What is the best online wholesale marketplace to sell to more retailers?
💡 Quick Answer: Without a doubt, SaleHoo is the best online wholesale marketplace out there. With its renowned customer support, huge number of product categories, high trust rating, and overwhelmingly good reviews from both suppliers and buyers, it offers everything you need to build a successful wholesale business.
Looking for a new profitable online opportunity?
Sick and tired of endless customer support requests?
If you’ve dipped your toes in B2C retailing, you may quickly have come to realize all the hard work involved in keeping each and every customer happy.
Here’s the thing. There are other interesting opportunities out there that are sometimes overlooked, such as B2B wholesaling. With wholesaling, you become the supplier in the scenario and sell large orders to a smaller number of customers – which can be a game changer in terms of day-to-day workload and profits!
To get your name on the map and find lucrative customers, it’s vital you become a part of online marketplaces that are a destination for anyone looking to buy wholesale. But which ones are best online wholesale marketplaces, and what do you need to consider? Read on to find out!
How does wholesale online work?
The process of starting a wholesale business online is actually not too dissimilar from starting a ‘regular’ (i.e. B2C) online shop.
1. Product Research and Negotiating with Suppliers
When wholesaling, it’s doubly important to make sure you’ve done your research, as you’re ordering larger quantities of product and investing more capital at a time. Dedicated wholesaling and market research tools like SaleHoo can be invaluable here, but of course there are plenty of resources to be found via Google too. Once you’ve settled on a winning product and found a supplier, make sure you’re getting a good PPU (price per unit) and place your order.
2. Create your High-Converting Wholesale Store OnlineWhile you’re waiting for your products to arrive (this may take longer than smaller packages, as bulk orders often get shipped via boat), it’s a perfect time to build a high-converting online presence with great photographs and concise descriptions highlighting all the benefits of your product.
3. Register with Marketplaces and Directories for Wholesaling Online
Now you need to make sure that potential customers can actually find you! A great place for this is online wholesale directories and marketplaces, such as SaleHoo, Faire, or Alibaba. Find out which are the 22 best online wholesale marketplaces a little further below.
4 Market your Business and Watch the Orders roll in!
Any business needs a good marketing strategy in place. This should include things like Social Media, Email Marketing, Blog Content, and Paid Ads, to name a few. But don’t worry, you can build these up as you go, and with time they will all complement one another and increase brand awareness, engagement and, in turn, conversions.
Why selling wholesale online can be better than retail
Don’t get me wrong, retailing online can be super lucrative and successful if you’re doing it right. However, it always pays to consider all your options, especially since the retail space is getting increasingly busy with competitors all wanting a slice of the pie.
Some of the most convincing benefits of wholesaling online include:
1. Larger average order volumes
The nature of wholesaling means your customers (usually retailers) are placing large bulk orders with you, which means you average order volume is high, and you need to fewer customers to make a profit
2. Less customer support required
Fewer customers also means less work processing customer support requests and dealing with problems they have with ordering etc. Which is great considering customer support can be a considerable expense in both time and money!
3. A growing and less saturated market
As mentioned before, the retail market is getting busy! Selling online is lucrative and more and more entrepreneurs are flocking to this opportunity each day. Since wholesaling is less known and often forgotten about, this means there is less competition to contend with. And all those retailers will need to order their products from somewhere!
4. Less marketing spend
Customer acquisition costs are on the rise! But because you need considerably fewer customers to make a wholesale business work, this doesn’t need to concern you as much. Provided you’re listed in the right directories, your marketing spend should be a lot lower than that of a direct-to-consumer brand.
5. Great deals with manufacturers
You’ll obviously need to order your products from somewhere too, and since you’ll also be ordering in large volumes, this means you can get some fantastic deals with manufacturers. Don’t be afraid to haggle a bit too!
So much for some of the reasons for going into wholesaling online. But which products are best to sell? Let’s take a quick look.
What products should I sell wholesale online?
When thinking about what products best to sell wholesale online, there are a few key considerations.
1. Does the product have staying power?
You don’t want to place a large order of a fad product, only for the trend to run out before you’ve shifted all your stock. Therefore, it’s best to go with products that are evergreen. A great example of this is Jewelry, particularly Silver Jewelry.
2. Is the product a repeat purchase?
YSelling a product that people need to buy over and over again is a great strategy for guaranteeing repeat customers. A great example for this are products in the Education sector, such as pencils, folders, and notebooks.
3. Does the product have a compact size?
YWhen ordering large volumes of a product, storage becomes a serious consideration. Warehousing is expensive and when starting out, it’s ideal if you can use space you have at home for storage. Anything compact and stackable is ideal, and we’d recommend staying away from larger, bulkier items for the time being. Great examples of this are e.g. candles, which can stack away nicely in a single cupboard.
4. Can you ship the product cheaply?
YAgain, size and weight matter. Both for buying and selling, as this will affect your shipping cost and therefore profit margins.
5. Are there any restrictive regulations?
YIdeally, you want to keep yourself open to an international market, so we’d recommend staying away from any products that could run into regulatory problems in certain countries, e.g. alcohol or pharmaceuticals.
The 22 best online wholesale marketplaces
In the pre-online days, wholesale was the modus operandi for the commerce world. Few manufacturers and producers sold straight to consumers, and instead sold large bulks of product to smaller brick-and-mortar shops.
Then, as a wholesale supplier, you’d find your customers at trade fairs and trade shows – large marketplace-like get togethers where retailers could browse wares from potential suppliers in particular categories. Nowadays, trade shows, fairs, and magazines still play their part in the wholesaler-retailer relationship, but more of these partnerships are struck in online marketplaces.
SaleHoo has been around for over 18 years now and has established itself as a true expert when it comes to helping entrepreneurs make their eCommerce dreams come true.
Their extensive database of wholesale suppliers is well-known in the industry as being one of the best when it comes to trustworthiness and is chosen by thousands of customers worldwide for this exact reason.
SaleHoo has hundreds of positive ratings on TrustPilot and has been featured on major news outlets such as Forbes, CNBC, Huffpost and more. So as a wholesale supplier you’re sure to get a great amount of exposure to potential customers in this industry-leading directory, which tops our list of the best online wholesale marketplaces.
What makes it a great place to sell? It’s one of the most trusted and industry-leading directories on the market, that attracts scores of new customers each month.
What products is it best for? SaleHoo’s products range widely across 20+ categories, from health & beauty, to homewares, electronics, jewelry, and many more.
Seller fees: FREE
2. Handshake (by Shopify)
Handshake is Shopify’s Wholesale marketplace, which is exclusive to Shopify store owners. You can register to sell on Handshake if your business is located in the US and you’ve made more than $1000 in sales on your Shopify store.
With more than 100k registered users, Handshake is particularly attractive to those wholesalers in accessories, beauty, lifestyle, and stationery products.
What makes it a great place to sell? It has Shopify’s considerable eCommerce and marketing prowess behind it
What products is it best for? Accessories, beauty, lifestyle, and stationery
Seller fees: FREE
Faire is another great example of a modern, well-designed wholesale marketplace. Listing suppliers from the US, Canada, and Europe, it connects over 60,000 small, independent producers with retailers around the globe and offers discounted shipping rates and import duties to European retailers, which makes it an attractive marketplace for buyers.
What makes it a great place to sell? A user base of more than 300,000 retailers
What products is it best for? Unique products in clothing, jewelry, food, and homewares
Seller fees: 25% commission on first orders (when a buyer ‘discovers’ you), then 15% per order thereafter
If you haven’t heard of Alibaba by now, you must’ve been living under a rock. The Chinese giant has been around since 1991 and is one of the go-to places for wholesale buying, although it is perhaps most well-known for lower-ticket items with a cheap production value. Many suppliers on the platform are Chinese themselves benefitting from the cheap labor costs of the country.
What makes it a great place to sell? 1.31 billion global users as of 2022
What products is it best for? Lower-ticket items in a wide range of categories such as Consumer electronics, phone accessories, clothing, apparel, textiles, toys, and tools.
Seller fees: Seller accounts start at $3,499 USD per year, no commission
5. WorldWide Brands
Worldwide Brands is one of the veterans of the industry, which you can tell by looking at the outdated design of their website. Nevertheless, it’s an extensive database that enjoys an excellent reputation with buyers and many repeat customers – benefits not to be sniffed at!
What makes it a great place to sell? Plenty of experience in the industry and a long-standing customer base
What products is it best for? Based on user reviews, more suitable for higher priced items
Seller fees: Free
IndiaMart is India’s response to Alibaba. With a thriving economy backed by a gigantic workforce, India is home to many suppliers wanting to break into international markets. It includes suppliers in all sorts of categories, but is particularly well-known for the sale of pharmaceuticals.
What makes it a great place to sell? Similar to Alibaba but less saturated with no fees
What products is it best for? Pharmaceuticals (but many other categories are represented)
Seller fees: Free
Abound is another well-designed wholesale marketplace along the lines of Faire, featuring suppliers from the US and UK (they have separate website versions for each). Focusing mainly on small to medium-sized stores, they’re an attractive choice due to their smaller MOQ (minimum order quantity) requirements.
What makes it a great place to sell? Gives the option for smaller orders
What products is it best for? Home, kitchen & garden, jewelry, beauty products, fragrances, makeup, skincare
Seller fees: Two commission options: 25% + 15% (get paid after 45 days), 15% + 8% (get paid after 5 days), for first-time orders and follow-up orders respectively
Started in 2013 by two friends with a vision for flexible wholesale shopping, Creoate features sellers from across the UK, US, and Europe, with over 50,000 from around the globe. Some of the attractive features of the platform include the option of returns for buyers, and manual verification of suppliers.
What makes it a great place to sell? Attractive to buyers, who like the flexibility of it
What products is it best for? Home, kitchen & garden, textiles, apparel, beauty, stationery, gifts, toys, food.
Seller fees: 20% for first orders, 15% for reorders
9. Go Wholesale
UK-based Go Wholesale is the country’s largest online wholesaling marketplace for clothing and features more than 50,000 products. It’s the perfect place for suppliers in the shoes and apparel industry looking for buyers from around Europe.
What makes it a great place to sell? Useful seller features such as marking inventory as private, allowing items to be put on pre-order, and managing marketing campaigns through the platform
What products is it best for? Shoes, Apparel and Accessories
Seller fees: Not specified
Made-in-China was founded in 1998 by John Shen in order to connect buyers with Chinese suppliers. However, more and more sellers from other countries are also represented on the platform. If you’re a supplier based in China, or wanting to break into the Eastern markets, Made-in-China might be the one for you.
What makes it a great place to sell? More than 1 million users globally and a mobile app mean that there are plenty of selling opportunities
What products is it best for? Products in 27 categories and 3,600 subcategories, although lower-ticket items are favored.
Seller fees: Not specified
11. Global Sources
Hong Kong-based Global Sources is another one of the old dogs. Around since 1970, this wholesale marketplace is a veteran in the field and boasts over 1 million products from 250,000 sellers in over 200 countries, with a large global customer base. Buyers can browse on both marketplace’s website as well as their mobile app.
What makes it a great place to sell? Trust in the experience of this tried and tested wholesale marketplace
What products is it best for? Car parts & accessories, electronics, phone accessories, electronic components, clothing & shoes, hardware, tools
Seller fees: Not specified, but said to be similar to Alibaba’s high fees
12. eWorld Trade
eWorld Trade was founded in Texas, US, but mainly operates out of Pakistan now (with additional offices in China and Nigeria). The platform boasts 500,000 registered users from over 220 countries and allows buyers to post their own requests or ‘wanted’ ads, if you like. For suppliers, this means they don’t simply have to wait for interested buyers but can initiate contact themselves.
What makes it a great place to sell? Ability to contact potential buyers themselves
What products is it best for? Products across a staggering number of categories, but particularly good for construction, minerals, and raw materials.
Seller fees: Seller plans cost between $1499 and $7999 per year
Relatively new to the scene, 2020-founded Trayde is the UK’s fastest-growing wholesale marketplace and specializes in wares that are handpicked and pre-vetted by their small in-house team. The motivation behind the start-up was helping small, independent producers struggling to get onto retail shelves find motivated buyers.
What makes it a great place to sell? It’s a modern, growing start-up, perfect for supporting your small independent business
What products is it best for? Jewelry, stationery, beauty accessories, clothing
Seller fees: 15% commission
Showcasing sellers from the USA and Canada, IndieMe (formerly WholesaleCrafts) is a wholesale marketplace for 100% hand-crafted goods. It features over 250,000 products from local artisans to date and has an active user base of buyers.
What makes it a great place to sell? If you’re an artist making things in bulk, this is the marketplace for you.
What products is it best for? Handmade products
Seller fees: from $249 per year
Our list of the best online wholesale marketplaces wouldn’t be complete without Chinese veteran DHGate, which has been around since 2004. The marketplace features listings from around 2.2 million sellers, serving more than 26 million buyers from around the globe. The company is named after Dunhuang – a Chinese city on the historic silk road, which served as a gate between the East and West – and is aiming to be its digital incarnation. Unfortunately, the site only permits sellers from China, Korea and Turkey at this time.
What makes it a great place to sell? The site boasts a transaction every 3 seconds
What products is it best for? Huge number of categories, including consumer electronics, cell phone accessories, health & beauty, toys, and clothing
Seller fees: 3% service fee
RangeMe pegs itself as a product discovery platform that provides custom tools and insights to buyers for picking their next winning products. It’s recently expanded its 12,000+ buyers to purchase products from suppliers directly on the platform, plus it provides valuable analytics for supplier accounts as well.
What makes it a great place to sell? It provides excellent tools for succeeding as a small business on the platform.
What products is it best for? Food, beverage, health, beautify
Seller fees: Free
USA-based Mable’s mission is to help local and independent grocers / producers thrive by connecting them to customers in all 50 states. This makes it a great platform for small, emerging and/ or specialty food and beverage brands wanting to get a foothold in the US market. Only US suppliers are being listed at this stage.
What makes it a great place to sell? It’s a modern food and beverage marketplace perfect for small to medium businesses accessible via Desktop or their custom app.
What products is it best for? Food and beverage
Seller fees: 12.5% referral fee for first sales and new customers
Set up in 2002, FashionGO is a wholesale marketplace for (you guessed it) fashion, apparel and accessories based in LA. Currently there are around 7000 sellers and 740,000 buyers on this growing platform, and suppliers from around the globe are welcome to sign up for free.
What makes it a great place to sell? Target buyers in your specific niche.
What products is it best for? Fashion, shoes, apparel, accessories.
Seller fees: Free to join, unclear if they charge commission.
Luxury fashion wholesale marketplace Joor is one of the more expensive marketplaces to join, but offers plenty of invaluable seller tools. It boasts a handy app for tracking your business progress plus enjoyes the custom of premium buyers such as Harrods and Farfetch.
What makes it a great place to sell? Perfect for luxury brand: Prestigious high-ticket buyers such as Harrods & used by brands such as Alexander McQueen and Valentino.
What products is it best for? Luxury items
Seller fees: $5K - $20K depending on size of business
20. Amazon Business
Amazon Business is the commerce giant’s B2B marketplace for connecting wholesalers and retailers. Seller fees are very similar to B2C seller accounts, and with a customer base of over 100 million, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to sign up if you can afford it! However, as with selling on Amazon in general, it has to be said that smaller suppliers may struggle here due to the high competition and fee structure.
What makes it a great place to sell? Amazon’s staggering customer base and market dominance
What products is it best for? Anything under the sun
Seller fees: $39.99/month + selling fees (average 15%)
EC21 is a popular South Korean online wholesale directory that has been around since 1997. Rather than being able to directly check out and purchase products on the site (like some other marketplaces on this list), you receive contact information and get in touch with suppliers directly to then negotiate purchase agreements. Due to some problems with fraud and scams, it’s advisable to use the site’s “Trade Verify” service to signal to buyers that you’re trustworthy.
What makes it a great place to sell? Claims to have a buyer base of 3M
What products is it best for? Wide range of products from industrial products, to fashion, toys and homeware
Seller fees: Free as far as we can tell, but can pay to promote listings or get Premium membership (USD 1,395 / year) for additional seller benefits
Malaysia-based Dropee is aiming to move Southeast Asia’s fast-moving consumer goods into the digital world. It’s a relatively new company (2017) but has already been accepted into the prestigious Silicon Valley accelerator program Y Combinator. It’s currently only shipping to addresses within Malaysia.
What makes it a great place to sell? Lets you break into the Malaysian market.
What products is it best for? Fast-moving consumer goods
Seller fees: 3% commission
As you can see, the wholesale market is alive and thriving, with plenty of innovative and modern marketplaces out there to connect with lucrative buyers. It’s always a good idea to register with a few of the best online wholesale marketplaces to maximize your chances of finding reliable and return buyers for your wholesale business. And with so many free options out there, this is really just a case of completing the paperwork.
If you’re after a well-rounded offering of trustworthiness, motivated buyers, excellent support, and top-end functionality, we strongly recommend you check out SaleHoo. You won’t be disappointed!