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ecommerce - What a Wholesale Supplier Expects from You - How to Ask for Distributor Accounts

by Chris Malta

You wouldn't think of going to a job interview unprepared - you'd never get called back. Yet many eBiz owners approach wholesalers and manufacturers without any preparation at all. You need to realize it costs a manufacturer time and money to set up an account. If you seem like you won't be a profitable distributor, they'll probably turn you down. Says manufacturer Charlie Hall, owner of Charlie's Woodshop, "I spend a lot of time helping online retailers get going with my product, but they may not go anywhere if they're not doing the follow-up work."

Giving the right impression can be the difference between getting a flat out "No" and beginning a healthy business relationship. What's the right way to ask a wholesaler for an account?

Be Professional
They want to see how you're going to represent their products.

1. Check your presentation - your grammar, your punctuation, your capitalization. Almost any writing program comes with a spellchecker - use it. If your email looks like it was written by a first-grader, a wholesaler will think you're either lazy or incompetent. Says Hall, "These are little areas that tell me whether or not I want to do business with a retailer. If they're not doing all the work, they're last on the list."

2.

Give them all relevant information:
• Include your full name, business name, business street and mailing address, and contact information.

• Include your state tax ID: without these numbers, no legitimate wholesaler will give you any kind of pricing information. They need these numbers to verify you're a legal business and they can legally sell to you without charging you taxes.

Be Prepared
1. Do your research first.
Only approach companies you have studied and feel you'd like to work with. Don't send out mass emails looking for information and accounts. Even if you use an email template, send each one individually. If a wholesaler sees multiple addresses in your email, they'll assume you're fishing and may not even bother responding.

Read up on a company before you request any info from them. Look at their website and policies. Asking questions in your emails that could be answered by reading their FAQs page sends a message that you aren't a serious professional.

2. Understand what to expect out of your relationship.
A wholesaler is your supplier, not your business coach.

They have limited time and manpower, so don't expect them to hold your hand and advise you on how best to run your eBiz, optimize your site, or improve your traffic. They aren't there to answer questions you ought to be researching on your own time.

Not every wholesaler will be taking new accounts, and not every supplier will be willing to work with home-based businesses. But many are, and by being professional and prepared, you can greatly increase your success with them.

 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...