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Working With Wholesalers

Dealing with wholesale suppliers is never easy. It won't be wrong to say that it is the most difficult part of conducting a business venture as it puts your negotiation skills to the test. You may not find it difficult if you have been in this industry for long and already have a number of reliable suppliers on your panel. Nothing beats the feeling of having a supplier who you know and trust to deal with but here are a few tips to avoid any unpleasant business incidence when you plan to work together with a supplier you don't know.

Always meet the supplier before finalizing the deal

Most of the newbie wholesale entrepreneurs go online in order to search the required wholesale products. Beware of the fact that what you see on a supplier's website may not be the case in reality. Sometimes, online suppliers who contact you are nothing but the intermediaries pretending to be the manufacturers. Often, they do not have any manufacturing unit or a warehouse to store products and certainly, do not have the capability to fulfil your order but they will assure you otherwise, hoping to forward the order to a manufacturer.

You must meet wholesale supplier before placing an order with him just to make sure you get what he has promised. If you cannot do it on your own, you can take the services of an inspection company to save you a lot of money later.

Sign a legal contract only

Signing a purchase order with a supplier you don't know isn't enough. You should ask your supplier to draft a contract that can be legally enforced and summarizes specifications for both parties like price, payment terms, wholesale merchandise specification, delivery terms, delivery time and quality control procedures. It may not save you from issues but it will help you deal with the disputes, if any. The legal contract gives you the authority to fight for your right.


If you want to protect yourself against a supplier, make sure you sign a legal contract before entering into any such business relationship.

Compare supplier's cost structure with commodity prices

To deal with the unexpected increase the asking price from the supplier's side, you will have to take some precautionary measures before finalizing the deal. You must have a rough idea of your supplier's cost (labour cost, materials cost and mark-up) - evaluate it against the commodity prices that are key components in your products and tally it with a supplier's quotation.

Negotiate with your supplier and assess whether he has a valid reason behind the request for the price increase or not and decide whether you should whether or not should you place your order.

Have a check on product quality

When it comes to sourcing products from a new wholesale supplier, you should not solely rely on him. It is because production monitoring and quality control are critical even if you work with the most trusted suppliers. Though you may have spelled out your specifications and have approved samples as well but still they may alter the product quality.

You must visit the manufacturing unit yourself or hire any inspection company to do the job on your behalf, especially if your order is large.

Though it is not an exhaustive list of principles yet you will find these principles handy and useful. Follow them and see the results. Retailers Forum magazine has over 32+ years of connecting wholesalers and retailers successfully. Our advertisers are among the best in the business to work with for wholesale merchandise.