Suppliers of goods are looking not only for novice owners of online stores, but also for those who have been engaged in business for a long time. The profitability and stability of further work may depend on attentiveness at this stage.. How to choose a supplier for an online store from many options and prevent errors? We will talk about this below in the article.


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Supplier Categories

Before looking for suppliers for the online store, you must take into account the current financial situation, the availability of warehouses, the possibility of storing goods and a number of other factors. After that, you can select one of these models of interaction:

  • Dropshipping - the optimal solution for start-up entrepreneurs who do not have their own warehouse and significant assets for functioning. In fact, the seller acts as an intermediary between the client and the supplier, making a margin on the value proposed by the latter. The size of this mark-up will become the seller’s profit.
  • Opt - An option for entrepreneurs who have start-up capital or a stock of funds to expand the existing assortment of the online store. Assumes the purchase of goods small, medium or large batches, and their further sale to customers at retail. This interaction model allows the owner of the online store to make big profits. 

Before looking for suppliers of goods, you should evaluate the possibility of investing a certain amount for the purchase without compromising the functioning of the online store. It is better to order if there is a significant amount from large suppliers or manufacturers in large batches. In the absence of free assets, it is better to choose a small supplier and distributor. They can provide small batches, make deferred payments.

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How and where to look for suppliers of goods for online stores

Suppliers, like sellers, are also interested in collaborating because they need points of sale of the proposed products. Accordingly, they disseminate information about themselves in various ways and often seek online stores themselves.

Here are a few options, how and where to look for suppliers of goods for the online store:

  • Search engines. Most suppliers have their own sites that are actively promoted, unlike producer resources. The latter can rarely be found in TOP issues, since their sites are presented only by visits with general information about the company. Therefore, look for favorable conditions not only on the first page of the search issue. Use various requests: “buy in bulk + [product]”, “supplier + [product]”, “opt + [product]”, etc.
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  • Conferences, Exhibitions and Forums. Many manufacturers attend such events, have their own exhibition areas. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the proposed products, advertising materials. Sharing contacts and the possibility of receiving additional discounts on such events is a great opportunity to acquire a reliable supplier for the online store on favorable terms.
  • Company catalogs. There are special portals and reference books of companies of a certain direction, which indicate data on available goods and terms of cooperation. Potential sellers can only familiarize themselves with the offers and choose the option that suits themselves.
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  • Print Editions. Do not underestimate such sources of information. They can find profitable offers directly from product manufacturers. Some intermediary suppliers also post product information.
  • On competitor sites. Usually, owners of online stores try to hide information about their suppliers, but there are several ways to get the necessary information. Carefully study the photos, sometimes in a hurry, administrators simply forget to remove the logo and name of the supplier and manufacturer. If you wish, you can pretend to be a client and request data on warranty service - the answer comes from an official dealer. Another option is to request quality certificates, in which, with a high degree of probability, the supplier will print.
  • Social networks, telegram channels. Administrators of large communities and channels can provide information about suppliers as advertising. However, it must be borne in mind that the administration does not bear any responsibility for the information provided and it will have to be checked independently.
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  • Local manufacturers. You can find manufacturers located in your area. Perhaps these will not be eminent brands, but the competitive price combined with good quality will make it possible to take a place in the niche and receive good income for both the owner of the online store and the manufacturer.
  • Joint Procurement Services. It is especially relevant for small and novice online stores that do not have the means to purchase large quantities of goods. Thus, you can get the opportunity to purchase goods at wholesale value together with other users.

It is on the search for a reliable supplier with loyal conditions that the efficiency and profitability of the future operation of the online store largely depends.

Negotiating with suppliers

After you have found and selected suppliers for the online store, you need to contact them directly and find out as accurately as possible the details of further cooperation. If the conditions are arranged, but the impression of insecurity is created, a face-to-face meeting with the representative should be held.

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Before negotiating with suppliers for the online store, you should learn as much information as possible about them. Do not forget that they are interested in the seller in the same way as he is in them. At a confrontation information on such items should be clarified:

  • Features of the formation of value purchased goods, whether accumulative discounts are provided, is there a need for the purchase of goods for a specified amount within a month.
  • Volumes minimum batch goods or the value of the minimum lump sum.
  • Is there a need to reserve goods or pre-order, as well as the time frame within which the paid goods can be taken out of stock. Are all items from the list presented really available.
  • Ways to obtain prepaid goods - exclusively self-export from a warehouse, delivery by a distributor or other methods.
  • The frequency of provision of current stock balances is at least for the main trading items.
  • Forms of cooperation - execution of contracts, provision of reporting documentation and other important factors.
  • Certificate Availability compliance with all products provided or its individual types.
  • Features of the conduct warranty service, whether the acceptance of defective goods is ensured.
  • When working with expensive goods, for example, household, office equipment, smartphones, furniture products, does the supplier give the ability to issue a return of unclaimed but already paid goods. If it is possible to exchange such positions for others.
  • Does the company provide additional product information - a detailed description, technical characteristics, photographic materials and video, etc.

Each of these points is important for the future operation of the online store. The owner of the resource, based on the data received, will subsequently fill in the relevant data on the product, including the guarantee, the conditions for return and exchange and other parameters.

There are many ways to find suppliers for the online store. Some of them may be effective, others will give less results, but all possible options must be used. This will allow you to collect more offers from which you can choose the most suitable option for cooperation.