try Searching for Wholesalers on Google
You can start your preliminary research with some basic Google search terms. As you get deeper into your research, you’ll probably get more specific about the products you’re seeking.
Conduct Google searches for the words “wholesale” or “distributor,” plus some keywords from your products or niche. Try product names, model numbers and brand names. Go through each result and look for the “wholesale account” link or an email address or phone number where you can get more information.
Subscribe to All of Your Industry’s Trade Publications
Get every magazine or newsletter that targets retailers in your industry. Every advertiser in the magazine will be a product manufacturer or distributor looking to reach you. You should have a few dozen options from the ads in the back of the magazine. These publications will usually have a website too. Also, subscribe to all of the online newsletters, blogs, and other sources of information available to you.
Attend a Trade Show
Attending trade shows, meeting people and making connections is one of the most powerful ways to build and grow your business. These events are for retailers just like you. When you can talk face-to-face with manufacturers and wholesale distributors, it avoids all of the noise of inaccurate information that can plague the web.
Finding the right wholesale solution for your business does take some time, but when you find the right option, it’s more than worth the investment. As you are able to fill more orders and constantly keep fresh, new items in stock, you’ll begin to notice the benefits of those bulk purchases at a wholesale rate.