Three Killer Strategies For Finding Wholesale Products
by: Jeff Yancey
Finding good wholesale products and sources for your business can be one of the most difficult tasks that you face when starting a new enterprise.
It can cost you a ton of time and money. But there are some things you can do in your search for wholesalers, liquidators, drop-shippers and other wholesale companies to make sure that your searching doesn't leave you empty-handed.
There are lots of ways to locate wholesalers, but here are three great strategies to get you started:
STRATEGY #1: Start At The Top and Work Your Way Down.
If you already know the manufacturer of the product that you are searching for at wholesale, then the manufacturer is the first company you need to contact.
Now, maybe you are just starting out and your company is too small to deal directly with the manufacturer or maybe you don't have the money to buy wholesale in large quantity. That's OK, you still need to contact the manufacturer first. Even if you want to buy directly from them, they may not sell to you, they may send you to their authorized wholesale distributors.
They may also be able to send you to a dropshipper who could dropship the products directly to your customers so you don't have to stock any inventory. It will depend on the company. Either way, your goal is to find out where you can purchase their products at wholesale prices.
When you call them, be sure to tell them the name of your business. They don't sell to individuals just looking for "good deals." That's why they have retailers.
For example, your conversation might go something like this: They Say: "Good Morning, ABC Manufacturing how may I direct your call?" You say: "Good Morning, This is YOUR NAME with YOUR COMPANY NAME. I'm in charge of wholesale purchasing and we are looking to add some of your products to our store. Who would I need to speak with?" From there, you should be well on your way to finding out where to get those products at wholesale.
STRATEGY #2: Contact Deptartment Stores and Retail Outlets About Their Overstocks.
Depending on what type of merchandise you are looking for, strategy #2 may be very beneficial for you. The first thing to do is to contact the home office of the stores that are retailing the product lines you are interested in. This may take you several phone calls to get somebody who knows (or who cares) but it will pay off for you.
Persistence is the key here. At first you will be talking with the receiptionist (who may be more interested in doing their nails or getting back to that trashy novel they are trying to read on company time.) But keep after it until you get the department that you need. What you are wanting to find out is who purchases their overstocks, liquidation, returns and closeout merchandise.
Many department stores sell to wholesalers and "jobbers" who in turn will sell to you on a wholesale level. The wholesaler / jobber will likely buy in bulk for way below wholesale and that's why they are able to still sell to you at wholesale prices. In some cases you may be able to buy the overstocks directly from the store if that is what you want.
STRATEGY #3: Attend A Wholesale Trade Show.
Yes, this one will cost you some time and money. Believe me, I know. I've attended more than one and I have the receipts to prove it. But if you go to a good show, the contacts that you come away with could be priceless to your business.
You will also return with many new product ideas that you never even thought of. And best of all, if you go to an industry-respected show, you know you will be getting real wholesale contacts. There are several wholesale tradeshows throughout the United States during the year.
If you don't have the time or money to visit a wholesale trade show or do all the research and phone calls, then I have some good news for you.