To be successful selling on Amazon, you need to source products that customers will love at prices that allow you to make a decent profit. This comes down to finding great Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers. You buy from the suppliers in bulk and then sell the products at retail prices.
But where do you find such suppliers and how do you go about working with them?
Are There Amazon-Approved Wholesalers?
Your life would be much easier if there were a list of Amazon-approved wholesalers. Unfortunately, no such list exists. Instead, you need to contact each manufacturer and ask them for their authorized distributors. In some cases, you may even be able to source from the manufacturer directly.
It’s important not to skip this stage, as some manufacturers don’t want their products on Amazon. Yet others limit how many third-party sellers can list their products on Amazon.
With this in mind, where can you find wholesale suppliers for Amazon FBA?
Where to Find the Best Wholesalers for Amazon FBA
There is no shortage of places to search for Amazon FBA wholesale suppliers. A few of the top places include the following.
1. Trade Shows
Some of the most common types of trade shows are actually trade shows for wholesale suppliers. Large trade shows host suppliers from a variety of industries, which is useful for exploring your options if you’re new to Amazon wholesale sourcing. If you already know what types of products you want to sell, though, it may be better to go to specialist trade shows where you can explore options within your niche.
In the case you are searching for a particular category of products, it’s a good idea to research trade shows in advance. By creating a calendar of the upcoming trade shows you’d like to attend, you can fit your schedule around these events.
It’s definitely worthwhile taking the time to attend trade shows. They give you the chance to see products in real life before you commit to an order and, more importantly, allow you to talk to suppliers to form a relationship.
If you’re unable to make it to a trade show, at least spend time browsing the event website. Sign up and you’ll be able to see who is attending along with their contact information.
2. Internet Searches
A simple Google search with the right terms should bring up plenty of wholesalers. Of course, research doesn’t end with finding a supplier — you’ll still need to vet each yourself.
As well as Google, you can use YouTube to find suppliers. This gives you the chance to see products in action.
A fast way to connect with reputable suppliers is to use wholesale directories. Although you may have to pay, this makes it easy to find suppliers in your niche. Plus, provided you choose a reputable directory, you’ll know that all the wholesalers have already been vetted.
4. Amazon Bestsellers
Trying to sell top-ranking products on Amazon is a strategy doomed for failure. These items already have far too much competition for you to stand a chance so late in the game. However, you can use the Amazon bestseller list to find products that are rising in popularity. It’s a good idea to pick a niche at this point to narrow down your options.
Then, use this criteria:
- The product ranking is between 1,000 and 10,000 in the main category.
- The item is selling for at least $20. Anything less than this and the profit margins will be too low to be worthwhile. Bear in mind that you’ll want to set your own price to within 2 percent of what you see in the Buy Box.
- At least 10 sellers are offering the product, but neither Amazon nor the manufacturer is listed as a seller.
- There are at least 10 reviews for the product.
- The item sees at least 300 sales a month.
Once you’ve used this criteria to create a shortlist of options, you’ll need to check if the manufacturers sell their products wholesale. You should also find out if there are any distributors of the products.
5. Products Themselves
Any product you come across will have the manufacturer’s name and contact details printed either on the product itself or on the packaging. If you come across a product you’re interested in selling, make a note of this information.
Selling products you find is a particularly good strategy for selling local items. You may have little or no competition on Amazon, which gives you the opportunity to introduce a local brand to a wider audience. Look out for items that are completely different to anything you’d find elsewhere in the country (or even in the world), such as food.
How to Reach Out to Amazon FBA Wholesalers
Once you’ve located potential suppliers, you’ll need to reach out and ask them if they’d be interested in working with you.
Before you contact anyone, it’s important to set up an Amazon wholesale account. Suppliers will want to know that they can start working with you immediately. They may even ask for things like your sales tax ID number or resale certificate, employer identification number (EIN), and shipping account number.
Next, research the wholesaler. To win a contract, you’ll need to show suppliers why you’re a good fit to sell their products. How can your business help lead to an increase in sales?
Finally, you need to know who to ask for at the company. The person you want will be the representative for the brand, product line, or even just the product — it depends on the size of the company. This person may have the title of brand representative, sales representative, brand manager, or territory representative.
The best way to reach out is to meet in person, as this gives you the chance to converse with the Amazon FBA supplier and make the interaction more personal. However, in-person interactions are usually only possible at trade shows.
If you are unable to wait for a trade show to come around, your second best option is to call. This way, at least you’ll have a two-way conversation.
If neither of these options are possible (for instance, you’re never able to reach the right person through your calls), you’ll have to turn to email. This should be your last resort, as a phone call is always better than a written message.
As well as pitching your business to the supplier, ask questions that show you’re knowledgeable about Amazon FBA wholesale selling — even if you’ve only just started your business. Use the answers you receive to explain how you can resolve any problems the manufacturer or distributor is having. For instance, you could demonstrate your expertise in marketing.
At the start, you’ll need to accept that many of the responses from suppliers may be rejections. Prepare yourself for this, and then move on. Learn from each experience to think about what you could do better. Whenever possible, ask suppliers why they rejected you. This will be useful for figuring out if you should try again with the same wholesaler six to nine months later.
In some cases, you may receive no response at all. Rather than just leaving it at just a single phone call or email, keep pushing for an answer. Every few business days, send another message or call again.
If you do receive a positive answer, never feel like you’re committed to a partnership just because the supplier wants to go ahead. When a supplier who is too willing to work with you — such as without running a background check on your business — it could be a sign that the wholesaler partners with a huge number of Amazon sellers. In this case, competition could be too high for you to make a profit.
Deciding the Quantity of Products You Need
The quantity of products you purchase will partially be down to the requirements of the wholesaler. When you order directly from a manufacturer, you typically receive a better price per unit, as there’s no third party. However, you will likely need to place a larger order. If you’re unsure about selling so many units, the higher price but lower order size that a distributor offers may be a better option.
In terms of total inventory, aim to have enough for six to eight weeks’ worth of sales throughout the first three quarters of the year. For the fourth quarter, increase to eight to 12 weeks’ worth of inventory, as you’ll likely have more sales during the holiday season.
You also need to calculate how much you can afford to hold. The amount you’ll pay in Amazon fulfillment fees will depend on factors like the product category, item size, weight, and time of year.
One of the most difficult, but also important, aspects running an FBA business is Amazon wholesale sourcing. It takes time to research suppliers and figure out which wholesalers would be suitable for your business. You then need to go through the process of contacting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and calculating how many products you can afford to acquire.
Obtaining your very first suppliers is particularly challenging, as you have no history of sales on Amazon. Luckily, as your business grows, it does become easier. You’ll be able to attract new suppliers by telling a story with your brand, showing demand for their products from your current customers, and demonstrating how a partnership would benefit you both mutually.