How to Find a Wholesale Distributor in USA: Ten Essential Tips

Find a Wholesale Distributor
22nd Jun, 2017

In the global markets, it often becomes difficult for an e-commerce startup to take an informed decision when it comes to choose a wholesale distributor. This is mainly because of the fact that most of such companies are not sure about what they intend to sell. To help these businesses in particular and all businesses in general on this front, ECpages discusses ten essential tips on how to find a wholesale distributor in USA.


Tip #1: Understand the Distribution Channels of Your Industry

After a product leaves the manufacturing facility, it may reach the retailer in many ways. Different wholesalers serve different markets, and hence a clear understanding of industry-specific distribution channels and knowledge of the exact position of a business in its supply chain help in finding the appropriate wholesale distributor for online or retail businesses.

To find a wholesale distributor in USA - one of the largest global markets - it is necessary to know the different wholesaler types. They can be broadly categorized into four groups, namely, Manufacturers, Importers (or Exclusive Distributors), Wholesalers (or Regional Distributors), and Jobbers (also known as Wagon Peddlers). Every product-industry have distribution channels that are unique to it.

It can be observed that, along its growth curve, a small business starts by purchasing from smaller wholesalers by paying a premium, and gradually pays lesser prices while purchasing from bigger wholesalers as it ascends the supply chain by virtue of growth.


Tip #2: First Try the Manufacturer

In case a business sells branded items, it is always a better idea to directly approach its manufacturer in order to tap the source itself. However, manufacturers generally choose to sell only if their Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) specifications are complied with. If the buyer is much smaller in comparison to the manufacturer, the latter might sell only through distribution channels that are already established in the market. In that case, asking them for a distributors list would be helpful.

At any point of time, while trying to search for a wholesale distributor in USA, it is important to keep the number of middlemen at a minimum. This would in turn lower costs, increase profitability, and enhance competitiveness.


Tip #3: Productively Contact a Wholesale Supplier

In your attempt to select a wholesale distributor in USA, if you have obtained a list of wholesalers from the manufacturer, you might contact each of them with a focus on MOQs and the wholesale prices. In order to get relevant responses, you would need to maintain honesty about your requirements and also your communications have to be precise, specific and friendly.


Tip #4: Search on Google for Wholesalers

Searching on Google in order to find a wholesale distributor in USA is a great idea. You can start by researching with certain basic search terms and then, going deeper, you would probably refine your product search. You could conduct searches for world like wholesale and distributor and use additional keywords relevant to your products. Names of products and brands can also be used as search terms.

Next, each result has to be probed for the link called wholesale account. Alternatively, you need to look for email addresses and phone numbers. If these information are unavailable or cannot be found easily, it is advisable to conduct a WHOIS search which could provide the contact information of the website.


Tip #5: Search on eBay for Wholesale Lots

Another popular distribution channel through which certain retailers as well as small wholesalers would sell your products is eBay. Its target audience mainly being retail consumers, eBay offers wholesale options that are highly suitable for retailers having low volumes. However, for startups, eBay serves as a launchpad for venturing into ecommerce and starting product shipments. Apart from letting you find a wholesale distributor in USA, it also allows you to contact it in order to clinch better deals along with cheaper rates.


Tip #6: Check Leading B2B Marketplaces

While searching for a wholesale distributor in USA, you can check leading B2B marketplaces where you can find huge databases that contain categorical lists of wholesalers from different sectors and geographies. ECpages, being a leading USA based online B2B directory, can help you significantly in narrowing down your searches and finding specific wholesalers that would meet your requirements. Other notable marketplaces that serve as effective B2B platforms are (China), BuyerZone (USA), GlobalSources (USA), EC21 (Korea), and BusyTrade (Hong Kong), to name a few.

A Google Alert can also be set up for required search items in order to receive notifications for both existing and new companies that might not have been found through preliminary research.


Tip #7: Join Different Industry Groups and Professional Networks

Networking plays a very important role in determining your success in finding a wholesale distributor in USA. The need for networking is so acute because retailers, in general, try to avoid sharing information about their supply chain with competitors. Under such circumstances, networking helps in finding the wholesalers that fit your requirements optimally. It can be done effectively by participating in different online forums, subscribing to various industry newsletters, building LinkedIn profile and enhancing professional network in general. Networking would also allow you easier access to new resources, channels and opportunities.


Tip #8: Subscribe to Trade Publications of Your Industry

As discussed above, a smart way to find a wholesale distributor in USA and stay updated on the developments within your industry would be to subscribe to as many magazines and newsletters from your industry as possible. This is because of the simple fact that all advertisers in those publications would either be product manufacturers or distributors trying to gain access to you. As a matter of fact, these magazines and newsletters, by virtue of containing huge volumes of relevant industry information along with addresses, contact numbers and websites, would act as invaluable resources.


Tip #9: Attend Trade Shows

By now, we have already pointed out that despite being a complex job, finding a wholesale distributor in USA is not too difficult if smart measures are adopted. Along with the above initiatives, it is necessary for owners and representatives of a business to attend trade shows to meet people, make connections, and gain valuable industry information, and in turn pave ways to grow their business. These events generally target retailers who can have face-to-face discussions with manufacturers as well as wholesalers and gather relevant and accurate information.


Tip #10: Always Remember, To Err is Human

Finally, it must be noted that the first wholesaler that you associate with, might not remain your vendor permanently. Perfect supply chains can created only through continuous evolution that involves trials and errors. It would be wise to persevere even in the face of unfavorable conditions. Even if certain wholesalers don’t allow you much profit margin, you would always be able to find another wholesale distributor in USA who would provide your a better room for profits so that you could strengthen the bottom line of your business.

These ten tips have precisely covered all aspects that need to be focused on while finding a wholesale distributor in USA. The same strategies can be adopted to search for wholesalers in other geographies as well. However, it would be necessary to factor in intrinsic properties of any market while initiating the search activities, because certain products are specific to niche markets.

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