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How to Find the Best Suppliers for Your Business
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1. Check the Suppliers Payment Methods
Payment for products can be a tricky part, especially if you are dealing with oversea suppliers. I never recommend wire transfer but opt for a third party method who may offer you some protection from fraud. Safe payment options are credit card and third-party payment services like PayPal, Stripe, Paymate, Escrow and Moneybookers. Always make a call and have a copy of their protection policy if something goes wrong with your transaction.
Credit card companies, and third-party providers like Paypal hold funds for approximately 30 days (check you provider and refund terms). When money is held in escrow you have the opportunity to check your goods before you release payment.
But whenever possible deal with companies that vet companies in advance so you know they have a track record and safe payment practices. You will find that the best suppliers with strong reputations will use these payment options unlike the many fraudulent companies, but just because they have that is not a fool proof guarantee.
Payment Methods to Avoid Using:
Western Union, wire transfer and bank deposits is a NO in my practices, unless I have full assurance from directories that check out suppliers in depth and even then I dig deep. This can take time but you don’t want to be out of money and truck load of worthless products, if any. These services DO NOT offer protection and its buyer beware. If a supplier asks for these methods especially in the beginning it’s a red flag for me and I move on. Western Union profits off transactions and freely states that you should use the service only to send money to people you know and trust.
Avoid This Payment Method
Some suppliers will offer you a discount by using some of these less than safe methods. Often the reason s their country only accepts such payment methods. It’s never worth the risk, this is your money and your business start always by using safe payment practices. Finding the best products can be tough but its worth the research or using a service to help guide you. While PayPal and credit card fees may be a little higher they are likely the safest bet for your business. Call and ask what they protection they have to offer.
2. Sample Order Hack
Don’t just ask for one sample if you have to get several and pay for them space the sample orders apart. This way you can check the product and if you get them a month or s apart this may give you an idea of their consistency, whether you are really getting the best or are they sending you one good sample and later sending sub standard goods.
Make sure you pay fro your sample order that way you will be able to see the process from start to end, the payment, shipping and product as well as any transactions.
If you get excuses drop them, etc . It’s always been my experience if something starts off bad it will slide downhill from there.
What You Will Learn About the Supplier
- Whether the supplier is actually legitimate
- Does the supplier have good customer service
- How quickly they ship you products
- How well were your products packed
- How quickly they reply to your emails and phone inquiries
- How quickly do they ship and how soon does the item arrive
- Does the item match the description of the items ordered
Paying full price for a sample may be standard practice and, a good supplier may be checking you as a potential customer. Example, a watch may be $6 at wholesale price, but when you order a sample, you may be asked to pay the retail of $29. Don’t be put off or offended this is how business works – it’s a trust factor on both sides, remember the wholesaler may think you trying to get some of their best products for the lowest price and not be actual retailer. It takes time to build a business relationship that’s why you can really benefit from joining a wholesale directory.
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3. Check out the Supplier’s Contact Information
You expect your supplier to have a website, even a fancy one, some of the best suppliers have the worst websites, simply because this is not always their focus. But at a minimum the supplier should have contact information and email, phone number and address.
You can also check their information, once a products arrives see if it matches where you placed your order. While some companies have other warehouses this is something to note and ask questions.
Quantity and quality, if you are getting less than expected either in quality or volume call or email your supplier right away. That way you are showing them you are on top of things and watching out for your business. If there is no contact information or it looks sketchy pass. There are enough suppliers willing to sign up with quality wholesale supplier directories that you can find their contact information easily.
The easiest way to test is pick up the phone ask a few questions; see who answers or what the message says. Listen for a professional greeting such as “XYZ Wholesale Supplies, how may I help?”
If you get a casual reply like “Joe here” this is not optimal, but I have met some companies that do that, it can be hard to tell when a wholesaler is legit, but its worth digging a bit deeper. Again you looking for quality suppliers and you need to be confident you can get the service you require.
Google maps – verify their business location with Google maps, if they have an address they will be on Google maps so you can check their location and even get an image of the suppliers local. Ideally you will want to see a warehouse or industrial area. If it looks like a residential address, it could be a warning sign.
Wholesale warehouses are often located in quieter areas making them easy targets for thieves, this is on reason you may not see and address on their website, however they should have their details in a directory, this is a typical requirement of a good product directory.
Due diligence take time but it’s good business. Save time with a product directory as they have done a lot of the leg work for you.
NOTE: Safe payment gateways are your best defense when you are working with new suppliers. Protect Your Business, you have invested time, money and the success of your business in part relies on this. This is the time to get verified, trusted suppliers, wholesalers and manufactures. This is not a place to scrimp.
What Does it Cost to Join a Product Directory?
It’s lot less than you think…let’s recap…
You want to find the best suppliers for products for your business
… you want to deal with legitimate companies who… have safe payment methods, quality products and have suppliers you are able to communicate with… so you can negotiate, build a relationship so you can focus on growing your business.
We know this takes time and, time is money, this is where a quality supplier directory comes in.
Most suppliers and product directories –
Will gather all of the information for you, get all of the contact information, website details, have a list of what they sell, offer protection and act as a go between, list any organizations the suppliers belong to such as Better Business Bureau
A directory requires business listed with them to pay a fee to make sure they are serious and legit.
Require them to fill out detailed paperwork, and often ask for copies of their proof of business such business licenses, how long they have been in business.
And once they have this the directory will typically have their team members go through and verify this information in an effort to protect you as best they can.
Not All Directories are Good… How to Pick the Best
A top directory of suppliers’ reputation is built on having happy customers like you, in saying that they are not all equal as as all thing in business there are many scam directories. And, since I never recommend anything I haven’t personally used I won’t give you a long list. What I can do is tell you who I have used and have been happy with.
Oh and the price… Salehoo, less that $150 bucks a year… a no brainer, what are waiting for? …and did I mention they have awesome support and tutorials.
If you want to skip the time and risk involved with working with suppliers that you don’t know… Join SaleHoo and get instant access to more than 8,000 verified legitimate suppliers who have been vetted by our team to ensure that they are safe to deal with.