Finding REAL Wholesalers

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How to Find Real Products You Can Sell Online

We’ve already established that you really need to work with real Wholesale Suppliers if you want to streamline your Product Sourcing process, and earn the best profit margins on the product you sell online.

We’ve talked about why wholesalers exist, what Middlemen and MLMs are, and how real wholesalers work. We’ve already gone over the cheap lists and junk wholesale information that’s being sold for a few bucks online, and how buying the wrong information can hurt your business.

When locating real Wholesalers on your own, knowing where NOT to look is every bit as important as knowing where to look.

Why real wholesalers don’t advertise in the Search Engines

Most people who sell products online automatically jump into the Search Engines when they’re looking for wholesalers of products to sell. Believe it or not, the Search Engines are just about the last place you want to look.  

The vast majority of real Wholesale Suppliers do not need (or even want) to advertise on the Internet. For the wholesale supply industry, there is an entire sales and marketing structure that has been in place forever, long before the Internet ever came to be.

Real wholesale supply companies deal for the most part with LARGE retailers: Sears, Kmart, Wal-Mart, etc. These wholesale supply companies have entire sales divisions in place, with salespeople who actually travel to and call on these massive accounts personally. That’s the way it’s been done for so long that real Wholesale Suppliers take a very serious risk of hurting themselves by deviating from that strategy.

They also realize that this advertised web site approach will attract thousands of very small retailers. That means a large influx of very small accounts; accounts who will only buy a few hundred or a couple of thousand dollars worth of product at a time, not hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.

Wholesale Suppliers pay their Account Reps good money to bring in and work with new accounts. The larger the account, the better for the Wholesaler. Many Account Reps also earn commissions from the sales they make to their accounts. So, from the Wholesalers’ point of view, large accounts are good and small accounts can be more time-consuming than they’re worth.

This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with small Home-based Internet businesses! Again, this is simply the way most of the big wholesalers view their world and you have to understand that in order to make progress with them.

There are many real Wholesale Suppliers who will work with small retailers. It’s just not usually in their best interest to help you find them! The big brand name wholesalers of the world just don’t go around spending time and money advertising themselves to an Internet audience that they feel won’t be a significant part of their overall business.

That's why, as an online retailer, YOU have to go to them. Wholesalers don't go out of their way to make it easy for the Home-based business owner to find them. However, they CAN be persuaded to work with you if you can just find them and ask.  

Why Fake Wholesalers do advertise on the Search Engines

The Search Engine keywords “Wholesale,” “Wholesale Products,” “Drop Shipping,” etc., attract a huge number of people who own or are starting Home-based Internet Businesses. That’s because people who are relatively new to ECommerce are not yet aware of these wholesale scammers and sellers of sub-standard information. Most people simply do not know that the Search Engines are the wrong place to look for real wholesalers.

While 98% of the real wholesalers in the world do not advertise there, for reasons we’ve just discussed, those Search Engine keywords are the Sweet Spot for the Middlemen, the MLM schemes, the “Get Rich Quick” con artists, and the sellers of junk information.

We mentioned before that you can find a very small number of genuine wholesale information sellers there. However, for the most part, you need to stay away from the top results in the Search Engines if you’re researching real wholesalers.

So, where do you find legitimate wholesale suppliers?

When we first started selling products on the Internet, back in the 1990’s, we asked the same question. We wanted to find Wholesale Drop Shippers for our new online business, and started wondering where to look for them. We thought we had the answer back then, just like many people think so now.

Our first instinct was simple: hit the search engines, and search for “Wholesale Drop Shipper”. So, we did just that.

Yahoo returned about 60 gazillion hits touting a popular book supposedly filled with hundreds of drop shippers. This thing was all over the place. Can’t go wrong there, we thought, so we happily zapped our twelve bucks over the Net to one of the countless resellers of that popular book.

We stood patiently next to the mailbox for a couple of weeks, waiting for our shiny new hardbound copy of the book that would make us rich. When it finally showed up, we almost threw it away, thinking it was a junk mail flyer.

In short, it wasn’t much help. Those listings that had phone numbers, we called. Some of them didn’t know what we were talking about. Some of them were willing to drop ship, but we didn’t think we were going to make a fortune selling fake vomit and dribble glasses on the ‘Net. The rest of them were either used-book sellers, or wanted us to mail money to a PO Box so they could send us some other information that would make us rich. Sigh.

OK, back to the search engines. We cleverly dodged all the people who wanted to sell us a “complete turnkey web site package with products ready to sell.” We wanted to put our kids through college, not theirs.

 We finally located someone who claimed that he was the owner of an import company that drop shipped hundreds of great products. We paid fifty bucks for a “membership,” and got a no-name catalog in return, with a “wholesale” price list. “Great!” we thought, “here we go!” We searched and found many of his products for sale on the ‘Net on other sites. The products were identical, but guess what? Their retail prices were the same as our “wholesale” prices. In other words, we had zero profit margin. The guy we signed up with was an MLM scammer, and he was now fifty dollars richer. We were still nowhere.

With a grim sort of last-ditch determination, we dug, and we dug, until we found the real source of this no-name catalog we had paid the MLM scammer fifty bucks for. It was a manufacturer and importer in Texas, and they were actually the source of the products! We set up an account with these people and began selling their products. A little later, we found another company (“3,500 products you can sell on your own web site” … that will sound familiar to you if you’ve spent time searching the Net for wholesalers!) and spent weeks sifting through more resellers who were posing as that source until we found that original supplier outside of L.A. We sold products from these two companies for about 6 months, and actually did about $12,000 in sales, but we weren’t happy. The products were imported knock-offs. We wanted the shiny new name brands that look so cool on your web site, and that everyone wants to buy. After dealing with about the umpteenth customer who wanted to return his patched leather made-in-Kuala-Lumpur backpack because he wasn’t happy with the quality, we had had enough. It was Name Brand or bust!

After another exhaustive search of the ‘Net, we found a company who offered hundreds of name brand products that they would drop ship. The stuff was great! Everything from Panasonic to Shop-Vac! They sent us the catalog, and we spent two weeks working on our site, replacing most of the knock-off stuff with the “Holy Grail of Name Brand Products.”

Then they sent us the price list.

They had done it to us again. The “wholesale” prices we were supposed to purchase this stuff at were, in most cases, higher than other sites were selling them for! Another Middleman. Needless to say, we were very unhappy.

We decided to go right to the top. Nothing left to lose, right?

We went to the Westclox web site, since that was one of the lines we had wanted to resell from what turned out to be a Middleman. Turns out Westclox was owned by General Time, Inc., in Atlanta, GA. So was Seth Thomas Clocks. We found the number for General Time, and asked for the Sales department. We explained the situation, and asked if they could refer us to any wholesaler who could drop ship their products for us. “Oh, no problem,” said Jason, the salesman, “we drop ship single units for you right from the factory.”

After about ten minutes on the phone, we were well on our way to establishing an account directly with General Time. Talk about wholesale prices on Name Brand products! This was the real thing! They sent us catalogs, price lists and all the info we needed to get started right away. For free!

As we’ve said before, you will probably only rarely get a chance to work directly with a manufacturer, if ever. Manufacturers make products, they generally do not wholesale them. So, you have to find the real wholesalers. We got lucky with General Time.

However, that was when we figured out something we should have known right from the start, having our backgrounds in wholesale and retail to begin with.

There are people who know exactly who the real wholesalers of every product made on Earth are. It’s so simple, we were embarrassed at not figuring it out sooner. Who are they?

The manufacturers of the products! After all, they are the ones who Factory Authorize those real wholesale suppliers in the first place.

So there it is, folks. That’s all you have to do. Ask the manufacturer of the products you want to sell, who their Authorized Wholesalers are. They’ll tell you.

Who is the Manufacturer?

Ah, we’ll bet you were just waiting for a catch, weren’t you? Well, there is one, but it’s just a small detail.

In order to contact the manufacturer of the products you want to sell, and ask them who the real wholesalers are, you have to know who the manufacturer is first!

That’s not always as easy as it sounds.

You can’t just assume you know who the maker is, even if it’s a popular brand name. RCA, for example, is Manufactured by Thompson Consumer Electronics. You would not know that without looking at the Owner’s Manual for the product, or the Serial Number sticker on the back. You need to go ALL the way to the top of the Manufacturing chain, not just to some subsidiary brand name.

If you have a hard time figuring out who the manufacturer of a product is, your best bet is to simply BUY one of the products you want to sell, or take a notepad to your local mall and inspect a demo product on the store shelf if you can. Take a look at the box, the owner’s manual, or any warranty papers that come with it. Check out the Model and Serial Number stickers on the back of the product. Somewhere, you will find the name of the product’s manufacturer. Then, all you have to do is call them.

Contacting the Manufacturer

Call the manufacturer, identify yourself using your legal business name (remember that little detail?), and ask for the sales department. Tell them your company is interested in retailing their products, and you need to speak with a Sales Rep.

They’re going to tell you that they are a manufacturer, and don’t sell directly to retailers. Tell them that you understand that; you’re just looking for a recommendation for a wholesaler of the products.

It may take some time to get through to a Sales Rep. You may have to leave a message. If you don’t hear from them within a couple of days, call again. Stay on their back until you speak to someone personally.

When you do get through to a Manufacturer’s Sales Rep, you can ask at this point if they will wholesale products to you direct from the factory, but the answer 99.9% of the time is “No, of course not.” That’s OK. Tell the Sales Rep that you would appreciate a list of wholesale suppliers that he or she recommends.

The Manufacturer’s Sales Rep has that information, and should not have a problem emailing it to you. Then, you’ll simply start calling those wholesalers.

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