what this blog is all about...

Do you sell stuff on-line? Interested in it? Well, this blog might be for you. Don't expect lots of news stories or other stuff you can easily get. I want to give you the ugly side...the practical, the-stuff-they-don't-warn-you-about side of on-line retailing for the small seller.

I've been selling on-line for about 9 years. And I'm happy to share some of my experience and knowledge with anyone who has the patience to trudge their way through my random ramblings!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Wholesalers: how you can find them

Ask someone if they want to donate you a kidney, and you'd have better luck getting a "yes" out of them than you would if you asked them to tell you their wholesalers and suppliers.

Finding a reputable wholesaler can take a huge amount of time and research. And once you find one, you want to do all you can to keep it to yourself.

Now, having said that, please do not expect me to tell you mine.

But...I can tell you how I found them.

1. the web. I have heard so many sellers say that you just can't find wholesalers on the web, that legitimate wholesalers don't "do the web" and that you need to use business directories to find true ones.


It took me close to 3 weeks, but I managed to find about EIGHT wholesalers that I have or want to develop a business relationship with. What do they offer? The same (or similar) stuff I sell now...toys, home goods, garden items, etc.

You can find true, legitimate wholesalers on the web. Yes, it's true that a lot of them don't have (or want) a web presence, but there are plenty out there. Read on for hints on how to find them.

2. the products. One of the best ways I was able to find these wholesalers was by going directly to their web site. You'd be amazed at how many of them have links to let you create a wholesale log-in, which lets you see their wholesale prices. Sometimes you need approval, often an hour- or day-long process. But once you're in, the prices you can get from them is simply phenomenal. Like %50-75% off their retail price.

3. the box. I LOVE going to stores when they are unpacking stuff. Not so much that I can see the cool new stuff they have (I rarely buy anything new...auctions/used is my way of life) but rather to see where the stuff comes from. See some cool stuff? Look on the box it came out of...lo and behold...there it is in clear black print: the name of the manufacturer or distributor of the product. Now...go back to step 3 and see what else you can learn about them.

Now I need to warn you about something. There are lots of sites out there that call themselves wholesalers. There are two tests to verify that they are legitimate wholesalers and not a purely retail shop masquerading as wholesalers.

  • Real wholesalers will not automatically show your the wholesale price. If you find a site and they have a "wholesale" price displayed right off the bat, that price is either a marginally marked down amount of their retail price, or it's really just their normal retail price, often with one of those quantity matrices that say "1: $19.99 / 2-4 $17.99 / 5 or more: $16.99". That's not wholesale pricing...that's a sale.
  • Real wholesalers will ask you for your tax ID. Wholesalers sell to real resellers without charging sales tax, and they need proof that you are a legitimate reseller by asking you for your tax ID (or whatever your state calls it). If they don't ask for this before showing you their wholesale prices, they aren't a real wholesaler (or at least, not a legal one).

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