Doing business with wholesale suppliers can be intimidating for those who are more at home at a friendly flea market. The one-on-one relationship vendors establish with their customers is sincere and direct, solidified by a handshake and a smile. When sourcing new products from wholesalers, however, it can seem as though the whole dynamic of the deal has changed, so how can you best navigate this foreign territory? How can you get the best price from a wholesaler and establish a level of trust at the same time? There are a few key tactics you can employ to make supplier relationships work for you and your booth.
Do your homework on the actual costs of the product you are looking to buy before you commit to a supplier. If you can get a better idea about how much it costs to produce an item, you will be better equipped to figure out whether or not a wholesaler is a good match for your business. Get quotes from trusted sellers to get a feel for the market, and shop around. If you find a wide margin in prices, do more digging to determine the quality of product. If you’re consistently met with the same price at several different wholesale suppliers, it is also important to take note of details such as customer service, shipping costs and your gut feeling about that seller.
Think like a supplier. Wholesalers are trying to move as much product as possible, so approach them as though your goal is to help them sell product. Remember that your profit is their profit and make them understand that this is your motive. The more of an asset you can be to a wholesaler, the smoother the transaction. Treat that seller like a partner to your success.
Next, it’s a good idea to always be ready to make a deposit. This approach shows a supplier that you’re a confident professional who knows, and means, business.
Finally, speak the language. The best customers from a wholesaler’s point of view are the ones who understand how the wholesale supply process. Know what a dropshipper is, ask about MOQ and confirm your expected profit margin. If you know the lingo, you’ll save yourself time, money and peace of mind.