10 Ways to Find Suppliers for Your Amazon FBA Wholesale Business

February 17, 2021
Written by Ken Zhou
amazon fba wholesale

Amazon FBA wholesale business is a lucrative venture if done right. One of the ways to keep it profitable is through the wholesale business model of Amazon. If you want to be an established and stable seller in the Amazon marketplace, start as a wholesale seller with Amazon FBA as a way to fulfill your orders. 

However, one of the challenges of this type of business is finding Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers. There's no shortage of suppliers, but how can you be sure that you've sourced the right one? 

In this article, we will learn about the traits of a good wholesale supplier, how to find suppliers, and tips to make a supplier start doing business with you. 

Let's first have a recap of how Amazon FBA works.

How does Amazon FBA work?

Amazon offers sellers two options to fulfill orders, and the most popular is FBA, which stands for Fulfilment by Amazon. If you choose this type of fulfillment method, Amazon carries the burden of picking, packing, and shipping your products. It also handles customer service and returns.

As explained by Amazon, here are the steps to get you started:

  1. Create an Amazon selling account.
  2. Log in to Seller Central to set up FBA.
  3. Create product listings.
  4. Specify a listing to FBA inventory in the Manage Inventory page.
  5. Prepare your products for transportation to a fulfillment center.
  6. Ship your products to Amazon.

While Amazon takes care of your fulfillment woes, your job is to:

  • Conduct a product and keyword research.
  • Create and optimize your ASINs or product listings.
  • Rank and advertise your product.
  • Manage the Q&A and review section of your product detail page.
  • Replenish your stocks.

Yup, it is your responsibility to maintain your stock or inventory level. You can store them in Amazon's warehouses or fulfillment centers, which is one of the services offered by Amazon FBA. 

How can you replenish your inventory

You have two options, either retail arbitrage or wholesale. In retail arbitrage, you will buy low-cost products from brick-and-mortar retailers, then resell these items on Amazon at a slightly higher price. Since you are buying from a retail store, you can't buy as many as you want. 

On the other hand, the wholesale business model lets you purchase discounted products in bulk from a manufacturer. You can resell these products as individual units on Amazon. Moreover, sourcing your products from wholesalers lets you browse their catalog to find additional profitable products that you can buy in large quantities. Given that they came from the manufacturer, you don't have to worry about replenishing your stock again and again.

Amazon FBA + wholesale seems a promising e-commerce venture. The tricky part is to find legitimate and reputable Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers. 

Characteristics of a good wholesale supplier

The right wholesale supplier can help you conquer the Amazon marketplace and gain profit. Here are the qualities to look for when trying to find the best Amazon FBA wholesale distributor:

  • Admits their mistake and takes responsibility to solve problems.
  • Capable of producing a product consistently without sacrificing quality.
  • Maintains open and direct communication.
  • Welcomes third-party inspection.
  • Ethical and follows the rules and regulations.

How to find Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers

Now that you have an ideal supplier in mind, let's look at the ways on how to source a wholesale supplier below:

  1. Google

Open a browser and head to the largest search engine worldwide, which is Google. A simple Google search can give you thousands, if not millions, of search results to find the right supplier. Will an ordinary search query work? Nope, you must refine your search by applying the tricks below to gather relevant information.

Use quotation marks to include the words in your search query. For example:

wholesale "inventory" "xls"

wholesale "inventory" "csv"

wholesale "inventory" "xlsx"

wholesale "data feed" "xls"

wholesale "inventory" "[location]" "xls"

If you want to exclude a particular category, let's say, “kitchen,” use a minus symbol before the word:

wholesale "inventory" "xls" -kitchen

Conversely, add the asterisk symbol if you want to include a search term randomly:

wholesale "inventory" "csv" kitchen*

2. Industry trade publications

Your newly found Google tricks would be helpful from here on. Subscribe to every magazine that targets wholesalers or distributors in your industry. The easiest way to do this is to search for the publication's website. Once you find it, try to subscribe to their online newsletter and blog as well.

3. Trade shows

Attending these kinds of events opens you up to various opportunities, such as meeting like-minded people and networking. Trade shows are the gathering of buyers and sellers from different industries in one place. You might also have a chance to connect with big brands or suppliers. Usually, wholesalers present their products on stalls or exhibitions; hence, you can check them out. 

You don't have to set an appointment and wait for days or weeks because, in gatherings like these, you're already meeting them in person. A face-to-face discussion is much better than cold-emailing them. You're also talking with the original resource person, thus eliminating false information you might get on the web.

4. Industry associations

Similar to trade shows, an industry association is a formal group where you can mingle with business owners of a particular industry. If you get lucky, they might share wholesale supplier referrals with you. This method is recommended to veteran sellers with years of experience, and not for beginners. Try the search terms below in Google search: 

"[name of the industry]" industry association 

"[name of the industry]" industry association in "[location]"

5. LinkedIn

Surprisingly, the world's largest professional social network platform is a treasure trove of wholesale manufacturers. Log in to your LinkedIn account (or register if you don't have one) and enter in the search box the terms like:

 [name of the industry] manufacturer

 [name of the industry] manufacturing

 [name of the industry] supplier

 [name of the industry] wholesale

 [name of the industry] wholesaler

Make sure the distributor's Linkedin profile is genuine before you hit the "Follow" button. Send them a message to ask for some information but introduce yourself first.

6. Private label manufacturers

These are third-party manufacturers who produce their customers' products. Private label manufacturers are like outsourcing companies, so don't be confused if you stumble upon a private label manufacturer who is also the actual wholesaler.

7. Jungle Scout

If you want to automate and refine your search more, there's an online tool called Jungle Scout. Its basic plan offers a feature known as the "Supplier Database," which is under the "Find Suppliers" menu. You can enter keywords like product name, ASIN, supplier name, or company name. It is perfect for beginners who want to fast-track their search queries. Jungle Scout's Supplier Database feature doesn't show middlemen but only vetted and trusted suppliers.

8. Wholesale directories 

Another way of finding trustworthy suppliers is through online wholesale directories. The most popular is Worldwide Brands and SaleHoo.

Worldwide Brands has more than 16 million products on its database. They have contact details of suppliers from different industries across the globe. Their list is updated weekly, and you have to pay a one-time fee to get in. It also has a "scam protection" feature that veers you away from fraudsters.

On the other hand, SaleHoo maintains more than 2.5 million products. You can also connect with more than 8,000 legitimate wholesale suppliers. They have this "supplier review system" and no minimum order quantity (MOQ). You can choose between an annual fee or lifetime fee to start sourcing.

Here are other wholesale directory suppliers you may want to try:

  • Liquidation
  • Big Lots
  • Esources
  • The Wholesaler
  • Price Master
  • The Wholesale Forums
  • Tuesday Morning

9. Facebook groups 

It is another social networking site that doesn't only cater to family and friends but also businesses. First, you have to search for a Facebook group targeting suppliers or manufacturers. Enter key phrases like:

distributors wholesalers retailers [name of the industry]

wholesale retail group [name of the industry]

If you want to be more specific, add a location in the search keyword. Ensure that the Facebook group you're joining has a good number of active numbers, and the community is active or publishes posts regularly.

10. Online B2B wholesale websites

B2B wholesale websites behave like Amazon, but its customers are retailers and wholesale sellers that want to purchase products in bulk. You don't have to initiate contact with suppliers because it is an online marketplace, and  you can buy directly from these suppliers. Examples are Alibaba, DHgate, Amazon Business, eWorldTrade, and Global Sources.

Bonus tip: Product packaging

It is a creative way to find Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers. How? In the product's packaging, look for the "manufactured by" label, and that's it! Sometimes they print the contact information aside from the manufacturer's name. It is a case-to-case basis because some products have only a "made in…" label on it. 

How to contact and negotiate with wholesale suppliers

Now that you have a shortlist of potential Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers, the next step is negotiating with them. Treat this as a job interview where you need to assure suppliers that you are worth doing business with. 

Get in touch with the supplier's brand representative, sales representative, brand manager, or territory representative. It would be great if you could learn more about the supplier and its brand representative. Visit their Facebook, LinkedIn, and the supplier's website.

Reach out to them by sending an email first. In your email, communicate the following clearly:

  • You're a professional Amazon FBA wholesale seller.
  • You're running an authentic Amazon wholesale business.
  • You know the ins and outs of the trade.
  • You can pay on time, at any time.
  • You're looking for a long-term partnership or professional relationship.

Don't send the same email to all the suppliers on the list. Apply some email marketing techniques in your copy to win their business.

However, your query can be lost in a sea of emails. Call them over the phone or an online call after a week to follow up. When you're talking with suppliers, be professional, and ask the right questions. You may discuss with them the following:

  1. Supplier's main headquarters
  2. The exact name of the product
  3. Product specifications (size, color, weight)
  4. Product catalog
  5. Quantity discounts
  6. The lead time of production
  7. Extra fee if the order is fast-tracked
  8. Payment method and schedule
  9. Private labeling opportunities
  10. Shipping options

Final thoughts

One of the factors to build a successful Amazon FBA wholesale business is finding the right supplier. It is not only for the sake of replenishing stock but also providing your customers with high-quality products, which you will source from your chosen supplier. An effective Amazon FBA wholesale can also help you scale your business because it saves time, money, and effort in fulfilling orders. In this way, you can concentrate on your business' core functions and stay on top of the competition.
Do you want to learn more about Amazon FBA wholesale? Seller Interactive has a team of expert Amazon consultants that are willing to introduce you to Amazon FBA wholesale business. For inquiries, email [email protected]

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