Finding suppliers for your business has become easier than ever, thanks to international shipping and the internet. Currently, Chinese eCommerce-giant Alibaba reigns supreme as the internet's leading wholesale supplier, but many small business owners are looking to shake things up by working with a new supplier.
Fortunately, the internet is full of reliable wholesale suppliers, and we've compiled a few here that may help you decide which direction you'd like to take your business.
While Alibaba has a lot to offer as a supplier, not all Chinese manufacturers are on-site. Many are, but thousands can be found on other websites, delivering products at just about the same price as you would find on Alibaba. Ultimately, you'll need to know the size of your average order before trying a new supplier, as some are only cost-efficient for huge orders. If you want to purchase a relatively small number of items, you'll want to consider specific marketplaces over others. However, some marketplaces on this list will work better for large quantities due to their products' average price per unit. In the end, the site that best suits you will largely depend on the size of your order.
If you're starting small, we recommend working with AliExpress or DHGate for your first purchases. These marketplaces deliver many of the same products found on Alibaba and others. By shopping from Aliexpress or DHGate, you are getting an extra level of protection for your purchase, thanks to the respective escrow systems of these platforms. This cuts down on the number of con artists using the marketplaces, giving you the added security benefit. The drawback of these platforms is their price, as they charge about 25 percent more per order than Alibaba. This is to be expected, as these marketplaces are intermediaries. The vendors on these marketplaces purchase items in bulk from other manufacturers and then post them for sale, benefiting from the escrow system. The inflated price of products on these sites may be a hassle if you're purchasing large quantities of development. Still, smaller orders can be overlooked, thanks to the security of the escrow system.
For larger businesses, you'll want to work more directly with a wholesaler to cut down on costs. Alibaba is an excellent marketplace for large companies, but other options are available. The biggest online competitor to Alibaba is known as Global Sources. This company sells products wholesale both online and offline, further establishing them as a leader in the international market. The company has been involved with international trade for over 45 years, and they have a fantastic reputation in the wholesale industry. Global Sources offers thousands of products in nearly every field imaginable, and their suppliers are generally considered to be of higher quality than Alibaba. While there are fewer suppliers on the site, their product selection does not suffer, and you can expect high-quality products from the vendors you choose to work with. The main drawback to working with Global Sources is the process of actually making a purchase. With AliExpress and DHGate, making a purchase takes only a few clicks. However, you'll need to prove yourself to purchase from Global Sources.
It's essential to think outside the internet regarding suppliers, as many of the best suppliers can be found only in person. The best way to find reliable suppliers offline is by attending trade shows. Trade shows happen in nearly every city on the planet and have a lot to offer businesses needing suppliers. At trade shows, you can meet the people behind the product and build a connection with your supplier. Attending trade shows takes much more effort than purchasing supplies online, but it may provide a better experience and development.