Establishing yourself as an online wholesaler can be tough. When you’re not sure where to begin, landing a wholesale order may seem downright impossible. What’s more, your traditional experience in sales might not translate to the unique world of buying and selling in bulk.
Fortunately, if you follow a series of strategic steps geared specifically towards wholesaling, you’ll be more likely to break into the industry with ease. By choosing the right product, connecting with manufacturers, and setting smart wholesale prices, you can make it over the hurdle of that first sale.
In this post, we’ll cover the basics of wholesaling and why you may want to start this kind of business. Then, we’ll provide you with six simple steps that can help you land your first wholesale customer. Let’s dive in!
Why You Should Start Wholesaling
In the wholesale model, you serve as the middleman who purchases a large quantity of a product directly from the manufacturer, receiving a bulk discount. Then, you resell the product to one or more retailers at a slightly higher price to earn a profit. Finally, the retailers sell the product at a markup to their customers.
For wholesaling to work, a few things need to happen:
- The wholesaler needs to buy in bulk to receive a good price.
- The wholesaler needs to add value or convenience as a middleman (otherwise the retailer can just buy directly from the manufacturer).
- The retailer needs to be able to sell the product at an additional markup.
The key to successful wholesaling is moving a large quantity of products. To profit, you first need to negotiate a good purchase price by buying in bulk. Then, you must sell all of that quantity at a higher price.
This may sound a bit complicated at first, but it can be quite lucrative. Once you find opportunities in a market, your success can build on itself. You may find new business partners or gain loyal wholesale customers who repeat large orders.
Win A Wholesale Order in 6 Easy Steps
Often, the hardest part of wholesaling is getting started, especially if you don’t have much experience or many pre-existing business connections. Therefore, planning and preparation are key to minimizing risk and making that all-important first sale.
With that in mind, here are six simple steps to help you get your initial wholesale order!
1. Decide what product(s) to sell
It may seem like there is an infinite number of viable products you can wholesale. To cut through the noise, it’s best to look for opportunities in your niche and narrow down the possibilities.
A good starting strategy is to list 100 ideal companies that you’d like to earn business from. This may be a bit challenging, but it’s a highly useful exercise. After all, it forces you to get creative and consider products you may not have thought of otherwise.
It’s also wise to assess the possibility of working with products you have pre-existing knowledge about. For example, if you like to shop for clothes and have a strong sense of fashion, wholesaling clothing could be a good option. Your expertise in brands, fabrics, and styles can make it easier for you to source quality products and sell them to retailers.
No matter what you decide to sell, you’ll want to ensure it has market potential before you invest. You may know a lot about camping gear, but if there are many successful outdoor supply companies, you’ll have trouble getting a slice of the market. On the other hand, if none of those outdoor supply companies offer a certain in-demand product, you may have found a solid opportunity to capitalize on.
You’ll also need to know the logistics of your wholesaling operation. You may need to store or transport the product in large quantities or alter the original packaging for resale.
If you lack the ability or funds to store or transport products, dropshipping may be the way to go. Either way, you need to understand the product, the retailer, and the ideal consumer to orchestrate a lucrative wholesaling operation.
2. Create clear and fair terms
A wholesale purchase agreement can be a relatively simple document in terms of business law, but it’s still crucial to get it right. Local jurisdiction for your particular products will determine the finer details, but you’ll want to make sure your wholesale agreement includes the following:
- The product and quantity being exchanged
- The current and new owner
- Details about the product (such as condition, variety, and other standards)
- Terms in the event that these standards are not met
- Shipping times, costs, and arrangements
- Price and payment method
- Terms in the event that payment is not successful (i.e. late fees)
- Applicable fees and taxes and who is responsible for them
- Conditions and limitations of the agreement, including default policies
You may want to include additional details, but this framework covers most of the essentials. Keep in mind that you would be wise to pay close attention to your wholesale pricing terms in particular, as these should be clear from the start. For example, it’s best to be upfront about terms such as minimum order quantity.
3. Connect with retailers and manufacturers
Once you’ve established your wholesale agreement, start reaching out to manufacturers and retailers. Each will require a slightly different approach.
Typically, making a deal with a manufacturer to buy their product is easier. After all, they usually want to sell as much as they can. Still, you may have to compete with other companies for supply and pricing. You’ll need to get the product at a low enough price that the consumer at the end of the road is still willing to buy it, even after both you and the retailer take a cut.
Striking a deal with a retailer can be harder. Other companies may be competing to provide the same or similar products, and the retailer can theoretically buy straight from the manufacturer to keep your cut for themselves. That’s why it’s essential to provide some benefit as the middleman. This can be better pricing, streamlined logistics, or just convenience.
For example, if a retailer is currently buying gummy bears in small quantities directly from the manufacturer, they may not be getting a bulk discount. If you can buy those same gummy bears in bulk for a 10 percent discount, you could then store them and distribute them in small quantities to the retailer for 5 percent less than they are currently paying. This will allow you to net a 5 percent profit for yourself.
The above example assumes that you have the money to invest upfront, the space to store the bulk quantity, and the ability to sell all of the product before it expires (if relevant). In this scenario, you would be benefiting the retailer by offering better prices. Other examples of benefits could be faster delivery from a local warehouse (logistics) or handling the delivery schedule from the manufacturer (convenience).
The bottom line? You need to give wholesale customers a reason to buy from you over your competition or the manufacturer. When you do, you’re more likely to successfully enjoy your first wholesale, attract more customers, and build lasting wholesale partnerships.
4. Establish your wholesale prices
While it’s not the only factor, your pricing strategy is perhaps the most important aspect when it comes to wholesaling. Setting the appropriate wholesale rate is key.
Once again, you’ll want to consider your overhead costs in addition to the price you buy and sell at. That way, you can ensure that you are actually coming out ahead. Competitive margins might help you get a sale, but if the costs of operation eat up that profit, you might be left with nothing to show for your hard work.
Dropshipping, which arranges shipments straight from the source to the buyer, is a great way to avoid a lot of overhead. Otherwise, you can expect to pay for a warehouse to store products, delivery services, and wages for you and your employees.
To solve your wholesale pricing conundrum and get a wholesale order, it also helps to use the following tool:
Wholesale Suite’s price calculator can help you determine ideal wholesale prices and sales quantities to meet your goals. Once you have the numbers figured out, you can reach out to manufacturers and retailers with your wholesale model to see if it’s advantageous to them.
5. Make it easy to purchase your wholesale products
Running an online wholesale store can be quite complex. If you’re not organized, managing your wholesale pricing, orders, and shipping can become a major headache. In the worst-case scenario, you may even scare off potential customers with a confusing website.
Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your WooCommerce store and systems are ready for your first sale. Ideally, you should have a great recruiting page where your wholesale customers can register. You should also make sure your product list is organized and straightforward.
Ultimately, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to make a purchase. Using premium software such as our Wholesale Order Form plugin can help streamline your order process from the start. That way, getting wholesale orders is fast and frictionless.
When this tool is used in combination with Wholesale Prices Premium, you can easily set your wholesale pricing and process wholesale orders all in one place. Furthermore, you can utilize more than 100 features, which include shipping mapping, multiple user roles, tax displays, and more.
6. Market your wholesale products
You can greatly increase your chances of converting a new customer with a bit of marketing. As you’ll recall, it’s important to highlight your value as a middleman.
Through your website copy, you should highlight how you can save your customers time and money. The best place to do this is front and center.
For instance, you may want to remind users that you offer free shipping or convenient payment methods. You can even use your website header to advertise an incentive such as a first-order discount. You’ll also want to find ways to make your business memorable. For example, you can call potential customers who may need a little nudge to take the leap.
How To Manage Wholesale Orders: 4 Key Steps
The work does not end once you start to get wholesale orders. To succeed in wholesaling, it’s also crucial to implement systems and processes that ensure seamless order management. With an organized process, you can meet deadlines effectively, optimize order fulfillment, and enhance customer satisfaction.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered! Below, we’ve provided four key steps to help you get started.
1. Automate wholesale customer registration
To attract wholesale customers and win sales, you’ll want to reduce potential friction early in the sales process.
Eliminate cumbersome paperwork by implementing an automated registration system for onboarding new wholesale customers. With a system in place, aspiring wholesale customers can quickly fill out the required information and apply as wholesale customers on your website.
An automated onboarding system also makes it easier for you to manage and organize customer information. With all necessary details readily available, you can easily communicate with your customers and tailor your marketing efforts to their needs.
Our WooCommerce Wholesale Lead Capture plugin allows you to automate this process conveniently. This tool lets you easily create user-friendly registration forms for aspiring wholesale customers. Additionally, it offers advanced features like built-in spam protection, customizable email sequences, automatic application approvals, and more.
2. Use digital solutions to simplify order placement
Make it effortless for your wholesale customers to place orders using digital tools designed to cater to their needs. You can utilize plugins like Wholesale Order Form to create intuitive and user-friendly order forms for a hassle-free ordering experience.
When combined with Wholesale Prices Premium, Wholesale Order Form can also allow you to set wholesale prices and create special pricing tiers based on order quantities and value.
By simplifying the order placement journey for your customers, you create a better buying experience and enhance their satisfaction.
3. Implement an efficient order-tracking system
Keeping track of bulk orders can be complex and time-consuming. Without an organized system, you risk misplacing orders, experiencing delays, and losing potential customers.
To avoid this, consider investing in order management software tailored for tracking and managing wholesale orders. These systems often provide helpful features such as real-time inventory tracking, order status updates, and automated notifications for you and your customers.
A reliable order management system can also provide your business with the following advantages:
- Access to a centralized database of order details for easy information access
- Option to integrate with other systems to create automated workflows
- Scalability features to cater to growing order volumes
- Optimized tracking to reduce errors and delays
4. Provide stellar customer support
Building lasting relationships with your wholesale customers relies on delivering exceptional customer support and fostering trust in your ordering process. As customers can become uncertain or impatient during the ordering journey, it’s important to keep them informed at every stage.
To achieve this, consider implementing the following strategies:
- Establish Clear Communication Channels – Display contact information (such as your business’ email address or contact number) clearly on your website, order update emails, and other marketing materials.
- Provide Timely Order Updates – Use automated email notifications or SMS alerts to keep customers informed about the status of their orders.
- Create Dedicated Support Channels – Consider adding a live chat feature on your website, creating a dedicated email address for support, and providing a phone line your customers can reach if they have queries or concerns.
Breaking into online wholesaling can be challenging. It’s distinct from regular e-commerce sales, and if you’re not strategic in your efforts, you may have trouble finding your first wholesale customer.
However, if you follow these proven steps and use the right tools, getting wholesale orders should be a breeze:
- Decide what you want to sell
- Set your wholesale agreement terms
- Connect with manufacturers and retailers
- Set your wholesale pricing
- Make it easy to buy your products
- Market your wholesale goods
Additionally, you can enhance customer satisfaction and ensure a smooth order process by implementing the following steps in wholesale order management:
- Automate wholesale customer onboarding
- Use digital tools to streamline order placement
- Leverage an order-tracking system
- Provide exceptional customer support
Do you have any more questions about how to get more wholesale orders? Let us know in the comments below!