Guide to wholesalers import: Finding & importing wholesale

Panna Kemenes

Importing wholesale goods, and reselling them, can be a profitable business venture. The idea is to buy cheap and then sell the products at a higher price to maximize profit margins.

When you import, you can tap into a pool of products that may be unavailable in your country. That way, you can offer your customers a unique product, or a low price point.

Pay wholesale importers with Wise

📝 In this article:

How to prepare before finding wholesale importers

Before you get a wholesale importer involved, there are several factors to consider. Here's a series of steps you can take to make the right decision:

Find the product you want to sell

First up on your priority list should be finding the type of product you’re looking for. Research which products are in high demand, or what your customers are looking for.

Another approach could be to search online wholesale websites and look at products. This will give you an idea of what’s available. Then you can see what products there’s demand for.

Understand distribution channels

It’s important to understand your distribution channels, too. Any long-term deal with a wholesaler will have implications for your business strategy.

Figure out where the process of distribution starts. This will inform you about possible bottlenecks. For example, you may buy from a wholesaler who has a manufacturer in another country. This could slow down the pipeline for you, and vitally - your customers..

You may also consider using third party logistics to manage processes such as storage and distribution.

Research wholesale import costs

Importing wholesale goods can be expensive when you factor in the extra costs. The products are usually low-cost, but there are also shipping costs and other fees to consider, for example shipping from China to USA.

Include these fees when you crunch the numbers for an accurate picture of how much the process will cost.

🔍 You can also read the guide on how to calculate US import duty and tax fees to avoid any surprises when your goods arrive.

Wholesale costs

How do I find international wholesalers?

There are various ways to find international import wholesalers, both online and in-person. Here are seven of the best tips on how to get a wholesale importer:

1. Search dedicated wholesale supplier sites

Wholesale supplier sites connect buyers with wholesalers, and often act as an intermediary. These sites simplify the process, and provide you with plenty of wholesaler options.

Alibaba is an example of a popular global wholesaler website that features suppliers from around the world.

💡 Chinese wholesale supplier sites can be a good place to start. This is due to the sheer volume of suppliers available. In 2020 there were already 16,513 wholesale suppliers in China specializing in food, beverage, and tobacco products alone.¹

2. Browse B2B marketplaces

B2B marketplaces, such as Amazon Business or Etsy, offer products to businesses. While not every B2B marketplace offers wholesale imports, many do discounts on bulk orders.

3. Go to wholesale trade shows

Wholesale trade shows are a great place to meet and greet wholesale business owners. Find a trade show near you, exchange details with international wholesalers, and strike a deal.

4. Find wholesale batches on eCommerce sites

eCommerce sites such as eBay sometimes offer wholesale batches. This means, with some digging, you can find great deals on bulk buys.

5. Use government sources

The U.S. Commercial Service is a great resource, as it can help you find international wholesalers. The International Trade Administration website also features useful guides and resources.

6. Attend Certified Trade Missions

Certified Trade Missions are networking events for US businesses. The events are led by the U.S. Department of Commerce and can help your businesses find an overseas supplier that imports wholesale products.²

7. Do specific searches

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, specific searches are the best option. For example, if you need a wholesaler that operates in China, you can read a guide to Chinese wholesalers.

💡 If your wholesale importer is from overseas, you can save money by paying them with a Wise Business account. Wise Business is here to solve your international payment problems.

Wholesale search

How do I import wholesale?

So what does the process of importing wholesale look like from start to finish?

Start with market research

Once you’ve settled upon the product you want, dig into the target audience and find out how much demand there is.

You should also assess the competition. Check their pricing strategy and how well they’ve been able to sell similar products.

Find a wholesale import supplier

Next, you should track down the perfect wholesale import supplier for your business needs.

Use the methods above to find a wholesaler. Then, consider factors such as fees, convenience, and the wholesaler’s reputation.

Contact your chosen wholesale import supplier

When you reach out to your chosen wholesale import distributors or suppliers, there are a few things you should clarify:

  • Establish order requirements
  • Decide on wholesale unit prices (negotiate a discount if possible for a larger order)
  • Confirm which areas they supply
  • Discuss and agree upon payment terms

Place and pay for your order

Place your order with the wholesaler, and make payment according to your payment terms.

🌎 Pay for your international goods at the mid-market rate with a Wise Business account. Save money and maintain a good supplier relationship by paying on time and in the local currency.

Receive your wholesale import goods

Now all that’s left to do is wait for your goods. The time it takes to receive them will depend on the delivery method you chose, and where they’re coming from.

Then, you can sell the imported wholesale products at your chosen price point.

Paying wholesale importers? Try Wise Business

If your importer is in China, they might request payment in CNY. This can be expensive with a traditional bank account. You can use Wise Business to pay at the real mid-market rate.

Wise Business lets you pay overseas importers and suppliers without breaking the bank. You can even save up to 19x compared to PayPal when making international business payments.

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  1. Wholesale suppliers in China
  2. Certified Trade Missions

All sources checked May 19, 2022.

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