The wholesale business is almost half a trillion dollars industry in the United States, and it has grown significantly in the last few years. We know that these numbers are hard to miss for the sellers. Hence, all the sellers, especially dropshippers are grabbing their piece of cake in the eCommerce space.
But, it is relatively difficult to sell a product that you don’t have, and the biggest challenge for any business is to find the right wholesale distributor to sell office supplies online. Moreover, it is overwhelming to choose from a variety of options available all across the globe.
In this blog post, we have got your back with the best possible solutions to choose the right office supplies wholesale distributors.
Why is it Essential to Select the Appropriate Wholesale Distributor to Sell Office Supplies Online
Choosing an online wholesale provider is one of the vital decisions of the business as it determines your price competency, timely delivery of the products to the customers, the right product selection to satisfy customer demand, which eventually affects profit margin.
When you are looking for the right wholesale distributor, you should consider factors like reliability, price, customer service, and product portfolio. You can also look for dropship office supplies wholesale distributors to ship the products directly to the customers.
Thus, it is essential to find the right wholesale distributors to sell online office supplies products due to the following reasons:
- You can invest heavily in the products as you don’t have to worry about expensive storage rental.
- You get better deals on the products so that you can sell them at a higher margin.
- If some products went out of stock, you can restock them effortlessly with the help of the wholesale distributor.
- You can ignore the entire product development process so that you can save enough time and money.
Where to Find the Right Wholesale Distributors to Sell Office Supplies Online
Now, the first question that pops up in your head is where to look for the wholesale distributors to sell eCommerce office supplies. You can use trade directories like 10times or TSNN, wholesale directories, or online business associations to find appropriate distributors for sourcing IT & office supplies from Wholesale Central, NREL, and Alibaba. Your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Development Center can also offer substantial advice on wholesale providers.
If you are still not sure of where to find the right wholesale distributors, you can start searching for them in the following places:
Start your search from the wholesale directories or phonebook listings to find out:
- The prices of their wholesale units.
- Their minimum order requirements.
- Their supply region.
You can connect to them over call or email. If you need more information, you can make a follow-up call. It is advisable, to be honest about where to sell office supplies and tell them that you are researching other competitors also. This way, you can get better pricing, even if you are just starting.
Major B2B Marketplaces
Several B2B marketplaces sell office supplies online at affordable prices. One of the largest B2B marketplaces of wholesale distributors is Alibaba.com. EC Plaza, Global Sources, EC21, Buyer Zone, and Busy Trade.
Hence, you can look for B2B marketplaces in your country and find the appropriate office supply and eCommerce solution company.
The small-scale B2B businesses in your industry have a lot of information about wholesale distributors. But, they don’t easily give this information to their competitors. So, you must invest much of your time in networking so that you can find the right office supplies wholesale distributors for your B2B business.
Online forums, industry newsletters, local Chamber of Commerce, and LinkedIn are also some of the other ways of finding the wholesale providers of IT and office supplies.
If you are researching wholesale distributors online, don’t search generally. Instead, include industry-related keywords in your niche. If you feel that certain wholesale distributors match your expectations but don’t have any contact information, you can take the help of a WHOIS search.
This way, you can make a list and compare the prices of the different wholesale distributors, thereby getting competitive quotes.
Trade shows are yet another time-tested way to build and grow your eCommerce office supplies business. It is a great place to connect with potential wholesale providers. Attending a trade show allows you to have a face-to-face conversation with the wholesalers. Thus, it avoids miscommunication that may occur when searching online.
Like trade shows, trade publications are also an excellent source of information for businesses and relationships in your industry. These publications contain a myriad of wholesale IT and office supplies providers. So, you can explore them to find out the potential distributors from the list. It is also advisable to subscribe to the email newsletters so that you can keep track of the latest industry news and updates.
What to Ask When Contacting a Potential Wholesale Distributor
Now, it’s time to ask some vital questions to the wholesale distributors to decide whether they are appropriate for your office supply and eCommerce solution company:
What is the length of their product catalog?
To evaluate the potential wholesale distributors to sell online office supplies products, you need to ask them about their office supplies catalog. Certain distributors are specialized in one or two products like chairs and furniture but lack product diversity. If you are planning to partner with more than one distributor, you must assess the prices carefully to conclude your choice.
However, if you have a startup business, this may not be possible as established wholesale providers assure the volume of sales before partnership. So, your ultimate goal should be to find one potential and reliable wholesale distributor that showcases a variety of products.
What is their pricing structure?
Businesses attain maximum profits only when they source your products in the best possible way. Before selecting the wholesale distributor for your B2B eCommerce IT and office supplies business, you must ensure the frequency of their price changes. You should also ask if they offer any live office supplies catalog with real-time price updates and promotions, rebates, or additional discounts. After you are sure that the distributors fit into your requirements criteria, you can choose them to source products for your business.
What makes them different from their competitors?
While searching for potential wholesale distributors, you should consider whether the other suppliers are providing complementary services and benefits. The competitors that provide more than your potential candidate must be the right choice in terms of pricing and product sourcing. You must ask your wholesale distributor if they provide the following benefits:
- The dropship office supplies wholesale services
- Technological services
- Toner recycling
- Catalog integration with frequent updates
- Worldwide delivery options
- Quick service delivery
- Free product content
- IT & office supplies assembly on site
Is their online ordering system user-friendly?
In the present times, the online ordering system is a standard for all the B2B office supply store online businesses. However, wholesale distributors fail to provide user-friendly interfaces and an online ordering system to B2B buyers.
It’s your responsibility to ensure that the office supplies wholesale distributors offer you the opportunities of sending electronic orders, change users, automate customer order fulfillment process, and ship orders to multiple addresses.
Do they offer automated data feed?
If your distributor has a huge catalog with fast-moving items, an automated data feed is what you need. It is not possible to upload and keep a track of inventory from an extensive catalog manually.
With an automated data feed, your stock information is structured and up to date. When your customers search for a product, the data feed connects them to your store and they can view what is in stock and what is not.
Not only availability, but an automated data feed also provides information regarding pricing, attributes, product types, and categories.
What is their return policy?
You must clarify everything about the return policy before placing orders. The potential wholesale distributor should resolve the issue in the process of return whenever it arises. You should ask them whether you are going to bear the expenses of the return order of bulk items or it will be covered by the wholesaler. Answers to all these questions will help minimize risks in the office supply and eCommerce solution company.
How is their customer support?
Efficient customer support differentiates an office supply store online from that of the competitors. The best part of the wholesaler will be analyzed only if they handle all the errors in pricing and deliveries appropriately. It’s your primary goal to look for office supplies distributors that help you in concluding where to sell office supplies online with a knowledgeable customer support team with maximum years of experience.
What is their delivery process? Do they offer dropshipping service?
Select the wholesale distributor that helps you to meet the delivery requirements of the customer. The distributor should provide quick delivery services nationwide.
Check if your distributor can deliver all or selected products in the product catalog the next day.
If you are looking for low-budget and low inventory management options, ask your distributor whether they dropship products directly to the customers. With dropshipping you have the flexibility to offer different types of products and scale up whenever you want. There is no need to look for a bigger space to store inventory at your end.
What is their onboard process?
It is relatively stressful as well as overwhelming to do all the paperwork while partnering with the wholesale distributors. While doing the paperwork, you should check whether the distributor has a legitimate business. Further information about the business such as utility bills, trade references, flooring information, Federal Tax ID, etc. may also be needed.
Therefore, you should understand the onboarding process and ensure that the distributor will offer the best customer support team.
Choosing the right wholesale distributors is the key to selling office supplies online. It seems to be a hurdle, but you cannot run an eCommerce store without selling the right products at the right price and at the right time.
Therefore, you should look for reliable and experienced wholesale distributors who are up-to-date with the latest technological advancements for effective and profitable business dealings.