One of the best ways to make money
in the wholesale business is by becoming
a wholesale middleman. As a wholesale
middleman you will have the opportunity
to make money by matching up wholesale products
with wholesale buyers.
Essentially you are finding a seller, marking up the
inventory or taking a commission from the seller,
and then finding buyers for that inventory.
Since you are taking on the role of a middleman
you do not have to stock up
on wholesale merchandise or rent a
warehouse to store it at. You simply
have to find customers for the
merchandise. Once you make the
sale you can then either have the
merchandise shipped directly from the
wholesaler to your buyer, or you
can pick up the merchandise and
deliver it yourself.
While being a middleman is a
great way to become involved
in the wholesale business, in my
opinion the best way is to actually
be the owner of the merchandise that you
are selling. The reason is
because a middleman can make
a sale only to discover that
his source no longer has any
merchandise left. But if you
actually buy the merchandise
then you will be sure that you
have access to it when you
make your sales.
Having said that, you can
become a successful middleman,
just make sure that you know the
available quantity of products,
and that you stay in touch with your
wholesale supplier to ensure that
the merchandise is still available.
You need to develop a list of contacts
of wholesalers, brands, designers,
importers, closeout warehouses,
jobbers, and exporters.
This is the list that you will use to
locate the wholesale merchandise that
you will be offering to your prospective
buyers. While you want to have
access to as many wholesale sources as
possible, your primary goal is to develop
a solid business relationship with
at least one supplier that you
can work with over the long term.
You can locate wholesale sources
by conducting searches on wholesale
search engines like WholesaleCentral.com,
ApparelSearch.com, and TopTenWholesale.com
You can also visit wholesale industry shows
such as the the ASD trade shows that take
place in Las Vegas and in New York.
Another highly effective way to
develop wholesale contacts is by
visiting wholesale districts like
the New York Fashion District.
You are definitely welcome
to visit my closeout warehouse
in New York. I would be
happy to show you some
really good closeout deals
which you can market to
Negotiate a fair arrangement
with your wholesale sources.
Some of the points that you
will want to cover are:
the price that you will be paying,
who will take care of the shipping arrangements,
what happens in the event of a return
request, what if a customer wants to
inspect the merchandise in person,
and any exclusiveness which your source
might give you for a specific area.
The best way to develop and keep
a positive business relationship is
by discussing all concerns ahead of time.
Make sure that you both clearly
understand what you are both
Make sure that you work
with people that you trust,
since there will be many
that can arise, and you
want to be secure in knowing
that your source will
help you through it.
Compile a list of prospective buyers
based on the type of merchandise
that you have access to.
If you have access to brand name dress suppliers
then you are going to compile a list
of boutiques that are looking for those
types of dresses. You can also market them
to other dress wholesalers.
So how do you find your prospective
You can go online and use a directory
that lists stores, and do a search for
stores based on the type of
products that you are selling.
With the above example you
would look for a list of dress boutiques.
You can also gain access to a list of
stores and wholesalers by
purchasing a trade directory
for the industry that you will
be involved in.
Once you have your list you
want to call them up,
introduce yourself, and ask them
if you can send them an email
with information on what you do,
and the products that you are selling.
You will want to keep a separate list
of buyers that seemed interested in,
or actually bought, the merchandise
which you are marketing.
I once cold called a dollar store
and got a sale on my first call.
So be prepared to make the sale!
I would recommend setting up
a wholesale website so that you
can refer retailers to it. Whether your
website is a wholesale e-commerce site,
or an informational site, make sure
that it contains a form through
which people can contact you at.
People that are not on your
list might find your website
when searching online,
so you want to be able to
capture their contact information
so that you can add them to your list.
You should indicate on your website
that you are also looking for wholesale
product sellers that are looking to
reach more buyers. This way
if a wholesaler sees your site,
he or she can reach out to you
and you can become a middleman
for their merchandise as well.
Some of the best wholesale deals
that I purchased where from
businesses that found my website
and then contacted me to
see if I was interested in their
While cold calling manufacturers
is a great way to find merchandise
to sell, I am sure you would agree
with me that it's a lot easier when
they call you.
Always keep your business growing.
You want to be constantly looking for
new product sources and for new buyers.
The reality is that some of your
wholesale sources will go out of
business, or run out of merchandise to
For instance when I first started
my closeout business I called a factory that
manufactured kids socks. Since they
closed the factory I had to look
for other sources for wholesale kids socks.
Or a buyer can close their store.
While I have customers that I have
supplied merchandise to for years,
I sometimes call a customer only
to find out that they have decided to
close their store. It's for that
exact reason why you will
always want to look for new
customers to add to your list.
The very nature of the business world
is that there new businesses that open and
old businesses that close, so you need to be updating
your contacts all the time as well.
I know that this can sound like a
lot of work, and it is. But that is
what is involved in being a middleman.
The upside is that if you
find one really good closeout source,
and you are able to profitably sell
a large quantity of the
closeout merchandise that is available, then you
can have some really good results.