“Watch that first step.”
It’s a common phrase that means you'll take sharp fall in your immediate future unless you pay attention to the beginning of the journey. When applied to a dropshipping business, it indicates that you can save yourself a lot of trouble by putting the effort in early.
Dropshipping wholesale electronics is an attractive business model. It seems like being the middleman means you get to shave off the lion’s share of the work. Unfortunately, when one door closes, a window opens up; and in this case, a gigantic list of chores flies through that open window.
The work you’ll have to do? Research. Long, arduous hours spent browsing online, looking for the exact supplier that offers the highest-quality items, at the lowest prices, in the quantities you require. These are quite the criteria, and it isn’t all that easy to find a turnkey solution—especially when you’ve already narrowed down your niche to an incredibly competitive market like wholesale electronics.
Analyzing all of the variables in extreme detail is tiring and time-consuming. Fortunately, we can break the research process down to its basics:
- Where/How to search
- Making contact with manufacturers/distributors
- The biggest pitfalls you'll encounter
Today, we’ll go over the best spots to look for a high-end wholesale electronics supplier, what specific qualities you’ll want to look for in a supplier and the basics of how to approach a potential supplier once you’ve found a decent option.
Let’s get started with the best places to look for your first business partner.
How and Where to Search for Reliable Electronics Wholesalers
Reliability is key in any business, but in dropshipping so much of the work is out of your control that it’s even more vital than normal. Bearing this in mind, you’ve got to search in places with a positive reputation.
Search Wholesale Directories
Wholesale directories are great places to get started. In most cases, these are paid services that put you into contact with thousands of certified wholesalers. Most directories only work with certified distributors that meet stringent requirements. That gives you a level of security that won’t be available from a basic Google search.
Most of these directories equip you with search filters that help narrow down your results by:
- Seller type
- Product type
- Minimum volume
All of these variables will factor into your decision-making process. If you're already a paying member, feel free to peruse the electronics section of our directory to find certified distributors that we hold in the highest regard. If you're not, you can sign up here.
Find Electronics Wholesalers with Search Engines
If you want to put in your own legwork, you can just as easily get started with search engines. Here are a few search tips to help you find what you’re looking for more easily:
- Search Specifically! Look for long-tail variations of the electronics of your choice. Oddly enough, the reputable (and most successful) wholesale electronics distributors don’t often pack their sites full of quality content. That means you’ll have to use a lot of different keyword variations to snag the stragglers.
- Check the age of the website. Good distributors update often. Make a note of a site’s age so you don’t get scammed.
- Look for product guarantees. If a distributor won’t offer a product guarantee, direct your attention elsewhere.
- Scale your searches. What kind of volume are you looking to move? Refine your search results with average order sizes.
- Look for manufacturers. If you know exactly which products you want to sell, this can make your life a whole lot easier. Get contact information from the website and make contact. Even if they refuse to sell to you directly, they’ll usually be willing to give you a list of dependable suppliers.
Additionally, you shouldn’t be turned off by lousy websites or low visibility. Most wholesalers are a lot more concerned with moving their inventory than they are with marketing their business. There are already numerous niche dropshippers looking high and low for electronics wholesale merchandise. They don’t have to go out of the way to attract more traffic.
Attend Electronics Industry Trade Shows
If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can look around in the real world. The consumer electronics industry has hundreds of trade shows annually. These networking events can afford you the opportunity to make direct contact with reliable wholesalers. They can also be a lot of fun. If nothing else, they’ll usually have a decent buffet.
Try Googling “consumer electronics industry trade shows + (your city)” and see what pops up. Beware the expense, though. Sometimes the price of admission is prohibitive ... but you’ve got to pay to play, right?
If you feel like taking a shortcut, have a look around the list of industry events that we provide.
You can search this comprehensive list either by industry or country of origin. Have a look and see if there's an upcoming event near you.
Use Proper Etiquette when Contacting Suppliers
Remember that most suppliers don’t want their time wasted. This is why they have minimum order sizes, because they’re only interested in talking to drop shippers that can generate a decent number of orders. Keeping this in mind, it’s smart to be succinct.
Keep to the point. Time is money, and you don’t want to be known as a time-waster. Make sure you aren’t making too much work for whoever has to keep in contact with you. In the same vein of thought, use confident and coherent language that shows your business's professionalism.
In other words, don't be wishy-washy. Tell your contact the exact date you're launching your business, not an approximate one. If you're already off the ground, then be direct and explain exactly how many units of inventory you need, and by when. When referencing your sales volume, avoid words like "about," "around," or "near."
As for what you should actually talk about: Stick to the important stuff. Look for discounts on big orders, ask about their return policies and don’t forget to find out how long your orders will take to process. Other than that, it’s mostly common sense. Be courteous, don’t curse them out on the phone and don’t act like a shifty character trying to get something for nothing.
What to Watch Out For
There are always a few bad apples looking to ruin the whole barrel. Take the time to research the companies you’re working with. Be watchful of these warning signs:
- No return policy – What if you get a bad batch of iPads delivered and they won't boot up? Click back to your search results ASAP.
- Wire transfers for payment – A reputable wholesaler will most often require you to pay by credit; wire transfers are for hungry college students and unverified Nigerian princes. Don’t be fooled.
- Suppliers who require setup fees and/or monthly fees – You’re already paying for products; why pay random additional fees? This is a clear sign of a company you don’t want to do business with.
- No physical presence – What kind of company doesn’t have an address? Something stinks in the general vicinity of Denmark.
You can also check out our list of the best dropship companies.
Keep clear of these red flags and it should be smooth sailing. But perhaps we’ve missed an important variable, and your fingers are just itching to type it out in the comments section. Please share your strategies and let us know what you think.