Wholesalers of merchandise have had quite a run on things over the last few years with many retailers thinking they could bypass them by going online and trying to find the direct manufacturers of merchandise. What retailers found is that the internet is a maze of confusion and there are many unscrupulous dealers who have no connections to merchandise.
That said, retailers around the country have realized that wholesalers play a valuable part in the success of their businesses. A good wholesaler knows what products are trending and has the resources to buy in large quantities to keep merchandise costs competitive. Established wholesalers have the connections to the major brands and are allowed to purchase them for resale. Many novices find out quickly that the major brands are not interested in selling to small independent retailers.
I think one of the most challenging things for retailers this year was that many tried to buy directly from overseas suppliers to save money. Buying overseas requires a skill level that most of us do not have. There is a lot of quality control issues as well as payment terms and shipping that are best left to the professionals. How many of you have tried buying overseas only to be frustrated when the merchandise arrives broken or misrepresented? Unlike a local supplier, it is often difficult and expensive to try to remedy overseas purchases gone bad.
This is where the established wholesaler comes in. They negotiate regularly with overseas suppliers and take on all the risk. Before it gets sold to you, defective items and problem wholesale merchandise is removed so you get only the top quality in the lot. This is why importers are entitled to their small percentage of markup when they resell goods. It is a small price for retailers to pay to have someone ensuring the quality of their purchases.
What has been your experience with wholesalers? Share with us…