Top 8 ways to find wholesale distributors for your business

Sana Editorial Team
July 2, 2022
How to Find Wholesale Distributors for Your Business

Wholesale distributors are responsible for purchasing items, typically in bulk, and reselling those items to retailers and online companies. If your company regularly sells large quantities of goods, you know how important it can be to find distributors for your business.

Sometimes, it can seem more difficult to find wholesale distributors than it is to create a product or service worth selling. When that’s the case, it’s important to remember that defined steps to selling wholesale can make the entire process more manageable, and more lucrative.

Steps like market research and correct pricing do more than just create a favorable product offering: they can make your entire product portfolio more appealing to potential wholesale distributors looking to take your products to market.

Consult the below recommendations for specific ways that you can find wholesale distributors for your business.

8 vital steps on how to find wholesale distributors for your online store - Sana Commerce

1. Consider your industry

Whenever you are seeking wholesale vendors for your business, it’s important to consider your industry. The specifics of your market are important, because they may impact which wholesale distributors may be right for your company. Understanding your industry is often the first step toward identifying ideal wholesale partners for your business.

Understanding your industry means developing a full knowledge of the distribution channels available to you. Depending on your respective industry, you might be looking for a manufacturer, an exclusive distributor, a regional distributor, or another wholesale partner that delivers products to retailers in another format.

If your business has more of a global reach, you might be looking for a manufacturer. By contrast, smaller organizations often require the services of a regional or an exclusive distributor, to deliver products to individual retailers or particular areas. Take note of your product’s supply chain, and pair it with wholesale distributors familiar with your industry and with the retailers that can help your business expand its reach.

2. Consider the size of your business

Business owners also need to consider the size of their business when searching for wholesale vendors. This is because the size of your business may ultimately impact which wholesale distributors are right for you.

Increasing online business revenue often comes down to how effective wholesale distributors are in getting your products into the best stores — especially if you run an e-commerce business. The right wholesale partner can allow for enhanced brand awareness and increase sales, but only if they are the right fit for your product portfolio as well as the size of your operation.

A company’s size can also determine the speed at which it can afford to operate. However, companies that shift to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) model can achieve smooth business operations regardless of size, especially if the platform integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

SAP ERP-integrated e-commerce can help companies control aspects of their business operations. From reaching wholesale distributors to launching a responsive online store, it’s an approach that helps businesses of all sizes move at speeds comfortable for you.

3. Consider the manufacturer first

Sometimes, it can be easier for business owners to source products directly from manufacturers, rather than involve wholesale distributors to bridge the gap. When this happens, establishing a direct relationship between brand and manufacturer can save you resources, and ultimately deliver products into customers’ hands at an enhanced pace.

Sourcing products directly from manufacturers will often save companies time and money. Your company will not need to pay a wholesale distributor for any of their work; rather, they can divert a fuller portion of their funds to product creation, research, optimization, and all other aspects of a business that makes it successful in the long term.

4. Reach out to many distributors

Rather than reaching out to only one or two wholesale distributors, companies should contact many distributors whenever they’re looking to bring products to market. This diversity of wholesale distributors will allow you to make an informed decision about which partner will help you best scale your business.

Reaching out to many distributors does more than lead to an informed decision. The process will also teach you more about the wholesale distributors available to you, along with any of their qualifications for partnership. In addition, businesses can learn more about what makes for a successful brand-distributor partnership, before deciding on a wholesale distributor that reflects their best interests.

Early contact with a wholesale distributor doesn’t need to be complicated. After researching basic information about the wholesale vendor you’re contacting, reach out and set clear expectations about the relationship. Feel free to ask any questions you might have for them, and give them time to respond to your email.

5. Look on eBay

Believe it or not, companies can look to eBay as an example when it comes to seeking wholesale distributors. On eBay, you can regularly find larger groups of items — commonly known as “wholesale lots” — for sale from vendors often looking to liquidate inventory. These lots can be a useful resource in your search for your own wholesale distributors.

Companies can learn a lot from eBay wholesale lots. Among other useful items, wholesale lots on eBay can familiarize you with price points in your industry. You can also reference communications between buyers and sellers to develop a better understanding of commonly-asked questions surrounding related wholesale lots.

6. Seek out advice

Regardless of your industry, businesses can save so much time by simply asking questions when seeking the right wholesale distributor. Industry networking is incredibly valuable in the world of wholesale distributors, especially when it comes time to narrow down potential distributors and make your final decision on a partner.

Industry networking can take place both online and in-person. Online, common platforms for professional networking include LinkedIn, where you can communicate with industry contacts that will further your understanding of the distribution landscape. Elsewhere, many online wholesale distributors online are dedicated to answering common questions about the industry itself, as well as connecting companies with wholesale distributors looking for partnerships.

If you’re looking for in-person networking opportunities, consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce. You can also seek out professional wholesale networking groups in your area, and join any upcoming meetups you find.

7. Follow pertinent publications

Many industry publications can take the effort out of locating a wholesale distributor. Trade publications provide incredible value, both to new and experienced vendors worldwide. They shed light on the newest trends in the wholesale world and familiarize businesses with any changes in the industry that can affect company operations.

If you’re in the market for an experienced wholesale distributor, consider checking out any of the advertisements in a pertinent publication. Many of the advertisements are placed by wholesale distributors looking for business partners. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a variety of online newsletters, blogs, or journals, to keep up with wholesaler updates as they unfold.

8. Look into B2B marketplaces

B2B marketplaces are also a great place to seek out wholesale distributors. Competition among B2B marketplaces, especially online, keeps overall costs low and presents an accurate picture of your market’s selling points.

It’s going to be important that you seek out a B2B marketplace that services your specific location. Because price points, vendor laws, and individual wholesale distributors can vary according to location, you’ll want to find a B2B marketplace that presents an accurate picture of market activity near you.

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