Amazon’s global reach and millions of worldwide customers make it one of the best platforms to start and build a successful eCommerce business.
Among the diverse business models permitted by Amazon, wholesale is a great place to start. This model involves procuring branded items in large quantities from manufacturers, distributors, or wholesale suppliers, and then retailing these products.
Engaging in wholesale selling can be a profitable venture if approached correctly, although it requires a significant upfront investment.
To embark on a wholesale business journey, it’s crucial to understand the ins and outs of where to buy wholesale products to sell on Amazon.
This blog post serves as your comprehensive guide, equipping you with all the knowledge you need to kickstart your lifestyle business.
Wholesale suppliers usually sell at discounted prices (aka wholesale prices), allowing the businesses that purchase from them to make profits by reselling them at a higher price (aka retail price).
Types of Wholesale Suppliers
To buy wholesale products to sell on Amazon, you’ll need to find suppliers. There are several types of suppliers to consider:
Manufacturers: Manufacturers produce the products themselves. Buying directly from a manufacturer usually means lower prices, but they may have higher minimum order quantities.
Distributors: Distributors buy products from manufacturers and resell them to retailers. They typically offer a wider range of products, but prices may be higher since they need to make a profit.
Liquidators: Liquidators sell surplus or returned inventory at discounted prices. While you can find great deals, the quality and consistency of products may vary.
Importers: Importers source products from manufacturers in other countries. This can offer cost savings but may come with additional logistics and legal considerations.
Working with a wholesaler can be beneficial if you want to sell on Amazon. Wholesalers typically offer lower prices for bulk purchases. Since wholesale prices are way below retail prices, you can make significant profits.
Wholesalers maintain a broad selection of products, meaning you can find unique and in-demand items to start your Amazon wholesale business. Furthermore, if you wish to sell multiple products on Amazon, you don’t need to approach multiple suppliers or manufacturers.
Working with a wholesaler will streamline your product sourcing process, reduce product transit time and shipping costs, and eliminate the need to deal directly with manufacturers. You can therefore focus more on the front end of your Amazon business.
You’ll enjoy various benefits when you sell wholesale products, and they are,
You don’t need to source products from different countries for your Amazon wholesale business model. You can find wholesale suppliers locally and reduce sourcing time and shipping costs significantly.
Local wholesale sourcing leads to a stable supply chain, better inventory management, and increased profit.
Dealing with Chinese manufacturers can be difficult because of the language barrier. This is also true when you try to source products from other non-English speaking nations like India, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etc.
Language barriers can cause misunderstandings, which eventually lead to either financial or time losses.
You’ll need a local sourcing agent in the manufacturing country to work as a mediator/translator and in other roles to overcome such language difficulties. This will significantly increase your product acquisition cost.
With local wholesale sellers, you can deal in your native language. It leads to faster deals.
One big problem with buying directly from manufacturers or suppliers is the large minimum order quantity. Usually, manufacturers have a minimum order quantity of 300, 500, or 1000 units. A high MOQ increases the upfront cost for buyers.
With wholesale sellers, the minimum order quantity is much smaller, and hence, you don’t need a big initial investment. Wholesale suppliers generally have an MOQ requirement of less than 100.
Private label sellers need to build their own brands and promote them. It takes time for those brands to establish a reputation and gain customers. That’s not the case when you sell wholesale products.
With the Amazon wholesale business model, you’ll sell products from existing brands that people already know and trust. Thus, you’ll spend less time creating and optimizing product listings.
Established brands already have existing listings (provided they sell through Amazon) that you can use. This increases your sales and, by extension, your profit potential.
New private label sellers need to spend on PPC advertising to gain visibility in Amazon search results. PPC ads can quickly erode profits (or even cause losses) without proper management.
You don’t need to worry about PPC advertising when you start selling wholesale products because brands take care of advertising expenses. This ensures higher profit margins for online sellers choosing the wholesale model for their Amazon business.
One of the biggest challenges is finding a reliable Amazon FBA wholesale supplier. Fortunately, there are many options to identify wholesale sellers, and some of them are:
Start by asking the grand ol’ G. Use keywords like ‘Wholesale,’ ‘Dealer,’ etc. to run a quick search. You can adjust keywords as required.
For example, if you are looking for a wholesale supplier for kitchen knives, you can use the search term ‘kitchen knives wholesaler,’ or ‘kitchen knives dealer.’
Here is another example search for the keyphrase “crystal gemwater bottle wholesale seller.”
Once you find a relevant wholesale supplier, you can visit the supplier’s website to learn more about their terms and conditions and MOQ (minimum order quantity).
If you’re purchasing from a brand manufacturer, you’ll most likely need a wholesale account with the manufacturer. Independent wholesalers dealing with multiple brands may or may not require you to have a wholesale account, depending on brand policies.
Some brands will simply not allow selling on platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Walmart. You must go through their terms and conditions before ordering.
Here’s an example of Gemstone Well not allowing wholesale accounts for online sellers who want to sell on Amazon:
Another place to find reliable wholesale suppliers is to attend your local trade shows and industry events.
Such shows and events usually attract brand manufacturers. There will be no dealers in between. You can negotiate directly with brands and demonstrate how you can add value to their brand and products.
Some brands may not be already selling on Amazon, either because they don’t have the time and know-how or because they failed in the past. If you can convince them that you can bring the Amazon selling experience to them, they may agree to accept you as a wholesaler.
Here are some of the most sought-after trade shows and industry events:
Canton Fair (China Import and Export Fair)
One of the largest trade fairs in the world, this event is held twice a year in Guangzhou, China. It features a vast array of product categories and attracts suppliers from various industries worldwide.
Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
Held annually in Las Vegas, CES is the world’s gathering place for those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for over 50 years.
National Hardware Show (NHS)
This event is a great place for Amazon sellers in the home improvement and DIY niche. The NHS showcases products in categories like homewares, construction, appliances, and more.
Global Sources Trade Shows
Global Sources hosts various trade shows throughout the year in Hong Kong, focusing on electronics, lifestyle, and fashion.
ASD Market Week
Held twice a year in Las Vegas, this event is one of the largest B2B trade shows in the world. It features a wide variety of merchandise, making it an excellent event for Amazon sellers of all niches.
International Home + Housewares Show
This event takes place annually in Chicago and features over 2,200 exhibitors from over 50 countries. It’s perfect for Amazon sellers in the home goods niche.
Magic Las Vegas
MAGIC is the world’s largest fashion marketplace, showcasing the latest in apparel, footwear, accessories, and manufacturing.
New York Toy Fair
Ideal for those in the toy and games niche, this event showcases the newest products in the toy industry.
This premier automotive specialty products trade event attracts more than 70,000 domestic and international buyers. A great show for those selling in the automotive niche.
Natural Products Expo West/East
These are the leading trade shows in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry.
Some brands may not allow wholesale partners. In such a situation, you can ask for referrals from exhibitors and attendees. They can refer you to brands that allow wholesalers. Competing brands may, however, decline to offer referrals.
Professional networks and trade associations relevant to the industry you are interested in can be good places to find wholesale suppliers.
You can attend their events and conferences to build your network and meet wholesalers. Also, look for directories and membership lists of the relevant trade associations and professional networks. Such directories can have wholesalers as members.
Finally, look for forums and online communities of professional networks and trade associations. Members of such forums can give you recommendations. Those forums may also have wholesale suppliers as members. You can connect with them directly.
Kickstarter is another place where you can find wholesale opportunities. The products you see on the platform are yet to become mainstream. You can approach the startups you like and propose a wholesale purchase for resale on Amazon.
Many startups may agree to sell their products to you at wholesale rates simply because that can get them early traction through your Amazon wholesale business.
Be aware of scams on the platform. Do not pledge money or pay in advance until you see proof of concept or a working prototype.
Many entrepreneurs use Facebook ads to leverage social media. You can come across sponsored content on the sidebar or notice ads on your Facebook wall feed. Many of these entrepreneurs have new products and often don’t have enough knowledge to get started with Amazon.
You can approach them and explain what they are losing out on and how you can help them boost sales through Amazon’s platform.
Linkedin is another place where you can find a wholesale supplier. You can use the Linkedin search bar. Ensure that you use relevant keywords and filters to narrow down your search.
You can also join relevant industry groups and participate in discussions. You can reach out to employees of wholesale companies. You can also ask for recommendations.
eBay is yet another platform where you can find a wholesale supplier. Use search terms like ‘bulk’ or ‘wholesale’ along with keywords specific to the products you are interested in.
Some eBay sellers list products as “X pieces” or “lot of X” where X is a number. Such listings indicate that the seller may be a wholesaler. You may even check seller feedback to see whether they sold in bulk in the past or recently.
Once you identify a seller as a potential wholesaler, you can contact them and ask whether they offer wholesale prices. Read seller policies carefully and request a small sample before committing to a large order.
Another viable route when considering where to buy wholesale products to sell on Amazon is to find a sourcing agent (or a company) who can help you acquire wholesale products. Such agents or companies maintain a directory of brands offering wholesale prices for bulk orders.
You can offload your paperwork and negotiations by working with a sourcing agent or sourcing company. They usually have insider ties with brands and get things moving quickly.
But remember! Such services aren’t free.
There are many platforms where you can look for sourcing agents or companies. Two such popular platforms are Upwork and Fiverr. You can easily find an individual agent or a sourcing company representative using proper search terms.
The Amazon Selling Partner Appstore is a marketplace for third-party apps and services that help Amazon sellers manage different aspects of their business, such as listing optimization, sales tracking, inventory management, etc.
It may be possible to find wholesalers through the platform. Run searches using terms like supplier, wholesaler, bulk, etc. These search terms can help you find apps designed for wholesalers.
Check the app descriptions to see if they mention anything about working with wholesalers or offering bulk product purchases. If confused, contact the app developers and ask directly.
Remember that to access the Selling Partner Appstore, you’ll need an active Amazon Seller Account. You can read more details here.
It may sound a little weird, but some retail shops may sell wholesale products. You can approach your local retail shops and ask them. Some of them may give referrals that will come in handy.
Possibly the simplest approach of where to buy wholesale products to sell on Amazon is to look for wholesalers in online directories. There are many such directories that connect wholesalers with potential buyers. Some of the most reputed websites and directories that you can join and/or search include:
- Kole Imports: It is a wholesale merchandise and closeout supplier. The company also offers a range of FBA services.
- SaleHoo: This is a company that specializes in global trading between wholesalers and suppliers. It is possible to find local wholesalers among the 8000+ suppliers on the platform.
- Alibaba: Alibaba will connect you with wholesalers and suppliers from China. You can source cheap products, but that defeats the whole purpose of finding a local wholesaler to minimize product delivery time.
- Worldwide Brands: It is an online directory of certified distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers. It has been around for 20 years now.
- DollarDays: Here you can find wholesalers catering to US businesses. There are wholesalers in many categories.
- Global Sources: It is yet another platform to connect with Chinese manufacturers and wholesalers.
- Juniper Market: It is an online marketplace for wholesale sellers and buyers in the lifestyle, home decor, and furniture industries.
- RocketDrop: Offers wholesale for Apple and other consumer electronics from other brands.
- Wholesale Central: It is an American B2B directory where you can find the top wholesale suppliers across numerous categories. You can even find dedicated Amazon FBA suppliers.
- Clever Wholesale: It is yet another online directory to find premium dropshippers and wholesalers across many industries.
When considering where to buy wholesale products to sell on Amazon, remember that brand owners and wholesalers will want you to furnish certain information, which includes:
You must have a legal business entity or be a registered proprietor. Brands and distributors will ask you to provide business details while filling out the wholesale form.
Most brands and wholesalers will require you to have a resale certificate. This certificate will allow you to make tax-free purchases from distributors, wholesalers, and brands for reselling.
Also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number, the EIN is the social security number for your business. The federal government uses EINs to collect business taxes. You can get it from the IRS for free.
Yes, it is legal. Amazon allows customers to purchase products from wholesalers and sell them at a higher price on its platform. It’s called the wholesale business model.
The golden rule to finding the best products for wholesale on Amazon is to look for products with low competition but high demand.
If there are many wholesalers on Amazon selling the same product, you’ll need to get into a price war and offer the lowest possible price to attract customers. This will make a dent in your profits.
Also, don’t target products for which Amazon is a retailer. Amazon can reduce prices and take losses, but you can’t!
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Where to Buy Wholesale Products to Sell on Amazon? – Summary
Selling wholesale products on Amazon is a viable business model as long as you find the right products and the right Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers.
But as with any other business model, there are risks. The biggest problem is that big brands don’t care, and they can cut you off as a wholesaler without any reason. So choose brands wisely.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your product portfolio.
Even if you lose one brand, there will be others to support your Amazon business.
Because wholesale requires a big upfront investment, ensure that you conduct thorough research to find winning products that will sell well.