Where To Look For Wholesalers & Distributors
Ok, so you have decided you
want to sell more regularly on eBay and are looking for a wholesaler. Well, let
me clear a few things up. First, you are not going to have the good wholesalers
given to you by anyone. Giving up your sources is the first no-no to being a
business. If I gave my sources out to every person that wanted to know where I
get my dice & how much I pay for them, I would be out of business in a week.
The competition would become too fierce, the market too flooded, and no one
would be making any money. Second, you will have to do some leg work. Third, do
not get discouraged by dead ends. You are going to get these.
Now that you have your tax ID, business registration, start-up capital (no
matter how much or little), etc, you now need to find a wholesaler. There are
several places you can look for them. The most obvious would be a search engine.
However, you are going to come across a lot that claim to be wholesalers but
have retail style prices. Check their prices against what the products are going
for on eBay. Also check completed listings to see how well things have sold in
the recent past. Depending on what you are looking for, you might be able to
come up with some really good ones and be done with your search.
If the basic
search engine results do not appease you, then you might try checking through
search engine directories. Google and Yahoo both have these directories but you
really have to dig to find them. These can be a bit more resourceful depending
on what you are looking for.
There are also several websites out there that are willing to sell you
information. The ONLY website that eBay certified is Worldwide Brands, Inc. There you will
have to pay for the service but they verify the validity of a company before
including them in their listings. And a one time payment is good for life so you
will not have any of those annoying monthly fees.
Another way to find the supplier you are looking for online is to check
online phonebooks. On some online yellow pages, you can search by category. You
will have to look around their directories and might have to go one state at a
time, but this can be a wonderful list just waiting to be discovered.
foremost, I am not endorsing any dropshipper nor am I saying this is the way to
go. Dropshippers are companies that sell to you and you never have to carry the
product in your hands. Most of them give you pictures, a very basic descriptions
of the product, and a suggested retail price. These companies will ship the
items for you after you have received payment from your customer.
This might sound like the way to go and for some, they are very successful.
However, do be aware that you may come across times where orders are not
processed, a customer says they do not believe a product was as described, or
you sold an item and now it is out of stock. These are things to consider in any
business. Never sell something you are not 100% sure you have available. Use
dropshippers at your own risk and be prepared to have problems. And you should
never have to pay to be a reseller for a company unless it is an application fee
refundable upon your first purchase.
Go Direct to the Source
You can even
most manufacturers directly. Most of the time they have a website and if you
click on either Contact Us or better yet, if available, Corporate Info, you can
find their sales department phone number. If you dial the number and get the
wrong department, chances are, they can give you the correct department's phone
number or possibly transfer you. Depending on the manufacturer, they might have
some pretty stiff terms. Some I have dealt with say they do not sell to online
only stores, including eBay stores. I have been told that I have to have a brick
& mortar store. Now, this does not mean your home office. This means a real
store like you would find in any mall. You will have to prove that you have an
actual store. Some might ask for leasing information, pictures of the store,
and/or other information to prove to them you have a store. If they say you must
be a brick & mortar store, ask them how you can buy their products since you
are very interested. They might (and that is a big might) give you a list of
their distributors. So far, the best I have gotten is where to find their
distributors. But it was enough to get me headed in the right direction.
Other places to check would
be your local library. They may have books that list who manufactures what
products, etc. You can also from time to time, in the right magazine, find
information about distributors in the classified ads at the back of the
magazine. Now, you do not have to buy a bunch of magazines to find this
information. Most libraries have a good assortment of the most common magazines
and some even the more uncommon ones.
If your library is small and lacking in the magazine department, donate your
old magazines to them! Seriously, go to the local bookstore. I know that
Border's does not have a time limit on how long you sit in the cafe & drink
coffee while reading a book or magazine you pulled off the shelf. Just remember
the pencil/pen and notebook before you leave the house. Also, do not be
intimidated by those entrepreneur magazines. They can be very helpful in where
to start looking and how to set up your business.
forget, your favorite products you buy every day have printed right on the
container they come in who manufactures them and normally the city they are
manufactured in. This can be a great tool to help you locate a supplier. If you
are not sure where to go from here, you can always use one of the online phone
books like Super Pages.
If you live in or near a larger city, there might be local distributors near
by. Check your yellow pages. You may even find manufacturers that you did not
realize are local that may sell to you.
Reading the local newspaper can be a very valuable habit to have. I have
heard many say that the only worthy papers are the New York Times and the
Chicago Tribune. They can be, depending on what you are looking for. But if you
want to find local deals, read your local paper. The legal notices are going to
tell you when a business has filed to close and liquidate assets. You might be
able to go to the business before they close and set up a deal to buy some or
all of their inventory the day they clos\e the doors. Also, liquidation sales
are commonly listed in the classified ads. Some places do auctions, again,
listed in the classified ads. Maybe a local company is looking to expand its
market and have posted looking for individuals to sell their products. To get
the best results, read the paper daily. Some things are posted only on certain
days or only once and it is never seen again. If you are like me & read the
classifieds online, that is fine too, but be sure to print off any ad of
interest the minute you see it. You might not get back to the web before the
next days ads are up and then it might be gone forever.
Locally you have stores and
stores get returns. Depending on the local competition, you might be able to
strike a deal with a couple of stores on buying their customer returns and
discontinued products. But you have to be willing to go in to the manager in a
professional manner and discuss this with them. And if you do this, you will
want to have ample storage set up or at least found and priced before you go to
them. You do not know if they have 10 items a week or 10 pallets a week. The
last thing you want is to only want a few items each week when they are trying
to get rid of pallets each week. The more consistent you are, the more they are
going to be willing to make a deal with you and continue to do business with
What to Expect
Now, that you know how to get
ahold of places to start your search, here is what you can expect when
contacting businesses about buying from them. You are going to find some have
very high minimum purchases. If the minimum is too expensive, like one company
was a minimum order of $500,000 that I called, then politely ask them if they
have distributors that have lower requirements. Some companies might not even
talk to you. You may not ever find who to talk to on a particular product line.
Keep your options open and be willing to change your plan at any time in the
game. Make sure you are knowledgeable about their company and product before you
call. Giving the impression that you are knowledgeable and confident in what you
are doing can take you far.
If you would like
free, on-demand, advice from other eBay sellers, there are discussion boards
right here on eBay that can be of great help. Click on Community at the top of
most eBay pages and then on Discussion Boards. You will find a wide variety of
boards that many people regularly read that can give you some great advice and
help but you will never find the names of their suppliers. That information is
just kept confidential.
If you ever have a question about a distributor being legit, contact the
manufacturer. They should be able to tell you if they are an authorized
distributor or not. Most wholesalers and/or distributors will not require a
application fee but if you come across that, do not be surprised, but do
research them a bit more. Many will require you to show proof you are a
business. This can be as simple as a copy of your state tax ID paperwork, but
you should ask when you are setting up your new wholesale account what is
A Final Note
Good luck with your new eBay
business and remember, all the hard work can pay off if you take the time to
research what you are about to embark and are willing to put time and effort
into getting your business off the ground. There is no way to make money without
an initial investment. Be you start off with a small order of only $50 or a
large order of several thousands of dollars, you are now on your way to being an
This review is a previously published guide by myself, tigerlilly1969. Due to a corrupt intial submission, I could not format the guide. So I deleted the original and reposted it with the formatting. The original submission was deleted with 41 out of 42 people finding it helpful.
I can not recommend a distributor, wholesaler, or dropshipper. I have had a lot of requests. I do not have a massive database of companies either. Many sellers will not give you their suppliers. This is work you really need to do on your own so you can learn about the company, research products, and pick what you want to do.