How to Source Wholesale Products
If you're starting a retail business and looking for products to sell, you'll need to
find reliable wholesale suppliers. Sourcing wholesale products can be challenging,
and there are certainly lots of pitfalls that business owners need to look out for.
This serves as a guide with some helpful tips for finding the right wholesale
product sources for your business in the U.S.
Choose your supplier type
Depending on what kind of business you’re starting (online vs. brick and mortar),
you’ll need to decide on the type of wholesale supplier you want to use. Here are
the types to consider:
Manufacturers: Most times buying direct means a high minimum order. Usually
manufacturers will have smaller retailers buy their product through one of their
local distributors. You can find this information either on the manufacturer's
website or by contacting them directly.
Distributors: Usually distributors tend to carry a large variety of products
in a certain category (say pet products) from several manufacturers. Their prices
are slightly higher than buying direct, but minimum quantities are usually low and
you have the convenience of purchasing products from different manufacturers on one
Liquidators: If you are flexible about your product needs, this is a
fantastic way to get a real break on price. Many times you can purchase a bulk load
of product for up to 75 percent off the original wholesale price. Consider your purchases
carefully because once a product is sold out it's usually gone for good.
Importers: If you plan to sell specialty products from another country, you’ll
likely have to go through an importer to get them.
Drop Shippers: If you have an online business, drop shipping is one of the
best ways to supply products for your business without worrying about manufacturing
processes or warehousing costs. Drop shippers are basically distributors in that
they buy from manufacturers or other distributors, but they will ship orders directly
to your customers for you, as orders are placed.
TopTenWholesale is where you can find wholesale products, manufacturers, importers,
distributors, auctioneers, independent retailers, flea marketers, drop shippers
and any reseller of new and closeouts merchandise.
Where to look
The most common place to look is online. You can use general search engines like
Google and Yahoo, or you can use wholesale-specific search engines, like
Top Ten Wholesale, or
There are also trade lead sites like
which allow you find suppliers all over the world.
You can also attend trade shows such as
China Sourcing Fairs
where vendors get together to showcase and demonstrate their products.