Authored by Rodney Southern in Shopping
Published on 01-16-2009
If you want to start a small import, retail or any other product oriented business, one of the first questions you ask yourself might be how to find wholesalers. There are directories in bookstores that purport to make it easy for you to learn how to find wholesalers, but do you really need them? The truth is it depends on the industry you want to enter.
If you need to know how to find wholesalers for small consumer products like jewelry, electronics or accessories, the easiest answer may be just to look on eBay. Wholesalers have more or less taken over the online auction market, and where once you found primarily individual sellers, wholesalers make up the bulk of the auction listings on eBay and its competitors today. Besides eBay you can also do a simple online search for wholesalers plus the product line you’re looking for. For example, a Google search for the term stationery wholesalers came up with over 30,000 results. This is one of the simplest ways to find wholesalers.
If your intended product line is more specialized, a tradeshow may be the best way how to find wholesalers. Tradeshows occur in every industry imaginable, from the auto industry to fashion to crafts to safety equipment. At a tradeshow you will have access to many different types of wholesale suppliers, from manufacturers to importers, distributors and liquidators. Liquidators, people who buy out unsold merchandise from manufacturers or retailers, are one of the best ways how to find wholesalers at low cost. However, it’s important to remember that merchandise from liquidators may have been around the block a few times and should be inspected to determine condition, expiration date, etc. in order to insure that the products are saleable.
And what about those directories? They’re one of the best ways how to find wholesalers in certain industries. Industrial manufacturing comes to mind. For example, the Thomas Register is one of the oldest and most respected industrial directories in the world and they have dozens of volumes in libraries across the United States where you can find every type of industrial wholesaler imaginable. Fortunately, they’ve also updated for the 21st century and you can search them online too for a membership fee. Thomas also makes other specialized directories for particular industries, like the Thomas Food Industry Register, which lists wholesalers of all types related to food sales and services and restaurants. Some of their competitors have similar directories for consumer electronics, video equipment and other such specialized industries.
The question of how to find wholesalers should not be a difficult one with so many resources at your fingertips. Finding wholesalers is easy, especially with the Internet giving you access to people all over the world.