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How Do I Find a Good Wholesale Merchandise Drop Shipper?

Oct 9, 2007
People wanting to get into the wholesale merchandise drop shipping business will find it quite the challenge to locate a legitimate and then a good quality company to purchase their wholesale merchandise inventory from. Finding the right company is not only difficult, it is imperative to operating a successful drop ship business.

There are no shortcuts to getting this done right, so do not try to expedite finding a good wholesale merchandise distributor. You should research the available companies thoroughly. I setup a spreadsheet and list the items that I am looking for in a solid company before I even begin. This allows me to track everything and compare when I have concluded my company research.

This spreadsheet can be done in any program or even on paper with your handy pen if you should choose. List some questions that you want answered and list the requirements of the companies for your business.

One of the most important requirements that I have for a wholesale merchandise drop shipping company is whether they have a datafeed or not. A datafeed allows you to download all of the items and their specifications through an ftp software program.

What is an ftp software program?

If you aren't clear on what an ftp program is, you should begin your education on this subject immediately by doing some Internet searches. Ftp programs are easy to use but do require some familiarization and practice to use properly.

Why would I want a datafeed?

The datafeed puts all of your item information in one file for easy use. This file can be broken down and toyed with however you like within a spreadsheet program and then used to populate your webstore with merchandise. This may be another area you should research before getting started.

If your store is only going to carry a few products, a datafeed may not be necessary. You could always populate the inventory in your store by hand. This may be time consuming, and updates will be time consuming as well, but would give you a very in-depth education by doing this by hand. I no longer do my inventory updates by hand as it takes too much time. You will find this true as you open one store after another.

What about product pricing?

This can be one of the trickier parts of finding a good wholesale merchandise distributor. Many companies will not just freely give you access to their wholesale pricing. There are many valid reasons for this and frankly, I don't blame them. So, you must honor the secrecy of wholesale pricing by not giving it away once you have access.

To gain the pricing list from a distributor, you must first get an account from them. To do this, you will have to prove that you are a legitimate business. This will require a copy of your business license and your EIN number granted to you by the IRS. Some wholesale merchandise companies even go as far as requiring a photo of your store front. At times, you can email them explaining that your company is strictly a website and they will waive this requirement.

A strict requirement to gain an account from a wholesale merchandise distributor is a very good sign. If you can simply get one by asking, then something is not right. And even worse, if they charge a fee to access their database, then something is very funny about this company. Move on without looking back.

Is it ok to email a wholesale merchandise distributor and ask questions before applying for an account?

This can be very important in saving you time and effort. Always feel free to either email or call a company and speak to a new accounts representative. Be professional, but don't feel like you have to have any magic questions or specific statements to communicate. All you have to do is have your company name handy and possibly your business license information. They will be happy to talk to you as they are in the business of gaining new accounts and making money just like you are.

Ask questions and don't hold back. The worst the new accounts rep can do is ask you to apply for an account before they will answer any more questions or certain questions. You should try to gain as much information as you can before choosing a company and a quick phone call can be very fruitful.

Remember, how a company handles new accounts can be a very strong indicator of how they handle existing ones. The potential wholesale merchandise distributor should be very friendly and helpful to a possible new account. If not, imagine how they will treat you once your have an account.

If you don't like the feel of it or the treatment you receive, simply move on.

Remember, jump in with both feet. Do not hold back on questions you have of potential drop shippers. And, always be ready to learn.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett is an entrepreneurial fanatic and guru. He is an expert in the fields of drop-shipping, online retailing, wholesale distributor, wholesaling and entrepreneurship. He runs an informative blog on Wholesale Merchandise at Wholesale Merchandise to aid you on the path to success.
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