Distributors and Agents - Are they one and the same?

Full Member
hnypuf
Posts: 2
Joined: 01 May 07
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3 Nov 11 11:18:52 am
hiya! this is my first post so i apologize in advance if i've posted in the wrong place and also if i don't make any sense. bear with me haha.

i'm trying to find wholesalers (preferably dropshippers) of particular brands of underwear. salehoo has a few places that sell some of the brands but not the styles i'm after.

i've found an agent for most of the brands and styles i'm after and also a distributor for the brand that i'm dying to sell. both are in nz (where i live).

sooo...what i would like to know is

1) are an agent and distributor the same thing?
2) how much more would they charge in general over the wholesaler?
3) is it a good idea to contact them and ask to sell their brands even though i'm still setting up my website and if i can sell them on auction sites?

i hope that makes sense. i've done so much research into my niche and what i think would sell etc but i just feel i'm going around in circles trying to source them.

please someone put me out of my misery,
cheers,
natalie

Site Admin
fudjj
Posts: 5775
Joined: 27 Jul 07
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3 Nov 11 11:18:22 pm
Hi hunypuf, and welcome to Salehoo :)

What's in a name?

To be honest terms like agent or distributor are quite generic in a modern market, even the term wholesaler is used in some cases where the supplier isn't a true wholesaler at all. They're terms, while used to have a specific meaning, are now nothing more then marketing terms in a lot of cases.

On the face of it, I would assume an agent to be a "brokerage", one that doesn't supply products themselves, but can put together deals on products for you from their sources.

I would assume a distributor to be a large scale supplier, one that supplies smaller wholesalers, not one that supplies retail.

As I said, they would be my definitions of the two terms, but as these terms are now used so loosely these days, you would really need to confirm what it is these people actually do!

Q2, if you are dealing with a broker (agent), then there will of course be a brokerage fee for delivering you their service, however that doesn't always mean that you will pay more than if you dealt with a wholesaler yourself.

Brokers have different deals with suppliers, and some might be able to source your products at or even below what you can, even dealing with a wholesaler direct. This is a question of research really, you would need to put the products and prices that a broker offers you up against those you can source wholesale yourself.

Q3, it's never too early to establish supplier sources, the stage of which your site is in development should play no role in making product sourcing decisions.

:)


Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager
SaleHoo.com

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Site Admin
richellemonfort
Posts: 5220
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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4 Nov 11 12:43:08 am
Hi Natalie,

Welcome to SaleHoo! Don't worry about your first post :) It is fine as it is!

You might also find our "New User Manual" guide quite helpful. It will explain to you how you can get off on the right footing with the suppliers you would like to work with and lay the groundwork for negotiating the best prices and creating long-term relationships. You'll learn -

- How to get ready to use suppliers. What will suppliers want from you?
- How to find and use a supplier in SaleHoo’s directory
- How to contact a supplier and what to ask
- What are wholesale prices? Find out how to know when you're getting the real deal
- How to get the best wholesale price from a supplier
- Placing your order

To download your copy please go to Link hidden: Login to view

Hope this helps :)


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
Sell more with your own professionally designed and search optimized e-commerce website. Check out Link hidden: Login to view now!
Full Member
hnypuf
Posts: 2
Joined: 01 May 07
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4 Nov 11 01:48:50 am
thanks for your quick responses guys!

richelle, i've already used a few suppliers from salehoo. some good, some in the middle of being not so good. i've googled my little heart out trying to find suppliers of the styles i'm after. i've only managed to find the distributors.

the website for one of the labels i'm after only mentions an agent in nz, nothing about wholesale. they run an affiliate program but the % per sale is really small and keywords i'm unable to use for ppc is huge.

the websites i've found that sell this label for a cheap price are all owned by the same person (i checked on whois). the rest of the websites sell bras for at least twice the price. i bought a bra and matching 'undies' from the owners website. the cost of both and the postage from uk to nz was still less than the price of the bra alone on all of the other websites and in bricks & mortar stores!

i'll contact the distributors and let you both know how it goes. thanks for your help guys, at least i know i'm on the right track. :o)

Site Admin
richellemonfort
Posts: 5220
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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4 Nov 11 03:54:44 am
Hello Natalie,

There are many brands that limit the distribution of their brand or products through channels exclusively approved by them. This is part of how a brand owner protects and preserves their brand name's reputation from being easily mass produced as copies/counterfeits. One example would be Nike - Nike has limited their distribution channels through their own Nike Stores and a very select few retailers.

You have to remember that not all products especially those that are branded will be readily available through wholesale. Most likely you can find them through liquidators are store overruns or returns.

Good luck! And please update us :)


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
Sell more with your own professionally designed and search optimized e-commerce website. Check out Link hidden: Login to view now!

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