How to buy from business wholesalers

Buying business wholesale means that you are buying products in bulk at a cheaper price than buying retail as a consumer. You don't need to be a large retailer to trade with wholesalers - they work with both sole traders and big businesses. This guide shows you how to buy from wholesalers in five easy steps.

  • Researching the products you want to buy
  • Negotiating discounts for large orders
  • Trade cards
  • Knowing where to go
  • Choosing the right wholesaler

Researching the products you want to buy

Before you started-up, you should have gained a thorough knowledge of the products you are selling, to the point of being able to answer any potential questions customers may have. If you extend this image to wholesalers,  you'll come across as professional and make a good impression, which can give you a headstart on special deals.

  • Know your product inside out
  • A professional approach will help you gain special deals

Negotiating discounts for large suppliers

The bigger the order you can place, the cheaper the items. Wholesalers buy in bulk so it is to their advantage to shift larger, rather than smaller quantities of items. If your wholesaler, however, demands a big minimum order or imposes other conditions, shop around until you find one who best suits your needs.

  • Don't accept the first offer - get two or three quotes from wholesalers
  • Many wholesalers will offer sizeable amounts of credit, invaluable for any business start-up.

Trade cards

These give you access to a wide range of wholesalers and also signals that you are an established trader. If a wholesaler runs a trade card scheme, having one is likely to be the only way you can buy from them. They are usually free - you'll need to fill in some forms and provide proof of trading, such as a letterhead or business card.

  • Trade cards are a valuable sign of your trading status
  • They can give you access to a wide range of wholesalers

Knowing where to go

Wholesalers move around regularly and those that are less established fall in and out of business on a regular basis. Many relationships between wholesalers and their customers are based on word-of-mouth recommendations, so trawling through the internet may yield few results, although sites such as theuktrader.co.uk and thewholesaler.co.uk are useful resources. Trade shows are also one of the best places to pin wholesalers down.

  • Trade shows have many wholesale products and suppliers under one roof
  • Check out as many resources as possible to get the best value for money

Choosing the right wholesaler

Narrow down a short list of potential wholesalers and evaluate them. Think about the type of qualities you want to project to your customers, such as great customer service and product knowledge and apply these same principles when you choose wholesalers.

  • Visit the wholesaler in person
  • Check they have the goods you require before you go - wholesalers' stock changes on a regular basis

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