The wholesale business has changed a great deal over
the last 10 years that I have been involved
in it, and I'm sure it's changed even more compared
to the way it was 20 years ago.
The changes have shifted the entire parameters
that the industry was once based on.
And I am sure that as new technology is introduced
there will be even more changes to come.
So why is it important for you to see how
much the wholesale industry has changed?
There a couple of reasons.
The first reason is because it's important
to be reminded that changes are always taking
place, therefore we need to be
flexible so that we can adapt to
the changes as they take place.
You don't want to miss on
opportunities to reach new
markets of buyers, or
wholesale sources, just
because you missed a change
that has taken place in the
Even if a change is not expected, or seen
until it happens, wholesalers and retailers
that are flexible will have the necessary mindset
to adapt to the new realities of the
Another reason why you want to
take note of the actual changes is to
see if you can spot any opportunities
that might exist as a result of those changes.
And perhaps the most important reason is
because if you aren't aware of the
changes that have taken place
you will be stuck doing business in
an old fashion way that can turn customers
For instance, if you see that
retailers are starting to purchase
closeouts directly from exporters
as opposed to from local distributors,
then you will want to jump on the
bandwagon as well.
So now that you see why it's so important
to be aware of these changes let's see
what they are.
Wholesale Industry Change #1
The traditional supply chain structure
has been disrupted.
Technology, the Internet, and
global trade developments, have
made this world an even more
connected place. This high degree of
connectivity has disrupted the traditional
supply chain structure by enabling
retailers to purchase directly from
importers, distributors directly
from factories, as well made
other connections between
parties that would otherwise
not have interacted with each
other in the past.
Just look at the major disruption
that a website like Alibaba
has created in the retail sector.
You now have retailers contracting
with Chinese factories to manufacture
fashionable clothes based on their own designs.
There is still a role for a traditional supply chain
in certain segments, such as in heavy machinery
and highly regulated industries, but
most segments have seen the supply chain
model replaced with a more open
direct channel for everyone involved in
Many brands will seek to establish
licensed distributors so that
they can attempt to control
the supply chain for their products.
I believe this attempt is like trying to
hold back the waves from reaching the beach.
Instead the brands should be conducting
business based on an acceptance of
the current realities.
The brands that cannot adapt will
lose business to those brands
that are working based on the
current reality of the market.
Wholesale Industry Change #2
The Internet has become the new middleman.
While in the past many wholesale and closeout
buyers would need to rely on a middleman
to find merchandise, now the Internet
has enabled buyers to easily locate
the sources for the merchandise that they
are looking for.
On the other hand, entrepreneurs
can easily set themselves up as a
middlemen by using the Internet
to locate merchandise and
supply it buyers that do not
have the time or experience
to find closeout deals online.
Wholesale Industry Change #3
Wholesalers can now reach customers
all around the globe.
In the past a wholesaler would
focus on customers who either came to
his warehouse, or customers in the city
in which he ran his business at.
Today, a New York wholesaler can use the Internet
to market his closeout merchandise to
buyers located internationally,
enabling him to quickly reach
buyers in many countries
such as Australia, Nigeria, and Argentina.
For instance, I use YouTube videos
and article marketing to reach
retailers throughout Africa, the Caribbean,
Latin America, and the Middle East.
The Internet has truly become the
most effective marketing tool
that any wholesaler could ever
have asked for.
Wholesalers can use advertising options
such as Google Adwords, Facebook pay per click
ads, and YouTube ads.
A wholesale seller can reach
prospective customers by only paying
when a visitor clicks on his ads.
And since the wholesaler can decide how
much to bid for the ad, he can easily
control his costs to acquire a lead
for a new customer.
Wholesale Industry Change #4
Retailers and flea market vendors do
not need to rely on local wholesalers
for their merchandise needs.
They can now easily go online
and source wholesale products
directly from factories in China
and from wholesalers in other
I receive phone calls and emails
from customers all over the world
that found my closeout business online.
They no longer have to buy from a
local wholesaler who might be importing
the merchandise from my company.
They can now easily buy the merchandise
at below wholesale prices directly
from me without even having to travel.
Wholesale Industry Change #5
Entrepreneurs can purchase merchandise
directly from wholesale sources and then
resell the merchandise directly to
consumers at close to the wholesale price,
without having a brick and mortar store.
I have seen wholesale buyers list
their closeout products on Amazon and eBay,
effectively reaching many more customers
than they could with a traditional retail
Wholesale Industry Change #6
Mobile shopping from smartphones.
Many wholesale and closeout buyers
are now using their smartphones
to search and buy
This means that sellers need to have
websites that display properly on
You can either have a website
designed specifically for those
that will access it through their
smartphones, or you
can have a website
hosted by hosting company that will show
a mobile version of your closeout website
Wholesale Industry Change #7
There is no more need for printing catalogs
for your wholesale products. Now you
can easily create a website to display
and sell your products through.
The flip side of this is that customers
expect you to update your website
frequently, which is why you
should always be looking for new
products to sell.