The internet is literally flooded with wholesalers. Choosing a reliable one is a difficult task. It’s even more challenging if you’re not sure what to look for. Thankfully, I’m going to point you in the right direction by revealing 10 key essentials that every wholesale supplier should have.
A Fair Returns & Refund Policy
In some countries, business to business trading doesn’t follow the same strict rules of business to consumer trading. For example, UK based online retailers are required to offer a 14 day returns policy by law. However, business to business sellers including wholesalers have no requirements.
Therefore, it’s important to study the wholesalers return policy before making a purchase. Some suppliers offer a very short window of time to return items, others don’t accept unwanted returns at all. However, you should always be given a reasonable period of time to return faulty, defective or damaged goods. A 5-7 day return window should give you adequate time to inspect the goods.
It may be tedious but make sure you read the entire contents of the suppliers return policy. Small details such as who is responsible if the goods are lost or damaged during transit should be outlined in the policy. Also look for time limits, some suppliers may require you to report any faults or damage within a few days of receiving the goods.
A Good Shipping Policy
When it comes to buying wholesale products, shipping policies will vary. However, you should always make sure the supplier uses a reliable courier and provides tracking information. This is essential when dealing in large quantities of valuable items.
A Reasonable Minimum Order Requirement
It’s common for most wholesale suppliers to have minimum order quantities (MOQ’s) or minimum order requirements. In this case, you’ll have to order a minimum number of units, or spent a certain amount of money e.g. $500.
Make sure the supplier has a reasonable minimum order requirement that suits your budget. It’s also worthwhile to ask if they allow smaller test orders for new buyers. You’ll often find that most companies would be more than happy to accept initial test orders.
A Secure HTTPS Website Connection
No matter which supplier you plan on trading with, it’s absolutely essential that their website has a secure connection. Any website that accepts online payments, particularly with credit cards must have a secure connection. To determine this, simply check the websites address. If it starts with the letters https then it’s on a secure connection, and you’re payment information will be safe.
Accurate Business Contact Information
Every wholesaler should have contact information, whether it’s email, fax, live chat or phone. A quick search of their website should uncover this information. You could even want to go that extra mile by sending an email or giving them a call to confirm the information is accurate.
A Real Business Address
Every established wholesaler should have a registered business address. In fact, some have open showrooms or warehouses that people can physically visit. However, if the warehouse is beyond your reach, one quick search on Google maps can validate if it’s real or not.
A Registration & Tax or VAT Number
It’s safe to say, if you’re dealing with an established company, they’ll be a legally registered company. Search for a registration number on their website or lookup the company on your local government’s website. It’s also worth finding out if they’re tax or VAT registered. In countries like the UK, if a company is VAT registered and you’re also VAT registered, you can claim back the tax you paid on your orders.
A Solid Company History
It’s always better to deal with companies that have a solid background history and experience in wholesale industry. Most suppliers will have an about page detailing when they were founded, what their expertise is and which areas they specialise in. If not, it doesn’t hurt to ping over a quick email to uncover these small but important details.
Positive Reviews or Feedback
Admittedly, it’s hard to find honest reviews or feedback when simply browsing a supplier’s website. However, one quick Google search can dig up everything you need to know. Forums, blogs and dedicated review websites such as Trust Pilot are great for finding real and honest reviews.
Our free to use wholesale directory has a dedicated reviews section for each supplier. Therefore, it may be worthwhile looking up the supplier you plan on working with to see if they’re listed and if there’s any reviews. We also have our own wholesale forum which is packed full of supplier reviews, complaints and scam warnings.
Most of the time it comes down to good old fashion common sense and gut instinct when separating the good wholesalers from the bad. If the supplier ticks all, or at least some of the boxes mentioned above, you can go ahead and place your order with confidence.
For useful tips and tricks on how to research suppliers to ensure they’re legitimate, click here.