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Where Do I Find Products to Sell? 4 Ways to Locate REAL Wholesale Suppliers

by Chris Malta
Last updated 7/21/2018

Finding genuine, factory-authorized wholesale suppliers is an absolute must for anyone selling physical products online. Your online business will never become truly profitable, if you're sourcing your products from middlemen or fake wholesale sites. But tracking down legitimate wholesale sources will take some legwork on your part.

Talk to the Source
So how do you find suppliers who are the real deal, and avoid worthless posers? You go all the way to the top - of the supply chain that is. One of the most reliable ways to locate factory-authorized wholesalers is to talk to the manufacturer. You can usually find the manufacturer located on the product's serial sticker or in the warranty papers or owner's manual.

Once you find them, just call them up and ask for their sales division. Tell their sales rep that you're a retailer interested in carrying their products, and ask for a list of their authorized wholesale suppliers. The manufacturer knows who their authorized wholesalers are, and they shouldn't have any problem sharing that information with you. When you begin calling the suppliers on that list, you'll have complete confidence that you're talking to real wholesalers.

There's More than One Way...
Of course, there are more streamlined methods for tracking down real wholesale product sources. (Big sigh of relief.)

Wholesale trade shows bring thousands of wholesalers, within a single industry, together under one roof. The larger, more reputable shows vet the suppliers they allow to exhibit, which means you'll only be talking to real wholesalers and manufacturers. Wholesalers also advertise in industry trade publications; you can often find valuable contact info and website addresses intended for retail use only there. Another option is to visit a permanent wholesale mart - these are basically long-standing trade shows; you can find them in most mid-sized to large cities.

A Word of Caution
When you're dealing with trade shows, you need to make sure that they are, in fact, wholesale trade shows. In other words, you want to attend a business to business event, open only to industry insiders. The suppliers you'll find at a public trade expo, such as a car or boat show, are often retailers themselves and are not offering wholesale pricing on their products.

The same holds true for any permanent gift mart or trade mart that admits the general public. Wholesale marts are only open to legal retail businesses, and will require proof before allowing you to register. If you can gain entrance without providing your sales tax ID and legal business name (at a bare minimum), you're not in a wholesale merchandise mart, which means you're not getting wholesale prices.

Legitimate Product Sources
Authentic wholesale suppliers won't come knocking down your door - finding them takes a real, concerted effort. It's not always the most exciting job, but the results are easily worth the work you'll put in. Sourcing your products at true wholesale prices will enable you to effectively compete in the Internet marketplace and make the highest possible profits on every transaction. And isn't that the point of selling online?