If you sell online (which is probably why you’re reading this) we don’t have to tell you that sourcing is your greatest challenge, or certainly one of them.
As countless PowerSellers have told us, if you buy your inventory at the right price, you will always be able to sell it at a profit. So you largely determine how profitable an item will be when you buy it, not when you sell it. That may sound counterintuitive, but whether you agree 100 percent with that assessment, we feel safe in assuming that sourcing is very important to your business’ bottom line.
In our continuing quest to find new sourcing outlets for you, we decided to take a close look at wholesale products site TopTenWholesale.com. This site anchors the JP Communications B2B wholesale network that includes Manufacturer.com, WholesaleU.com and OffPriceNetwork.com, all of which serve sellers of apparel, handbags, footwear, jewelry, closeouts and “general merchandise.”
TopTenWholesale.com has as its slogan “Find it. Source it. Profit!” According to its website, it “connects buyers of general merchandise wholesale products to manufacturers, importers, distributors, auctioneers, independent retailers, flea marketers, drop shippers and any reseller of new and closeouts merchandise.”
Each month, more than 1 million resellers use the sites in this wholesale network to connect with thousands of wholesale suppliers and manufacturers. Should you be among them?As with any new company you’re considering doing business with, you should first check out the company with the Better Business Bureau
As with any new company you’re considering doing business with, you should first check out the company with the Better Business Bureau. We did that for you and found no complaints had been filed about TopTenWholesale.com—a good sign. Other services, such as the Web-based ComplaintsBoard, can also be helpful as you do your due diligence.
We then spoke with Jason Prescott, CEO of TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com, and tried to anticipate questions you may have as a potential user of these sites.
Prescott: Global Sources and Alibaba have done a terrific job at creating international trade platforms. Sourcing and connecting with new trade partners can be a daunting task. The differences among our networks (TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com) and those are:
U.S.-based — Our No. 1 and primary relationship remains rooted with the buyer. The U.S. still ranks No.1 in imports with more than $2 trillion per annum and every exporter/supplier wants a piece. TopTenWholesale.com has more than 14,000 active U.S. suppliers. Millions of retailers, dropshipping companies, PowerSellers, importers and resellers participate in our community monthly. Based in Los Angeles, communication with American companies comes natural to us.
Trustworthy suppliers — All of our premium members go through a Supplier Pass® authentication for validity of their entities. Our knowledge of credit and business practices in the U.S. remains a tremendous strength.
Schepp: Typically, who uses your various sites?
Prescott: Our network is used by retailers (small, medium and chain), independents, auctioneers, flea marketers, and dropshipping companies. Categories range from A to Z. We have everything from apparel to solar to zoo products.
Since the new TopTenWholesale.com site launched in August, more than 9,000 companies in the U.S. have created full profiles, and more than 6,000 worldwide, with China and India being after the U.S.
More than 4,000,000 businesses are registered in our network of sites, and more than 1.3 million businesses use the network every month.
Schepp: Where should I start if I want to explore your sites?
Prescott: I would recommend our wholesale buyer community free registration page.
Schepp: Suppose I’ve sold on eBay but have never been on TopTenWholesale.com or Manufacturer.com. How can you assure me that the wholesale suppliers on your site are trustworthy business partners?
Prescott: We are a trade platform connecting buyers and sellers. Our services highlight wholesalers, manufacturers/suppliers and their products. Our No. 1 goal in the market is transparency and credibility with our Supplier Pass® members.
We encourage our users to conduct business with SP members. Before a supplier achieves SupplierPass status we verify close to two dozen proprietary business items—right down to social media such as Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts.
Schepp: How do the most successful users use your sites?Stay away from dropship and wholesale directories that charge a fee for accessing ‘secret sources’ of wholesale products—they are mostly scams
Prescott: Finding a supplier on TopTenWwholesale.com or Manufacturer.com is only the first step. Here are some things to check to help with safe sourcing:
- Are they verified?
- Did you Google the supplier?
- Do they do tradeshows?
- Did you contact three other suppliers with similar products to get quotes?
- Check ripoffreport.com.
- Did you check out their SP profile?
- Do you know if they are a distributor, importer or manufacturer?
Schepp: What other tips and strategies can you share for getting the most from your sites, such as zeroing in on the best deals, and finding partners you can trust?
Prescott: It never hurts to call us. We have account executives and trade managers who know the landscape well. Once you have done your research and find suppliers, start your diligence and make your calls.
Here are some resources we provide on our site:
- Read our Wholesale News.
- Subscribe to our Wholesale Blog.
- Check out our Wholesale B2B Video Hub.
- Visit our comprehensive Wholesale Trade Show Guide.
Schepp: What are the top mistakes new(er) buyers make and how can you avoid making them?
- Acting fast on a decision because they think the deal is good.
- Not doing business with verified wholesale suppliers.
- Not doing online research on the supplier they want to do business with.
- Not asking the supplier about terms, return policies, shipping polices and so on.
- Not visiting a tradeshow and understanding the industry.
Schepp: What about the opportunities for buying closeouts/liquidations through your sites? Where can I find these?
Prescott: TopTenWholesale.com is home to one of the USA’s most credible and largest network of wholesale closeout suppliers and brokers. We even have business pages for the industry and feature supplier results and product results.
Schepp: Finally, do you have any other advice you’d like to share with resellers?
- Stay away from dropship and wholesale directories that charge a fee for accessing “secret sources” of wholesale products—they are mostly scams.
- Make sure to join industry groups.
- Check out your supplier’s presence on social media sites. For example, check to see if the company owner is on LinkedIn. Remember that decision makers are people, too, and people love social media. It is easy to engage decision makers on social media when your engagement is informative, funny, sincere and newsworthy.
We hope this tour proved valuable to you in your quest for new sourcing options.