Tips on Choosing a Reliable Wholesale Source

Tips on Choosing a Reliable Wholesale Source

Jan 25th 2021

Are you starting on your entrepreneurial endeavor?

If you are, then you have probably considered lots of factors and invested a significant amount of time and effort doing your market research, picking out the perfect location, fixing up or building the site, and you have probably had a conversation with your banker concerning funding. So now you are ready to look for a wholesale supplier.

A solid and reliable wholesale supplier is essential for your business if you want to make the most of your investment and see solid ROI as soon as possible.

To be honest, starting your own venture is no easy task. Therefore, you deserve a hardy congratulations! You have decided to follow your dreams and this can become the most rewarding adventure of your life. However, starting a new venture also means that you need to make the right decisions, especially during the beginning when the foundation of your business is being laid. And making the right decision about your wholesale supplier will save you a lot of money, time and effort in the long run.

The big question at the moment is how to make this right decision though, How do you choose a reliable wholesale supplier? When it comes to wholesale suppliers for apparel and accessories, especially socks, there are a plethora of options. This makes it harder to make a final decision. Options can vary depending on styles, colors, materials and designs. It can get quite overwhelming. Whether you are looking for domestic or imports, you want large companies that offer the best deals, whether you are sourcing truckloads of product, or looking for small operations that provide a bit higher price but lower minimums along with a personalized service. You may also want to look for mass market and niche goods suppliers.

How to Make a Final Wholesale Supplier Decision

In this write-up, we offer a few tips on how to select a wholesale supplier that is perfect for meeting your business needs. We have been in this business for a while and this post is about sharing our expertise on the matter.

The very first thing to keep in mind is your customer base. If you know what kind of customers you are serving, then you know what type of products you will be selling.

You will also know what kind of money your target audience will be ready to pay for the products. Will you be a retailer of higher end, better quality items with more selective clientele who want a more exclusive product (and thereby willing to pay the higher amount to get it)? Or, is your customer base extremely cost conscious and the sale is dependent solely on the lowest price possible (where customers don’t expect a higher quality product)? In this case, maybe your pricing model is geared toward higher volume sales with lower margins per item. This is the basic information you need to develop your business. Both have merit (and good markets!).

Once you have a business model, you can shortlist suppliers that make the best fit into it. Consider the following when you begin your hunt for a great wholesale supplier:

1. At what volume level should you start?

In the wholesale business, it is all about the volume. You will get low prices, the bigger the bulk you buy. However, that is not possible when you are a baby business. Your customer base is still developing and there is no need to buy a bulk you can’t sell yet. On the other hand, you can choose a small wholesaler for this stage of your business. They specialize in shipping to small or startup business. Gradually, your sales will start increasing so will your need for larger volume from a supplier. This will help you meet the pricing tiers where you can save significant cost from a supplier. The increase in shipment sizes also will result in lower shipping cost per unit (sometimes as much as 50 to 70% lower). The result is lower wholesale prices and bigger profits from your business.

2. Take all the factors in to account.

It is essential to find the find the best deals that you can. But make sure you are taking into account all the factors involved. Unit price is one thing of course, but so is availability (you don’t want to offer a product to your customer that will continually be out of stock) and location of the wholesale warehouse in relation to you. Shipping is a major factor and the closer you are to the warehouse, the lower your shipping cost will most likely be. Shipping from a local source will save you big bucks as opposed to, say, importing from a foreign supplier. Not to mention, the hassle of dealing with long transit times and the mountain of red tape and cost associated with things like customs and tariffs really add up in both time and cost. 

3. Make your connections.

You need to make contacts. Some good ways to find wholesalers are tradeshows (both virtual and in person), via references, and online search.

  • Trade shows are an amazing platform to make connections that will be helpful in the long run. Here you can meet industry giants as well as other startups like your own. There are big ones held annually like the Magic Fashionevents and the OffPrice Show. Here you can find vendors from all over the world. Although not a cheap way to find a good wholesale supplier, they are a good way to meet and get a feel for how well you might like the companies face to face.

  • References and asking other businesses.

  • Asking your direct or potential competitors is certainly not the best way here. They most likely will not reveal their best source and may send you down a wrong path intentionally that could cost you a lot of time and money. However, you can extend your boundary by asking around when out of town. Business similar to yours but that work miles away from you; safely out of your competition zone, can help you get connected to trustworthy and reliable wholesalers that can meet demands of your business.

  • Major brand manufacturers are not a usually good source if you are a startup, even if they sell wholesale, due to the minimum order quantities, licensing fees, etc. However, sometimes, they are able to help refer you to wholesalers and distributors that specifically cater to small and startup businesses.

  • Online search and telephone calls. Probably the easiest way (and least expensive) way to get started is a simple web search and phone call or email to potential suppliers. There are also sites  that can put you in front of hundreds of vendors in one portal. Or you can do a simple search for “wholesalers near me” or “wholesalers of (insert whatever item you are looking for in the blank). Any good supplier will be happy to take your call and help get you set up. Most reputable suppliers will need you to create an account on their site or via a form prior to viewing any pricing, as they will want to protect their customers cost from being viewed by their clientele.

We hope this helps get you started on you new venture in the best way possible. We wish you the best of luck!

If you plan on offering socks please consider us at Alabama Wholesale Socks. we would love to work with you! If you are looking for a wholesale supplier for socks, then we are one of the best choices you can make. We have been operating this business for almost 20 years. We have consistently held up standards of quality along with low prices and fast shipping for our clients. We have a wide range of socks for men, women, and children. We offer very low minimums and fast shipping and huge variety.