The wholesale model of doing business came about after the Industrial Revolution, which ushered in an explosion of mass production in the 19th century. Before wholesalers existed, manufacturers had the extra task of spending time and money to promote their goods directly to retailers.
What is the wholesale model? Wholesale distributors act as the middlemen in the supply chain. Buying large amounts of products from manufacturers gives them a significant discount which is then passed on to retailers. The retailers then repackage the wholesale products into individual products to be sold at a profit.
How Do I Find the Right Wholesale Distributor for My Business?
The first step in finding the right company (or companies) to work with is to determine exactly what you need from whatever partnership you form. This usually includes finding a wholesale distributor that services your geographical region, has affordable prices, and will provide the correct manufacturers for your product.
Do your research to find distributors that have legitimately high-quality products. Make sure to learn the specifics regarding customer service, especially how a company handles complaints and returns, and what the average turnaround time is for delivery. Above all, whoever you work with must have a reputation for reliability, honesty, and excellent customer service.
Determine the type of wholesale distributor(s) you need. Some wholesale distributors, like Atlantic Dominion, one of the Southeast’s most trusted wholesale food distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, act as middlemen between suppliers and retailers, while others concentrate on reselling products.
Make yourself visible. Update (or create) a LinkedIn profile, sign up for industry newsletters and join your local Chamber of Commerce in order to expand your circle of professional connections.
Join Groups, Forums, and Other Professional Networks in Your Industry. You’ll almost always get the best information and advice from those who have experience, and an online forum can be a great resource for free information. Some, however, might be hesitant to share with a competitor they don’t know. The solution is to become known through networking, which brings us to the next tip.
Attend as Many Trade Shows as You Can. Trade shows are specifically designed for retailers to connect with distributors and manufacturers, and at trade shows (depending on your social stamina), you can have hundreds of conversations in a single day. The benefit of face-to-face conversations is that you avoid miscommunication and sometimes receive misinformation that can happen when you contact a company online.
Subscribe to Trade magazines, newsletters, and blogs. All of these resources provide valuable information as well as a way to keep up with daily or weekly industry news and updates. Another benefit is that the advertisers in a trade magazine will be product manufacturers and distributors looking to reach you. Just one issue will give you the names of dozens of wholesalers or small manufacturers to research.
Don’t Expect to Get It Right the First Time. Even with diligent research, the first wholesale distributor you partner with might not end up being a long-term vendor. Give yourself some space for trial and error and eventually, you’ll be the veteran others come to for advice!
Looking for Wholesale Distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina?
At Atlantic Dominion, we know that competition is stiff, which is why our reputation is everything. After over a century in the industry, we’re proud to be known throughout the Southeast for our expertise, professionalism, and quality merchandise. You can get in touch with us here. We can’t wait to work with you!