A wholesaler is traditionally defined as someone who is a middleman or a distributor who procures goods in bulk and sells them to retailers or stores, who in turn, sell them to the consumer. Making the first contact with a wholesaler might appear to be a daunting task to a retailer. It means finding a suitable one who is reliable and cost effective and has a positive impact on the retailer’s business.

There is no set rule about how to approach wholesalers, and it is important to remember that the wholesaler depends on retailers for business. Here are a few tips that will increase the retailer’s chances of finding a suitable wholesaler.

Visiting The Wholesaler In Person


The retailer must make the initial contact with confidence and find out what the wholesaler has on offer in terms of product range and services. While phone calls and e-mails can help establish first contact to get the stock list and pricing, it is best to physically visit a wholesaler to get a more accurate impression of the business. It goes without saying that the location of the wholesaler matters. Visiting the wholesaler adds a whole new dimension to understanding how they work. The retailer must be wary of a wholesaler who does not encourage visits and makes excuses to avoid it. Before visiting, some questions to ask the wholesaler are:

• Do they stock the goods the retailer is interested in buying?
• Will the wholesaler be available for discussion when the retailer visits?
• What are their standard terms and conditions for business?
• Can the retailer see the stock?
• What are their procedures for order placing and payments?

Wholesalers tend to be busiest during the middle of the day, so it is best to make an appointment before visiting them.

Stocking


Wholesalers deal in bulk quantities, and their business is dynamic with changes in stock on a daily basis. The retailer must devise a method whereby there is up-to-date information about the specific items that will be regularly purchased from the wholesaler. It is also important to be prepared for situations where stock may not be available.

Negotiating With The Wholesaler

The lowest prices do not always mean the best wholesalers, and this means looking at other aspects of the business, such as how much time the wholesaler will take to deliver goods, the quality of the goods, and the terms of payment. Wholesalers usually offer bulk discounts when large volumes are involved. Sometimes, their pricing could also include certain features the retailer might not need, and this could help them negotiate for better rates.

Ultimately, the negotiations must result in both the retailer and wholesaler feeling satisfied and eager to do business. Writing up a contract can ensure that both the retailer and wholesaler follow a mutually convenient procedure that benefits both parties.

To actually experience the wholesaler’s mode of working and service, the retailer can place a sample order before deciding to continue to work with the wholesaler.

In business, it is natural to want to get the best deal, and good negotiation skills can help the retailer find a profitable wholesaler. It is important, however, to remember that negotiations are not restricted to price alone. Also, negotiations may not always work. Some wholesalers do not lower their prices but may offer services that make the price worth it.