How to Order From a Wholesale Supplier

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Placing your first ever wholesale order is an exciting time. If you are up to this stage of the game, it means you have found a great niche and a reputable supplier, and you're about 90% ready to place an order. Well done, you are on the home stretch now, and have just a few more steps to complete before you should go getting out your credit card. We've listed these steps below, checklist-style so you can breeze on through to your supplier's checkout.

Get a tax ID (for sellers in the US)

Getting a tax ID really isn't as complicated as many retailers out there think! Most suppliers will require you to have one so it's best to get this part sorted ASAP.

To apply for a sales tax ID, contact your state tax department. You can do this by Googling "the name of your state + state department" and finding their contact details. Most states will charge a fee for this but it is unlikely to be expensive.

Review the various payment methods

 Most suppliers will offer multiple payment methods. This is to ensure that it's easy for everyone to process payments, but sometimes there are so many different options that it can be a little overwhelming. So when it comes time to pay, which one should you use?

There are two types of payment methods: (1) secured payment methods and (2) unsecured payment methods. Secured payment methods such as credit card payments, PayPal, Paymate and Escrow all provide some form of security from fraudulent suppliers as they hold the payment until the buyer receives their order.

Unsecured payment methods such as Western Union transfers and wire transfers do not offer any protection and therefore, are not recommended. If you encounter a supplier who only accepts unsecured payment forms, it is quite likely that are an illegitimate supplier. You should only use unsecured methods when you have previously had successful dealings with a supplier.

Prepare for MOQ's

MOQ stands for minimum order quantity, and refers to a minimum which can be ordered from a supplier. For example, a supplier may have a minimum order quantity of 500 units which means you must be able to order at least 500 units in one single order. Often, a MOQ will be quoted not in units, but in a dollar amount e.g US$50, which simply means you must spend at least US$50 with the supplier in one single order. Not all suppliers have a MOQ which you must meet to order from them, but often you will get a better deal with suppliers who do enforce and MOQ.

You can find out about suppliers MOQ by referring to their website or by contacting them directly. All suppliers in the SaleHoo Directory have clearly listed details about their MOQ's.

Before you order:

Order a sample. To get an idea of the quality of the items you are going to be ordering in, it's imperative to order a sample. Make sure you test the sample item out thoroughly. If you are ordering clothing, try to wash and wear the item and much as possible before making a decision to see how well they last. For electronics such as cell phones or mp3 players, check the battery life, and that the software works well and looks exactly the same as ones in a store. Fakes often have inferior software installed, which guarantees that customer complaints and returns will be aplenty!

Start out small

When placing your first ever order or trying out a new supplier, it's vital that you play it safe in order to avoid being scammed. This means before you go investing in a large order, start out small by just ordering a few items. Along with protecting your large sum of money, it will also give you a chance to get used to selling the product, testing out selling techniques and different selling platforms before you are landed with a huge shipment.

Get to it now! You are almost there, so follow the above steps and get ready to make some money!


About the author
Simon Slade
CEO of SaleHoo Group Limited

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs that offers 8,000+ dropship and wholesale suppliers, 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices, an industry-leading market research tool and 24-hour support.

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