How to Buy Wholesale Online?

Ordering with wholesale suppliers is a crucial process for businesses aiming to source products at competitive prices. Doing it right is very important for a smooth process. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this essential aspect of wholesale procurement:

1. Identify what you actually need
  • Start by clearly defining the products you need for your business.
  • Determine the quantity required, quality standards, and any specific product variations or features.
2. Research reputable suppliers
  • Begin your search for reputable wholesale suppliers.
  • Be sure to utilize resources like SaleHoo Directory to find a wide range of trusted suppliers in various categories.
  • Consider factors like supplier reputation, product quality, and customer reviews during your research.
3. Contact suppliers
  • Reach out to selected suppliers for inquiries. This can be done via email, phone, or through their online platforms.
  • Ask about product availability, pricing, minimum order quantities (MOQs), and payment terms.
  • Request product catalogs or lists to review available offerings.
4. Negotiate reasonable pricing
  • Engage in price negotiations to secure the best deal for your business.
  • Discuss payment terms, including advance payments or credit options.
  • Be open to compromising to establish a mutually beneficial arrangement.
5. Request multiple samples
  • Before committing to large orders, request samples of the products you intend to purchase.
  • Carefully evaluate the quality, design, and any customizations to ensure they meet your expectations.
6. Place orders
  • Once satisfied with the product samples, place your bulk order with the chosen supplier.
  • Ensure that your order adheres to the supplier's MOQ requirements.
  • Provide all necessary order details, including product codes, quantities, and shipping instructions.
7. Process payment
  • Make payments according to the agreed-upon terms and schedule.
  • Payment methods may include bank transfers, credit cards, or other negotiated options.
  • Keep records of all financial transactions for future reference.
8. Arrange for shipping
  • Coordinate shipping logistics with the supplier.
  • Select a suitable shipping method (e.g. air freight, sea freight, or courier services).
  • Confirm lead times and expected delivery dates.
  • Obtain tracking information to monitor the progress of your shipment.
9. Conduct quality control
  • Upon receiving your order, conduct a thorough inspection to ensure it meets your quality standards.
  • Document any discrepancies or defects and communicate them with the supplier promptly.
10. Manage inventory
  • Efficiently manage your inventory by tracking stock levels and sales.
  • Adjust reorder points based on demand to prevent overstocking or shortages.
11. Build supplier relationships
  • Maintain open and transparent communication with your suppliers.
  • Provide feedback on product quality and service to build a strong, long-term partnership.
  • Consider exploring additional products or opportunities with trusted suppliers.
12. Keep up with record keeping
  • Maintain detailed records of all transactions, communications, and agreements with your suppliers.
  • This documentation will be valuable for resolving disputes or for future reference.
By following this comprehensive ordering process, you can establish a reliable and efficient supply chain with wholesale suppliers, ensuring that your business runs smoothly and your customers are satisfied with the products you provide.

Types of Suppliers

Wholesale, Dropship, Manufacturing? What does it all mean and which one is the best one? As with any business decision, the best fit depends on your preference, skill set and personal situation.

When comparing Wholesale and Dropshipping, the main differences are upfront costs, where your inventory is located, and who owns it. Our handy table below will give you a good idea of which option is best for you.

Local Suppliers

Local suppliers, those operating within a specific geographic area, are particularly advantageous for businesses prioritizing proximity, just-in-time inventory management, fast-shipping, and a personalized service. Online eCommerce businesses focusing on rapid delivery, reducing shipping costs, and providing personalized service can benefit from local suppliers. These suppliers ensure quicker order fulfillment, reduce shipping expenses, and offer a more personalized approach to meet customer demands. So if you’re selling something that people need right away or you really want to market your ‘fast-shipping’ services, local suppliers would be the way to go.

International Suppliers

International suppliers play a crucial role for eCommerce companies seeking a global reach and a diverse product range. Online businesses specializing in unique or hard-to-find products, those looking to expand into international markets, or seeking cost-effective manufacturing options often benefit the most from international suppliers. These suppliers offer access to a wide array of products, competitive pricing, and production capabilities that can help businesses scale quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, they are essential for eCommerce companies aiming to tap into new customer bases abroad, fostering growth in international sales and market presence.

Dropshipping Suppliers

Dropshipping suppliers are ideal for eCommerce businesses looking to minimize inventory management and upfront costs while offering a vast product catalog. Ecommerce companies seeking low-risk market entry, rapid scalability, and a broad product selection, especially in niches with constantly changing trends, can benefit most from dropshipping suppliers. These suppliers handle product sourcing, storage, and shipping, allowing businesses to focus on marketing and customer service. They are particularly advantageous for entrepreneurs and startups looking to test product ideas with minimal financial commitment (as you can quickly switch out products that aren’t selling), as well as businesses looking to quickly expand their product offerings without the complexities of traditional inventory management.


Manufacturers are invaluable partners for eCommerce companies looking to create unique, customized products or control their entire production process. Ecommerce businesses specializing in branded or proprietary items, customization, or those looking to maintain strict quality control often benefit the most from manufacturers. These partnerships allow for tailored product development, ensuring that the company's vision and quality standards are met. Manufacturers are also key for businesses seeking economies of scale, cost efficiencies, and precise control over production timelines. This is especially relevant for eCommerce companies looking to compete on product innovation, quality, and differentiation in a competitive market.

Useful Tips for Selecting Suppliers

Choosing the perfect suppliers is like assembling a dream team for your business's success. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your entrepreneurial adventure, getting supplier decisions right is a game-changer for your product quality, customer happiness, and staying ahead in the competition. In this guide, we've got your back with a treasure chest of practical tips to steer you through the supplier selection process like a seasoned captain. From nailing down your needs to acing those negotiations and keeping a close eye on quality control, these actionable insights are your compass to make savvy choices when handpicking the suppliers who will be your business's ultimate allies on the journey to success.

  • Define what you need: Clearly outline your product requirements, quality standards, and delivery expectations.
  • Research a lot: Investigate potential suppliers thoroughly, checking their reputation, track record, and customer reviews.
  • Assess how reliable they are: Evaluate the supplier's financial stability, production capacity, and ability to meet demand fluctuations.
  • See if they communicate well: Effective and transparent communication is key; choose suppliers with open and responsive communication channels.
  • Compare the price vs the quality: Balance cost considerations with product quality to find the best value for your business.
  • Visit their facilities if you can: Whenever possible, visit supplier facilities to assess working conditions and production processes.
  • Negotiate all terms: Negotiate terms, including pricing, payment terms, and delivery schedules, to secure favorable arrangements.
  • Quality control: Implement quality control measures and inspections to ensure consistent product quality.
  • Use multiple suppliers: Consider diversifying your supplier base to reduce risk and enhance flexibility.
  • Aim for long-term partnerships: Look for suppliers interested in long-term partnerships for mutual growth and stability.
  • Use legal agreements: Establish clear legal agreements that protect your interests, including warranties, dispute resolution, and confidentiality.
  • Always be in the know: Stay updated on industry trends and regularly review supplier performance to adapt as needed.
  • Ask for references: Request references from other businesses that have worked with the supplier to gain insights into their reliability and service quality.

Advantages of selling wholesale

Bulk Pricing

Bulk pricing offers several advantages when selling wholesale:

  • More efficient cost management: Buying in larger quantities typically leads to lower per-unit costs, allowing for increased profit margins.
  • Pricing is more competitive: Wholesale prices enable businesses to offer competitive rates to their own customers, attracting more sales.
  • Higher profit margins: Lower costs mean higher profit potential on each sale, contributing to better overall financial performance.
  • Economies of scale: Bulk purchasing allows businesses to leverage economies of scale, reducing operational costs.
  • Better inventory management: Bulk orders reduce the frequency of restocking, streamlining inventory management processes.
  • Bulk discounting: Businesses can pass on cost savings to customers through discounts for larger orders, encouraging higher sales volumes.
  • More consistent supply: Ensures a consistent supply of products, reducing the risk of stockouts and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Better negotiation power: Greater buying volume provides more leverage in negotiating favorable terms with suppliers.

Wide Product Range

A wide product range in wholesale can offer a multitude of advantages, allowing businesses to cater to diverse customer needs and enhance their competitiveness in the market.

  • Diverse customer base: Appeals to a broader range of customer preferences and needs.
  • Cross-selling opportunities: Encourages customers to buy multiple items, boosting sales.
  • Better customer retention: Provides a one-stop-shop experience, enhancing customer loyalty.
  • Higher competitive edge: Sets your business apart by offering a comprehensive selection.
  • Market adaptability: Allows for quick response to market trends and changing consumer demands.
  • Less dependency: Decreases reliance on a single product or niche, reducing business risk.
  • Seasonal & trend variability: Offsets fluctuations in demand due to seasons or trends.
  • Bulk ordering benefits: Encourages larger orders from customers seeking a variety of products.
  • Higher flexibility: Enables adaptation to evolving market conditions and customer preferences.

Disadvantages of selling wholesale

Minimum order quantities

Minimum order quantities (MOQs) in wholesale transactions can bring on challenges that impact businesses in various ways, from financial constraints to inventory management.

  • Capital constraints: High MOQs may require substantial upfront investment, limiting access for small businesses.
  • Harder inventory management: Large orders can lead to storage challenges and increased carrying costs.
  • Risk of overstock: MOQs may result in excess inventory if products don't sell as expected, leading to potential losses.
  • Limited product variety: Smaller businesses might struggle to meet MOQs for a diverse product range.
  • Bigger barriers to entry: MOQs can discourage new entrants to the wholesale market and limit competition.
  • Smaller cash flow: Tying up funds in large quantities of inventory can hinder cash flow for other business operations.
  • Higher dependence on your supplier: Businesses may become heavily dependent on a single supplier with MOQ requirements.
  • Risk of products not popular anymore: Rapidly changing market trends can lead to products becoming obsolete before MOQs are met.

Payment terms

What types of payment methods and terms are accepted by most vetted suppliers by SaleHoo? Most credible suppliers commonly accept the following payment methods and terms:

Payment Methods:

  • Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and sometimes others.
  • Bank Transfers: Electronic funds transfer (EFT) or wire transfers.
  • PayPal: A popular online payment platform.
  • Escrow Services: A trusted third-party holds funds until the transaction is completed.
  • Letter of Credit (LC): A bank guarantee of payment.

Payment Terms:

  • Advance Payment: Payment made before the products are shipped.
  • Net Payment: Payment due within a specified number of days after receipt of products.
  • Payment on Delivery (COD): Payment made upon delivery of the goods.
  • Open Account: Payment terms extended to the buyer, often based on creditworthiness.
  • Consignment: Payment made after products are sold by the buyer.

When you're diving into the world of wholesale suppliers, especially for those bulk purchases, there are some smart moves to make and a few potholes to avoid. Start by doing your homework to find trustworthy partners and steer clear of any sketchy characters. That’s why it’s super important to use platforms like SaleHoo who have already vetted out suppliers for you to work with.

When you're talking terms and prices, make sure everyone's on the same page – clear communication is key. Don't forget to ask for product samples so you can check the quality before you commit to big orders.

Keep your financial house in order by sticking to the payment plan you've agreed upon. Keeping good records of all your dealings will save you a headache down the road. Oh, and a biggie – don't bite off more than you can chew with massive orders from unproven suppliers; it can hurt your cash flow and make your inventory a mess. And remember, it's not just about one-time deals; building strong, lasting relationships with reliable suppliers can be a game-changer in the long run. So, go on and do some savvy wholesale shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions

Wholesale is all about buying products in large quantities directly from suppliers or manufacturers at lower prices than retail. It's like getting a big bag of goodies at a discounted price so that businesses can then sell those goodies to their own customers. So, in a nutshell, wholesale is where businesses get the best bang for their buck when stocking up on inventory.

When it comes to finding wholesale suppliers and distributors, you've got a few options. Sure, there are places like Alibaba and other online marketplaces, but if you're looking for the gold standard, SaleHoo Directory is the go-to destination. It's like a treasure trove of trusted suppliers across various categories in every country of the world, all vetted to ensure quality and reliability. So, while you can explore other avenues, SaleHoo Directory is like your secret shortcut to finding the best and most dependable wholesale partners internationally.

When it comes to selling wholesale items online, there are some hot favorites that tend to perform exceptionally well. Products like electronics, fashion apparel, accessories, and health and beauty items are among the top sellers. But to pinpoint the absolute best-sellers tailored to your niche, SaleHoo Directory's Market Insights tool is your ace in the hole. It's like a crystal ball that helps you identify trending and high-demand products, giving you the inside scoop on what's likely to fly off the virtual shelves. So, while those general categories are a great starting point, various tools within SaleHoo Directory can help you find the real gems in the wholesale world.

Researching wholesale products to sell is like embarking on a treasure hunt. Start by identifying a niche or market that you're passionate about or have expertise in. Then, explore SaleHoo Directory and other reliable sources to discover potential products. Look for items with a balance of high demand and low competition. Analyze market trends, customer reviews, and pricing to gauge product viability. Once you've narrowed down your options, consider testing with sample orders to assess quality and demand. And don't forget to stay updated on industry news and consumer preferences to keep your product lineup fresh and enticing. Happy hunting!

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