E-COMMERCE HACKS: 10 Secrets Amazon Wholesale Suppliers Want You to Know Right Now
October 02, 2019
Warning: This cheat sheet may make you a product sourcing wizard
There’s no argument: In 2019, Amazon is the best place to sell wholesale products. No other e-commerce website infrastructure requires so little technical expertise or has such a large customer base. Putting all third-party selling platforms side-by-side, it’s easy to see why Amazon comes out on top.
|Selling Platform||100 Million+ Customer Base built in?||No coding / development knowledge||Scalable||Fulfillment Services||Shipping Program|
Even though using Amazon as a platform may seem like a given, finding products to SELL is the most challenging part of any e-commerce business. This is especially true if you’re a new seller.
We’ve created a cheat sheet to show you how to find products and choose beneficial suppliers for Amazon FBA. We know there are hundreds of these articles online, so we decided to consult the experts: the wholesaler's companies themselves.
You see, in order to set up wholesale accounts, you have to think about the entire supply chain, rather than what you’re getting out of the deal.
Here are some tips and tricks every wholesale supplier wants you to know before you call, fill out applications or look for products.
The wholesale business is built on relationships. Do you want access to new product lines before everyone else? Do you want exclusive items? Are you out to find lower prices? Every other Amazon seller is out to find the same things, but few are willing to put in the work to develop a long-term relationship with a wholesale company. Rather, most sellers want to fill out an application and put in an order every 6 months. Figure out how you can help us. Maybe you have the ability to help them move some slow product or guide us in tightening our supply chain by becoming brand registered on Amazon. These favors will be returned many times over.
Focus on smaller wholesalers
Sometimes the bottom is more profitable than the top. Bigger is not always better. Your chances of landing an account with a region-centric party supply company are much better than becoming an exclusive Apple distributor. Spend your time where it’s most profitable.
Choose local suppliers
You don’t need a product sourcing company (at first). There are hundreds of thousands of people who source wholesale products from China to sell on Amazon. Using product sourcing companies like Alibaba can be a lucrative business model if you have some experience under your belt, but sticking with top U.S. wholesale companies will save you the hassle of customs and import regulations. A cheaper alternative to a full sourcing company is free software like ProfitGuru, which can help with efficient product research.
Don't sell under MAP
Don’t undercut us. MAP (minimum advertised prices) are the lowest cost retailers and brands can advertise, as set by manufacturers or wholesalers. The purpose of MAP is twofold. First, prices are set to maintain consistent profit margins for every single seller/retailer. Second, underpriced items can negatively impact the brand reputation and lower the perceived value of a product. Undercutting MAP may seem beneficial in the short run, but don’t expect us to keep you as a customer once you start breaking this rule.
Check selling guidelines
If you don’t understand something, ask. Any top U.S. wholesale company will have specific guidelines about how products can be retailed, especially when it comes to Amazon. Before you create a bundle, multi-pack, or make any other alterations to how a product is typically sold, make an inquiry. Chances are we won’t care (after all, our main goal is to move as much product as possible) but it’s always best to stay on the safe side.
You don’t have to go to tradeshows to find us. Trade shows can be expensive and time- consuming, especially to sellers who are in startup mode. Just request a tradeshow booklet after the fact -- all of our info is there. The fact we attended a trade show in the first tells you we’re likely looking for new sellers.
Go beyond the wholesale directory and look local: There are opportunities to find wholesale products that nobody else has tapped into, especially on a local level. Look for products that are produced in your area, but not in the rest of the country.
Just because we offer Amazon dropshipping doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Remember, we work with many different types of sellers: brick and mortar stores, smaller wholesalers, Shopify owners, public organizations and more. They utilize dropshipping for a number of reasons, but an Amazon business is an entirely different beast.
This isn’t to say we’re not willing to drop ship for you -- just jake sure you read Amazon’s entire policy and understand the risks before you put in an order for a customer. If you’re not clear with us, it can delay shipping (and cost you your Amazon account. Also keep in mind you can’t just order from one of our online storefronts -- it’s directly against Amazon’s rules.
We’re Negotiable. Negotiation is hard. Don’t try to be the boss when we’re both at the bargaining table. You’ll have much more power when you act as the office manager, purchasing agent, or another buying-related position. Not only does this give you some wiggle room (for example, “I’ll ask our CEO about these prices and let you know later in the week”), but it also allows you to be assertive while passing the buck (“I know we’ve been with your company for a few years but my boss is saying these prices won’t work for us.”
Don’t dismiss the power of a letter or email inquiry. Sending out a standard form letter may seem like a blast from the past, but it can be surprisingly efficient. There are hundreds of templates online, just make sure to customize the one of your choosing based on the Amazon FBA products you’re looking for. You’ll quickly get a feel for suppliers who are open to communication, and those who won’t work within your business model.
Whether you’re just opening an Amazon account or you’ve been selling for a few years, make sure to check out our free Sales Estimator. It’s a handy research tool to find if a product opportunity is worth pursuing before placing an order with your wholesale supplier.
What are your best tips for finding Amazon products and suppliers? Drop a note below and let us know.