Whether you are a new business or an established business, wholesale vendors/suppliers will be willing to work with you either way. To work with a US wholesaler, all most vendors really care about is that you have your seller's permit and/or business license. Find out where to get both here.
In the US or Alibaba, you can simply call or email the wholesaler, tell them that you’d like to carry their goods, and ask them how to make a purchase. In return, they’ll probably ask you for your sellers permit for tax purposes and tell you their minimum order requirements.
Before you spend any time communicating with wholesalers, evaluate whether they fit your requirements and standards:
- Check whether they carry the exact products you want.
- Check if they have stated their minimum order quantities (MOQ) and prices. This is usually negotiable, however.
- Check their reviews on Better Business Bureau by searching for the company name (for US, Canada or Mexico based businesses).
- Google their company name to check for fraud reports, reviews and comments from existing customers.
Compared to sites overseas like Alibaba, the US normally has low quantity minimums and/or price minimums (i.e min qty - 6, $100 min). For new businesses, getting suppliers on board is simply a matter of reducing their exposure to risk. The easiest way to do this is by offering to pay upfront. Suppliers won’t care about the size or age of your business as long as they’re getting paid. In addition, some vendors allow you to order and pay off your purchase within 30 days, also known as "Net 30". If not offered upon first order, a few consistent orders can usually grant you these terms. To get these terms, you will need to prove a bit more legitimacy by:
- Using a company email address (“email@example.com” instead of “firstname.lastname@example.org”)
- Having a website. Even a simple free Starter Site will help.
- Using a professional, serious tone in your emails
- Knowing what you want. Being clueless is a clear sign of an amateur business owner.
In the Wholesale Buyer Guide Bundle, we go over everything you need to know about purchasing wholesale. In the bundle you will learn how-to:
- Avoid scams with our list of red flags to look out for
- Get a wholesale vendor inquiry email templates
- List of Best Practices for Wholesale Buying
- List of fashion and apparel tradeshows through 2020
- List of forums and sites dedicated to exposing fraudelent wholesale companies
Also, learn how to negotiate and get more favorable terms when purchasing.