Contacting a wholesale supplier is an important part of doing business, if you are selling products. If you aren’t making the products yourself, then you have to work with wholesale suppliers to buy inventory to sell.

💡TIP: The more professional the supplier thinks you are, the more anxious they will be to work with you.

Contacting a Wholesale Supplier: How NOT To Do It

We were accidentally sent an email by one of our members of the WBI Directory of Certified Wholesalers & Dropshippers. The sender thought they were emailing a follow up to one of the suppliers we list, but managed to email us instead.

The point of the email, looks to be asking the wholesale supplier for a dealer account so they can work with them on their own online store.

contacting a wholesale supplier the wrong way will not ever benefit your business

When I saw this email, I cringed! I knew immediately that this person was going to have a rough time being taken seriously and getting replies.

But you can be the judge of that.

📧This is how the email went: 📧
i want to sel the porduct’s you have. send me catalogs i need tohave all your pricestoo. i am making a ebay store to sell lots of product’s i am not working because of downsizing i have to make money right now. -TR

Now, if you received this what would your first instinct be? Yep! DELETE! This customer is actually quite lucky that they emailed us instead of the supplier. That allowed us to step in and give some advice on how to email suppliers. We don’t know if they took our advice our not. We never did get a reply from the member. But we also never saw another mistaken email to us again.

Most people do not send emails like that. (Thank goodness) But you should definitely keep in mind that your email is your FIRST IMPRESSION. You need to make that a good one, or you might not get a second chance!

Breaking Down That Horrible Email

So let’s take that email apart and look at what is wrong with it and talk about how to construct an effective Wholesale Account Request or Dealer Request Email.

  1. You can’t tell by looking because I didn’t include the senders email address, but they are sending their email from a FREE email service. That right there is strike number 1. These services are great for personal use, but you are a business. PLEASE GO AND GET A DOMAIN that reflects your business name and gives you the ability to have email with it. Free email services make you look like a small time operator.
  2. There was no subject line! Subject lines exist for a reason and you must use them, especially in a business environment. The member should have written something like “New Account Request” or “Wholesale Dealer Inquiry”. Wholesale account reps LOVE to receive emails with proper subject lines. It allows them to organize their emails and immediately know what the email is about.
  3. There are obvious spelling errors. Every email program has spell check. That just shows plain laziness on their part. Remember, this is a business email, not an online chat session. Use full sentences and proper punctuation and grammar.. meaning use a capital letter to start a sentence and end that sentence with a period.
  4. This email reads like a poorly written ransom note with DEMANDS instead of REQUESTS. “Send me catalogs” instead of saying “Please send me catalogs.” “I need to have prices too“… Retail prices? Wholesale prices? If you aren’t going to preface your email with a subject line, at least make it clear in your email what your intention is.
  5. I am not working because of downsizing.” No one cares. Honestly, as compelling as your life story may be, that makes no difference in your sales and marketing skills. In fact, it makes some uncomfortable because you are crossing that personal from business line. So keep your personal circumstances out of it! Unless it’s something that you need to mention… like you are hearing impaired and so it’s important that you receive all communication in written format.
  6. No salutation and no real signature. When you write a letter to someone, you say Hello or Dear or Hi. You don’t just start spewing words. When you are done with a letter you say thank you and you identify yourself with your full name. If it’s a business email you also state your business name and website address.

Contacting a Wholesale Supplier: The BEST Way To Do It

Ok, we have dumped on this poor guy long enough. Let’s give you an example of what a real Wholesale Account Request email should look like. It’s one that has had great success over the years to our listed suppliers.

Email subject line: Wholesale Account Request


My name is Jane Doe of Doe Retail Enterprises from Chicago, IL. I found your company information listed in the Worldwide Brands Directory of Wholesalers and I’m interested in setting up a dealer account with you.

Please let me know what information and qualifications you need from me and I will be happy to provide them immediately.

Thank you for your time,

Jane Doe
President of Doe Retail Enterprises

There. That’s IT. Nothing more is needed, UNLESS you already know some of the requirements that the wholesaler needs and you can go ahead and provide that. But the email is short, sweet, to the point and professional and not sent from a free email account.

Always remember, first contact with a potential business partner is very important. It doesn’t take much to the first impression a good one!

By Tisha Hedges

Director of Operations for Worldwide Brands, Inc

3 thoughts on “Contacting a Wholesale Supplier”
  1. Thanks for your wonderful article.
    I will translate your article into Persian soon and publish it on my blog.

  2. Thank you for the tips! I’m pretty shy when talking on the phone, and my emails definitely could have been written better.
    So I’m looking forward to seeing how these changes I did do!

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