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Home eCommerce Blog 3 Things Wholesale Suppliers Could Do to Make Our Lives Easier!

3 Things Wholesale Suppliers Could Do to Make Our Lives Easier!

The SaleHoo supplier directory certainly makes finding suppliers a heck of a lot easier, but once you have found suppliers who stock items you are looking for, you still have some digging to do to determine whether or not you can work with them.

Some supplier’s websites leave a lot of questions unanswered, so, out of sheer retaliation, I have made a list of my top 3 things that suppliers could do to make our lives a little easier.

1. Tell us which products their retailers keep coming back for.

OK, I know there might be a slight conflict of interest here: If your supplier reveals what the “hot selling products” are to you, there is nothing stopping them doing it to one hundred other sellers… and then you’ve got some serious competition on your hands!

But, I don’t think it does any harm for suppliers to give us a few hints on what items sell well so that we don’t end up buying “dud” products.

If your supplier isn’t letting the cat out of the bag, and doesn’t want to share what their top retailers are selling, try steering the conversation towards product trends and hot categories, rather than hot products. You might get some hints that way!

HOT TIP: You’ll get more of the information you want from a supplier when you call them than when you email them, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.

2. Invest in a decent website.

Yes, websites are expensive to update, but some supplier’s websites look like something out of the 1990’s!

Comic sans, clipart and clunky music that greets you upon arrival are some of my pet hates when it comes to website design, but even more infuriating is a website that is difficult to navigate.

I’m not mean enough to show a screenshot of a crappy website and rip it to pieces, so instead, here is Titan Liquidation, an example of a website that DOES make our lives easier by displaying products and information in an organized and intuitive way: This is especially impressive for a liquidator because liquidation suppliers often have problems with presenting information on their websites because their inventory changes so frequently.

 

Here are some of the things I like about it:

  • You can login straight away and from the home page. This means I can view past orders and access any member benefits right away. As we all know (or should know!), many suppliers do not advertise their wholesale prices on their public part of their website. You need to login to access the best wholesale deals.
  • The categories are well laid out. Categories are important on all websites, especially ones where people are trying to find and buy products so it is good to see Titan using them. As retailers, categories are useful to us because they give you instant inspiration as to what you can look into buying for resale. For example, you could come to this website with little idea about exactly what to sell, but these categories instantly give me a starting block and somewhere to look for inspiration on what products to sell.
  • Important information is easy to find. While this is a basic site feature, it is often hard to find information on shipping costs, delivery times and other frequently asked questions.
  • They have a search function! ‘Nuff said.
  •  Specials and sale items appear on the home page. Like categories, specials and sale items on the home page provide us with inspiration for items to sell. They also give us a snapshot of the prices we can expect when we buy from the supplier.

I also like that they have a message saying that they are in the process of moving to a new website, this means their site is about to get better!

HOT TIP: While well designed and laid-out supplier websites are ideal, if you happen to stumble across a particularly hideous supplier site, stick around and take a look at their items. A lot of your fellow sellers, (i.e. competitors), might get frustrated with the site quickly and leave without finding any good deals. If you hang in there and take a look around, you might get lucky and cash-in on some hot items that you can resell for fantastic profits that others are too lazy to find.

3. Reply to emails! Since when should I have to chase up someone who I am trying to buy something from? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ranting: Most suppliers are great, but a few that I deal with, particularly ones from Asian countries are a little relaxed on communication. I love it when suppliers respond to my emails within 72 hours of me contacting them.

What could your suppliers do to make your life as a seller a little easier? Share your thoughts below.

 

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11 Comments Add your comment
Free Member
So true! Thanks for posting this. I hope some will take your advice. Reply
I like the information and suggestions. I will put to use the hot tips suggested and will contact the supplier by phone. Most of the time I find that some suppliers shuffle you off to someone else or tell you they will get back in touch but never does. How long do you suggest I wait before calling back? Reply
Making it easy and understandable on how to download their product to my site. I always struggle with this. Reply
I love the way that this blog is presented - clearly and honestly. Reply
Like my dad has said ( and I KNOW he is quoting someone )... I never do anything to get in the way of someone who wants to give me money. Reply
Thank you liked the tip, but these types of payments accepted and trusted this site? Send me more news, like SaleHoo. Reply
Site Admin
Thanks everyone! I hope these tips help next time you go on a supplier hunt. @Eddie Sanders, if someone told me that they would call me back, but had not 48 - 72 hours later, I would call back then. Suppliers are usually very busy so it pays to be flexible where you can. @Judijo, I think I recall my grandfather using that saying! Reply
Free Member
Hello I'm just joined Salehoo and just finding my feet on looking for products to sell on e-bay and i must say it's not easy at all, can you give me tips on looking for percific items to sell, for instance when looking for golfballs i find i cant find a wholesaler. having said that it's early days and i'm determined to make this work. Regards Garry. Reply
Site Admin
HI Garry, Welcome to SaleHoo! You are right - it's not always easy to come up with ideas on what products to sell! When you do come up with ideas, you can ask us to run searches for you on our Suppliers Wanted forum here: http://www.salehoo.com/forum/wanted just say what product you are looking for our directory admins can run a search for you :) Most sellers spend a couple of weeks researching various options before they decide what they will actually sell so don't be concerned if it takes you that same amount of time. One of the best ways I think you can come up with ideas for products to sell is to just browse around supplier websites and start making lists of potential items. From there, you need to work out whether the product will be viable: How much can you sell it for to a buyer on eBay, and how much can you buy it for from a supplier? If the sum of that equation works for you, then it's probably worth perusing. While you are searching for suppliers and products to sell, you should also take some time to get to know how e-Commerce and the wholesale industry works. This knowledge is just as important as finding a profitable item to sell. If you haven't already, sign up to our free newsletter here: http://www.salehoo.com/newsletter Our newsletter series is a very high quality training course which teaches you all the essentials about building a successful online business. Because you are a SaleHoo member, you can also access our SaleHoo-member only guides including the SaleHoo New User Manual. This will answer a lot of the questions you have swirling around in your head and will also show you how to approach suppliers. You can access our guides here: http://www.salehoo.com/education/guides (There is also a guide called What to Sell in 2011. I think you will find this one very useful!) Thanks Garry, I hope this helps. Alice Reply
Hi All, and thanks much Alice for this solemn supplier spanking. We are new Suppler to SaleHoo and very much look forward to working with you-our fellow entrepreneurs. We have a dedicated Affiliate Manager-Jasmine to answer your calls and emails (in a timely manner). You can find us either in the supplier portal or call me directly at 818 982 2652. I will personally take care of you! I will make no excuses for my fellow suppliers. It is silly to treat you like you are, 'doing us a favor' when buying from us. We should all step up and be grateful for the partnership. So find us inside, or come on over to www.k2scuba.com and say hi. Whether or not you are interested in working with us; we can give you some sage advice on operating in this wild wild west called the internet. Wishing you all good business, and lets take care of each other. Tevis, the boss K2 Family of Companies 818 982 2652 Reply
Full Member
Hi im a full member and I have a little doubt about charging the Customer with amazon, do i need to associate my paypal account to amazon in order to receive Customer payments ? Reply
Site Admin
Hi, Andres!

Amazon has its own fully fledged, secure payment system to handle everything. Since it's a direct competitor to PayPal, you can't directly link your PayPal account, but you can link other accounts (like your bank account). You'd have to send money to your bank via ACH transfer and then transfer the money from there to your PayPal account.

hope that helps! Reply
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