How to Find Wholesalers for Your Retail Business in 2022?

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how to find wholesalers

When you start a retail business, you need to have something to sell. But that doesn’t mean you must manufacture and produce your own products, and you can source from wholesalers.

However, finding the right wholesaler for your business can be challenging.

In this article, we’ll explain what wholesalers do and how to find them. We compiled a “DIRECTORY” of the top 7 best online platforms you may inquire from.

What Is a Wholesaler?

A wholesaler is a company that buys goods directly from manufacturers and sells them to retailers for a profit; they play a key role between manufacturers and retailers.

Instead of running a store, a wholesaler focuses on providing goods to retailers so they can sell to the end customer.

Without wholesalers, manufacturers will have to market and advertise their goods to retailers by themselves. Wholesalers are essentially the middlemen in the supply chain.

Wholesalers buy large quantities of products from manufacturers and then receive huge discounts. While the retailers repackage the wholesale products and sell them individually at a profit.

Why Should You Work with Wholesalers?

If you want the flexibility to curate products for your business rather than working directly with a manufacturer, consider working with a wholesaler.

Wholesalers already have manufactured products to choose from, so you don’t have to deal with product development or sourcing raw materials.

There are many benefits to working with a wholesaler:

  • You can buy as much inventory as you need without worrying about expensive storage rentals.
  • If something suddenly sells out, you have a ready relationship with the supplier and can re-stock quickly.
  • You can get discounted products to sell at a steady profit margin.
  • You essentially bypass the entire product development process, saving money and time.

7 Tips for Finding Wholesalers

The right wholesaler will meet your minimum volume, cost, and shipping requirements, but it takes research to find the best option.

Here are seven tips on how to find a wholesaler for your retail business:

1. Check online directories to find a wholesaler

There are many online directories where you can find the best list of wholesalers to source all types of products. You can easily find suppliers and related information through online directories.

2. Attend trade shows

Attending the trade shows is another way to discover potential wholesalers. Trade shows are exhibitions organized by different industries where wholesalers and manufacturers showcase their latest products.

3. Subscribe to your industry’s trade publications

Get every magazine that is targeted to retailers in your industry. Remember that every advertiser in these publications is most likely a product manufacturer or wholesaler.

4. Google Search

Most wholesalers’ websites are rarely updated. Because they ignore Google’s algorithms, these sites do not search engine optimized. This means you need to dig deeper.

5. Use customs database

Any company that imports or exports will leave a paper record at customs, including the containers carrying goods. These containers usually come from wholesalers who trade in and out of the country.

6. Research business directories at your local library

Most libraries pay a monthly subscription fee for online business and manufacturer directories. These directories contain information on many manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors and are updated regularly.

7. Seek referrals from local business networks

Seek referrals from your local connections and business networks. For example, the Chamber of Commerce has the benefit of having direct access to other business owners with a variety of expertise, and you can ask if they have recommended suppliers.

You may learn more on our blog for China Wholesale Markets for details below:
China Wholesale Markets | The Best Guide for Beginners

How to Find The Best Wholesalers?

best wholesalers

Finding the best wholesaler is not an easy process. In addition to having a viable business of your own, you need to have a firm understanding of what constitutes a reliable wholesaler.

Here are some principles you can use:

1. Check how long they have been in business, their reviews, and their reputation. Wholesalers with high monthly orders, high reviews, and a good market reputation are the ones you want to work with.

2. Attend trade shows. Wholesalers with strong trade shows, product samples, and enthusiastic representatives are the ones you want to work with.

3. Double check their minimum order quantity (MOQ). If too big, it means they expect you to sell much. If too small, it means their network is not yet strong, or the quality of their product is not high enough.

You may learn more on our blog for MOQ for details below:
MOQ Meaning: What is MOQ? The Only Guide You Need

What Differences Between Wholesalers and Manufacturers?

If you are a start-up, you may wonder what the difference is between a wholesaler and a manufacturer. The truth is that both can provide your business with all the necessary items to make available for sale on your website.

wholesalers' services to manufacturers

The main difference between a wholesaler and a manufacturer is that a manufacturer makes their own products.

In contrast, a wholesaler provides you with products to sell, but they don’t make them themselves. Therefore, for an online business, a retailer primarily buys products from wholesalers.

The wholesaler’s role is important because it provides a middleman service between the manufacturer and the retailer.

An online business owner can buy goods from a wholesale company at a lower amount than buying directly from the manufacturer. This is because they can buy a smaller number of products at once.

Top 7 Best Online Platforms for Finding Wholesalers

Now, let’s talk about some of the best platforms for finding an online business wholesaler. This will make your work of finding wholesalers much easier.

1. Alibaba


Founded in 1999, Alibaba is by far the world’s largest online wholesale marketplace, offering you a variety of reliable suppliers from A to Z, including wholesale items and bulk products, trade leads, manufacturers, factory direct sales, and business models for e-commerce and dropshipping, and more.

You can buy anything you want from Alibaba. Such as buying clothes, handbags, shoes, and jewelry at wholesale prices. On this site, you can also find wholesale prices for electronics and technology products such as iPods, digital cameras, and cell phones.

You may learn more on our blog for Alibaba for details below:
Is Legit? How to Buy from Alibaba?

2. Global Sources


Similar to Alibaba, Global Sources is also an online wholesale marketplace. However, Global Sources is significantly smaller than Alibaba and has different advantages.

If you are sourcing electronics, then Global Sources is by far the better service. In fact, the suppliers you find at Global Sources tend to be of higher quality because they vet the companies more closely.

3. DHgate


DHgate offers a wide range of products and is known as one of the best wholesale websites in China. It offers a large selection of products in almost every category and has many product categories.

At DHgate, you can find various products such as cell phones, cameras, e-cigarettes, clothing, bags, shoes, and home appliances. The wholesalers here offer some of the most competitive prices you can find.

You may learn more on our blog for DHGate for details below:
What is Is DHgate Legit?

4. Tundra


Tundra is a wholesaler platform that helps retailers and online businesses connect with wholesalers. It’s a great platform for retailers or online store owners based in North America.

Tundra has a marketplace of over 2 million products and is connected to all major e-commerce platforms. Whether you run an online store, a retail store, or are just starting, their inventory and logistics solutions can help you sell more products.

5. Wholesale Central


Wholesale Central is a solution designed to support wholesalers and retailers. You can search endless suppliers by category and choose from market-leading products to stock your store as a retailer.

Wholesale Central even gives you a better way to find some best-selling products by showing you which items are popular in specific categories.

6. EK Wholesale

ek wholesale

EK Wholesale is a wholesale platform that offers international buyers a wide range of products. The company was founded in 1990. It has grown rapidly and become one of the best choices for thousands of customers worldwide.

EK Wholesale has a huge warehouse in Glasgow that has helped it become one of the most popular wholesale platforms for European retailers and online store owners. Their products are usually of high quality, and they also offer free delivery to the UK mainland on orders over £250.

7. Salehoo


Salehoo is a wholesaler platform that allows you to find and source quality products at wholesale prices. With Salehoo, you can find products from the biggest international brands and thousands of local wholesalers worldwide.

If you are looking for something specific, we recommend using their advanced search, which will allow you to filter products based on any criteria. Their platform allows you to access millions of products from thousands of trusted suppliers easily.

You may learn more on our blog for China Wholesale Websites for details below:
Complete List 2022: Top 30 Best China Wholesale Websites

How to Find Wholesalers FAQ

1. What is a wholesaler?

A wholesaler acts as a middleman between manufacturers and retailers; they buy products in bulk from manufacturers at discounted prices and then sell to retailers at a small markup. Wholesalers do not sell products directly to the end consumer.

2. Is wholesale allowed in Amazon’s store?

Sellers who list their products in the Amazon store can purchase products through a wholesaler. However, selling bulk items at a wholesale discount is not allowed in the Amazon store.

3. What are the best wholesale websites?

If you want to source from China, then use Alibaba or Global Sources. If you are in the US, then use Tundra or Wholesale Central. However, wholesale websites are not as attractive as doing your own legwork and finding wholesalers directly.

4. What happens after you choose a wholesaler?

As time goes on and your business grows and changes, you are likely to change or add new wholesalers to your supply chain. In most cases, it is not wise to rely entirely on one thing, including wholesalers.

How to Find Wholesalers Conclusion

At last, your business should be focused on getting your products into the hands of your customers. While finding the perfect wholesaler is important, don’t spend too much time. Let it go when you feel almost sure you’ve got the right one!

If you are still in the process of starting an online business and are looking for a reliable solution, Yansourcing can be your one-stop solution.

We are a leading sourcing agent in China. If you are looking for international trade but do not have any experience importing or customizing products from China, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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Hi, I'm the author of this post, and I have been in the sourcing field for more than 10 years. If you are interested in importing from China, feel free to ask me any questions.

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