Reselling products through an online shop is one of the most popular choices for entrepreneurs in search of a manageable home business to launch and run. To make your reselling business a success and maximize your profits, you’ll need to find wholesale items to resell at the lowest possible price. Ideally, resellers should look for sources as close to the manufacturers of those products as possible. Because many major manufacturers rely on wholesale warehouses to distribute their merchandise, smart resellers include a variety of wholesale providers as suppliers.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
You can find wholesale products for resale from a number of sources, including official factory wholesale suppliers, trade shows, wholesale membership clubs and some websites dedicated to wholesaling and drop shipping products.
Factory Wholesale Suppliers
Large manufacturers usually rely on approved factory wholesalers to distribute their products. These approved wholesalers can be a terrific source for wholesale merchandise to resell. However, finding them can be tricky, as they typically don’t advertise.
One way to find these official wholesalers is to contact the manufacturers of individual products directly. Typically, the best department to speak to about wholesalers is the sales department. When you make contact with the right individual at the manufacturer, identify yourself as a retail seller and ask for contact information for the company’s official wholesalers. You’ll generally need an appropriate reseller’s license (sometimes referred to as a state tax ID, wholesale ID or seller’s permit) to establish accounts with these official wholesalers.
Wholesale Warehouse Stores
Resellers can find great products and purchase bulk items at wholesale prices in wholesale warehouse stores. Examples of these kinds of big-box stores include BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco and Sam’s Club. You’ll need to apply for membership and pay club fees or membership dues since only paying members can shop in these warehouses. If you have a resale license, you may be able to sign up for a business level membership with some of these wholesale clubs. This type of access grants you an exemption from paying sales tax on purchases made at the club’s warehouses.
Wholesale Trade Shows
Another source of wholesale merchandise is the trade show circuit. Wholesale trade shows bring bargain hunters and retail sellers together and offer access to a wide variety of wholesale merchandise from numerous competing manufacturers. These trade shows are often held at community convention centers, fairgrounds or open spaces that allow large tents and booths. Look online for sites that specialize in publishing schedules for trade shows across the country. Before attending a trade show, visit the show’s website and find out if the show has established any requirements for attending the show or making purchases. Often these shows will require a copy of a valid reseller’s license. Shows may also strictly enforce rules limiting shoppers’ ability to bring guests.
Finding Cheap Wholesale Products
Resellers can find numerous websites on the internet that purport to offer wholesale merchandise for easy purchase and quick resell. However, it pays to be cautious when taking this route. These sites often don't require you to have a resale license, but they can also offer fraudulent merchandise or prices so close to retail that little profit can be made from those products. Some sites may even attempt to scam you altogether. One way to do a little due diligence before making a purchase on one of these sites is to perform a simple online search. Use the company’s name plus one of the following words or phrases:
- Customer report
The results for these searches should yield quite a bit of information about which sites to steer clear of, and which sites may offer savvy resellers a great deal.
Annie Sisk is a freelance writer who lives in upstate New York. She holds a B.A. in Speech from Catawba College and a J.D. from USC. She has written extensively for publications and websites in the business, management and legal fields.