In this article, I'm going to talk about how to find wholesale suppliers for Amazon FBA. Simple, effective & easy methods.
Now, you must think that sourcing products for FBA is a difficult task. But, in reality, its not.
It's not just you. Every FBA newbie faces this what I call the "sourcing dilemma". Whom to contact? How do I trust that guy? Is my money safe?.. So many questions.
Using the sourcing tips shared here, you'll be able to purchase products like a pro. No more sceptical attitude, doubts & fear.
Ready to live your Amazon FBA dream? Yes, that passive income! OK, then let's get started.
HOW TO FIND WHOLESALE SELLERS FOR AMAZON FBA
1. Uncover Your Competitors' Suppliers & Manufacturers
What if I hand you over a list of suppliers presently supplying to the top Amazon sellers? How handy would that list be? The idea is simple. Uncover the manufacturers or suppliers already selling to existing FBA sellers & source from them.
Now, you must be wondering how can you access such a list? Right? It's simple. All imports made to the USA is already documented by the US Customs . Head over to their website & you'll find any import data you need - supplier name, number of shipments, buyer name, etc. However, there's just one problem there. The public import data isn't properly formatted & you would find it really difficult to extract relevant info from there. So, what's the solution?
Enter Jungle Scout. It's an online tool that can help you find suppliers for any amazon product with the click of a button. Yes, literally!
Here's how to find wholesale suppliers for Amazon FBA using Jungle Scout:
Step 1: Login to Jungle Scout & click on 'Find Suppliers' > 'Supplier Database' link
Step 2: Enter a product name (or company name, supplier name or ASIN) & click on search. The product name is the name of the product you want to source.
The company name is the company name of your competitor. Note that you need to enter the legal name of your competitor (that's how the import data is classified) & not the brand name of the competitor. If you know the brand name of your competitor then you can easily find the legal name by searching on Google or the US trademark website.
The supplier name is the name of the target supplier (if you already know this).
Lastly, ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) is the ASIN of your target Amazon product. You can get ASIN for any product from the Amazon product page itself.
That's it. Hit the search button & you'll get a list of suppliers for that product, company name or ASIN.
Step 3: Study the suppliers data like customer name, number of shipments, volume of shipments, country of origin, etc. & shortlist a few of them. Ideally, you should shortlist suppliers who've been selling to reputed brands & have high transaction volume (number & volume of shipment).
Note - Sometimes bigger manufacturer may not entertain new Amazon sellers because of their high minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirements. So, if you're just starting out & short on funds, try mixing up your shortlist with a few smaller manufacturers. Click on any suppliers name to know more about them.
Step 4: Click on 'Search for Contact Info' to get the contact details of the shortlisted suppliers. Contact them via phone or email & let them know about your requirements.
That's it. You're now ready to buy goods from suppliers & build your dream Amazon FBA business.
Here's a video to help you further understand how to use Jungle Scout to find suppliers for Amazon FBA:
Please note that Jungle Scout isn't just a supplier database. It's a complete Amazon tool that helps you with - keyword research, product research, niche research, price tracking, automated emails, etc. The best part? It comes with a number of practical courses to help you get equipped with the nuts & bolts of selling on Amazon.
Used by more than 225,000+ Amazon sellers, Jungle Scout is a must-have tool if you're serious about succeeding on Amazon.
It's a tool that has changed lives of a couple (Ari & Chelsea Cohen) who went on to gross over $ 1 million a year on Amazon. Click here to read their full story.
- Best option for beginners
- Vetted & trusted suppliers
- Mostly manufacturers (no middlemen)
- Large manufacturers have huge MOQ requirements, so you may find it difficult to strike a deal with them. Nevertheless, you can always work with smaller manufacturers.
This process of finding wholesale suppliers is best suited for new Amazon sellers who don't have any experience in dealing with suppliers. With Jungle Scout, you get suppliers who've been tried & tested by your competitors. So, you won't be taking any risk when it comes to product quality, shipment or payment.
2. Use Wholesale Directories Like Salehoo or World Wide Brands
A wholesale directory is a collection of trusted suppliers' contact details from across the world. Think of it like the Yellow Pages of wholesalers. Using it, you can find wholesale suppliers for any product or niche from anywhere in the globe.
SaleHoo's directory lists more than 2.5+ million products & 8000+ trusted suppliers. Founded in 2005, the SaleHoo directory has helped more than 137,000 customers find reliable suppliers.
Following are the features that distinguishes SaleHoo from other wholesale directories:
- Supplier review system. Yes, other sellers like you have already rated suppliers based on factors like quality of product or service. So, you don't need to waste time looking for best suppliers. Simply filter the suppliers with highest ratings & talk to them.
- Well known brands. SaleHoo can help you find branded products from companies like adidas, 3M, sony, lego, etc. That too at wholesale prices!
- Multi location suppliers. SaleHoo vetted suppliers are spread across the globe. You can simply filter the location based on your preference like North America, South America, Europe or Asia & you'll see suppliers only from that location.
- No MOQ (minimum order quantity). On SaleHoo, suppliers are ready to work for any order quantity. The best part? SaleHoo suppliers can also help you dropship your products.
- Exclusive offers & deals. SaleHoo suppliers regularly offer discounts & deals exclusively for SaleHoo customers.
Here's how to get started with SaleHoo:
Step 1: Create an account with SaleHoo.
Step 2: Search for the product or brand you wish to deal in
Step 3: Contact the suppliers right from the SaleHoo dashboard itself.
Step 4: Source products & start selling.
SaleHoo has been rated 4.9 (out of 5) by more than 300 customers on TrustPilot (a popular 3rd party review website).
Like SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands is also a popular wholesale directory with more than 16+ million products from various niches like pets supplies, toys, clothing, electronics, etc.
What makes Worldwide Brands unique is the fact that they follow a rigorous process before listing a supplier on their directory. That's part of the reason why they call their suppliers as "Certified" wholesalers.
Yes, just like SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands lists suppliers from across the globe.
Using Worldwide Brands involves a few simple steps. Here's a video that shows you how:
Here're some of the key features of Worldwide Brands wholesale directory:
- Weekly update. Worldwide Brands directory is updated regularly on weekly basis.
- No annual or recurring monthly fees. Though there's an one-time fee. Click here to check the pricing of Worldwide Brands.
- Unlimited wholesale accounts. A wholesale account with suppliers will enable you to ship directly from wholesaler warehouse to your customer. Yes, just like dropshipping.
- Scam protection. Worldwide Brands protects & guarantees you against scam.
Worldwide Brands has been rated 4.9 (out of 5) by more than 180 customers on TrustPilot (a popular third party review website).
- Easy, simple & direct way to find suppliers within seconds
- Vetted suppliers who've been tried & tested
- Global reach
- Mostly manufacturers
- Great for opening wholesale accounts
- One-time fee
- No end-to-end transaction support. You cannot order on SaleHoo or Worldwide Brands. They're just directories & nothing more than that.
This sourcing method is best suited for someone who's not willing to invest much time or effort in finding suppliers. Simply browsing through the directory & contacting the supplier is all what you need to get started.
3. Source From Online B2B Wholesale Websites
B2B online marketplaces connect wholesalers with retailers or Amazon sellers like you. They behave like a pure-play marketplace & hence aren't directly involved in transactions. Using these marketplaces, you can find & place orders with suppliers easily.
What separates B2B online marketplaces from directories is the fact that you can use such marketplaces to perform an end-to-end transaction. Ordering, payment & shipping can be tracked from the marketplace itself. Whereas, an online wholesale directory (like SaleHoo) is just a directory - buying there involves independently contacting suppliers, paying them & tracking shipments manually. On the other hand, buying on B2B platforms is just like buying on Amazon. Add products to cart, proceed to checkout, pay & track your order. Simple!
There're a lot of such B2B wholesale marketplaces out there but the most popular ones are Alibaba, DHgate, Global Sources, etc.
Founded by the charismatic Jack Ma in 1999, Alibaba now has more than 150,000 Chinese wholesale suppliers listed on its platform.
Here's how to buy on Alibaba:
Step 1: Create a FREE Alibaba account & sign in.
Step 2: Go to the wholesale section of alibaba (https://wholesaler.alibaba.com)
Step 3: Search for your target products.
Step 4: Browse across the product search results & shortlist the interested ones.
Step 5: Click on the product you want to buy, enter quantity & proceed to checkout. Alternatively, you can also contact supplier & initiate a discussion.
While buying on Alibaba, you need to take care of the following:
- Only deal with verified sellers & gold suppliers. Alibaba provides trust badges to sellers who're verified(Verified badge) & have been selling successfully on Alibaba since years (Gold supplier badge). These badges will be visible next to the supplier's name.
- Check if the supplier's products are certified by quality certification agencies like SGS .
- Make sure your order is covered by Alibaba's 'Trade Assurance' feature (on-time shipment & quality protection). You can check for trade assurance badge at the top of any product page. Remember, you need to process your order (including payment) through Alibaba's checkout system in order to qualify for 'trade assurance' benefits.
- Avoid paying directly to suppliers using modes like bank transfer or PayPal. Always use Alibaba's checkout to process your orders.
- Check transaction history & on-time delivery rate of the supplier.
- Check the shipping & lead time to ensure your order reaches on time.
- Look at the quality control & R&D facility supported by the supplier. This is important if you want to private label your products or want a custom designed product.
- Look at the suppliers' premises photos & videos.
- Initiate a live chat (feature available on Alibaba) with the supplier to see if they respond promptly. Also, check the communication fluency.
- Buy samples before committing on a huge order.
- Check for buyer ratings & review on both product level & supplier level.
- Huge database of Chinese suppliers
- End-to-end transaction support (from enquiry to shipping)
- Trade assurance support
- Quickest way to buy products at wholesale rate
- Mostly middlemen found on Alibaba. Difficult to find big & reputed manufacturers.
- High prices. You can get better price by directly contacting the manufacturer.
- Chances of scam if don't deal with verified & trusted suppliers.
- You need good negotiation skills to strike the best deals with Chinese suppliers.
- High shipping lead time. Generally, most suppliers on B2B marketplaces are based out in China. That means a shipping lead time of around 25-30 days if you're based out in the US.
This process of finding wholesale suppliers is best suited for someone who wants to gain some experience with procuring wholesale goods. The more time you spend on platforms like Alibaba, the more you'll learn about stuff like - negotiation, communicating with suppliers, shipping, logistics, import, etc.
4. Visit The Nearest Wholesale Markets
Want to know the most direct & personal way to buy wholesale goods? Then, head over to your nearest wholesale markets. The idea is simple. Visit these markets, talk to the suppliers & buy goods on spot.
At the outset, you need to find out the top wholesale markets in your country for your niche or industry. Try Google search, take help from industry veterans or get references from industry associations - it's not that tough. Once you know about these markets & where they're located, it's time to visit them.
Following are some of the popular wholesale marketplaces in the USA:
- The Wall, Los Angeles (Flowers, Food & Farmer Goods)
- Dallas Market Center, Dallas (Home Decor & Lighting)
- Cooper's Meat Market, Austin (Meat)
- Belle Glade Wholesale Market, Belle Glade (Flea)
- Blessed African Market, Peachtree Corners (Grocery Products)
- Kitchen Plus, Los Angeles (Kitchen & restaurant items)
- Denver Mart (Apparels)
- New York Market Center (Toys)
Want a complete list of all such marketplaces in the USA? Click here to get the full list.
Here's a step by step guide on how to deal with offline wholesalers:
Step 1: Do you homework. Take industry references, scout the seach engine, talk to a sourcing expert, etc. & know before hand who're the top wholesalers you would be talking to. Of course, a typical wholesale market may have more than a 1,000 shops. You can't talk to each one of them. So, shortlist a maximum of 10 to 20 suppliers. Prepare the list & take notes of their exact addresses.
Pro tip: Try phone calling all the shortlisted suppliers, introduce yourself & tell that you want to visit their shops on so and so date & time. That's a good way to build rapport & check if the supplier is responsive.
Step 2: Visit the marketplace, meet the concerned suppliers, hand over your visiting card & start talking to them on your requirements. Ask for samples of their products, take a note of their prices, know more about their trade practices (like MOQ), shipping lead time, delivery, packaging, private labeling, etc.
Step 3: Finalize a supplier & order a small lot. Look how things go. If satisfied, order a larger lot.
Pro tip: Never ever finalize a wholesale supplier just based on prime factors like price & quality. There're other stuff that matter too - like trade capacity etc. There's no point in dealing with a wholesaler who can't provide the required quantity on time. That way you would lose sales & your Amazon ranking will drop.
Following are certain things you need to take care of while dealing with offline wholesalers:
- Check the legal status of the supplier (LLC or tax registration status)
- Check for online reviews of the supplier on search engines like Google
- Inspect the warehouses of the supplier
- Check if the supplier's brand is already being sold on Amazon. If yes, then what's the price & how's the rating?
- To negotiate best rates, convince the supplier that you're looking for a long-term partner & would order in huge quanity once sales take off.
- Be clear about the payment terms like advance, credit, mode of payment, etc.
- Great for building supplier relationship
- Fast shipping lead time
- Less chances of fraud or scam
- Mostly traders & middlemen at wholesale markets
This process of finding wholesalers is best suited for someone who caters only to domestic customers & would like to replenish stock faster.
5. Attend Trade Shows or Events
Trade shows are temporary events that connect buyers & sellers of a particular industry. These shows last for a few days & are generally based in a particular business city.
Sellers install stalls or exhibitions showcasing their latest products. Buyers are free to move around, have a look at the products & initiate trade enquiries. Example: A fashion trade shows will have fashion brands displaying their latest fashion apparels in their respective stalls & buyers would visit those stalls to inquire more about their products, brand or company.
For buyers, most trade shows are free of cost. Whereas, the sellers have to pay a hefty amount to book a stall or space.
Trade shows are considered one of the most effective ways to contact wholesale suppliers. Why? Because they're cost-effective & safe. You get to meet hundreds of world-class brands & manufacturers, all under one roof.
Yes, foreign brands, manufacturers & sellers do attend popular trade shows.
To know more about upcoming trade shows or events in your country, visit websites like:
So, how do you initiate discussions with these suppliers in trade shows? Follow these steps:
Step 1: Visit the stall or booth of your choice & introduce yourself.
Step 2: Ask for product catalogues & samples. Also, exchange visiting cards.
Step 3: Take a chair & sit down for a healthy discussion. Talk about your requirements, volume of shipment, frequency of shipment, quality requirements, custom design, payment terms, etc.
Step 4: Ask them if you can visit their factory premises. That's a good way to show that you're serious about business. Also, it gives you a chance to check if the suppliers are genuine & have trade capacity.
Step 5: Visit the factory premises. Look at the quality controls & if satisfied, order a small lot to start with.
- Direct person-to-person contact with big brands or suppliers
- All top brands or suppliers under one roof
- Generally scam-free (but do conduct your checks properly)
- Trade shows do not happen every now & then. You'll have to wait for the next trade show date for your industry to start the sourcing process.
This process of finding wholesalers is best suited for someone who wants to give more emphasis to product quality. Generally, the suppliers in trade shows are quality-sensitive & adhere to various certification requirements.
6. Tour Manufacturing Hubs like China or Japan
As per a stat, China & Japan are two of the top countries when it comes to manufacturing. China accounts for around 28.4% share of the world's total manufacturing output. And, Japan accounts for around 7.2% share of the same.
The idea is simple. Visit these 2 countries' manufacturing hubs, import products & resell them through Amazon FBA.
Following are some of the popular manufacturing hubs in China:
- Shanghai (Steel)
- Shenzhen (Electronics)
- Hong Kong (Trading & logistics)
- Ningbo (Chemicals)
- Qingdao (Automobiles & machineries)
- Guangzhou (Automobiles)
- Tianjin (Textile)
Following are the some of the popular manufacturing hubs in Japan:
- Tohoku (Automobile & medical equipments)
- Chubu (Advanced automotives)
- Shikoku (Food processing & shipbuilding)
Spend at least 7 days touring various manufacturers. Look at their product samples & production processes. Meet the R&D engineers. Apart from sourcing, you'll get to learn a lot about other stuff in your industry.
- Good product quality
- Rapport with manufacturers
- Industry know-how
This sourcing process is best suited for someone who has good budget & is willing to start her FBA business with full force. There's no better way to get satisfied about your product quality than actually visiting & inspecting factories.
7. Hire Sourcing Agents
Sourcing agents are professionals who can help you find appropriate suppliers for a fee. This is an alternative when you can't afford or don't want to visit factories yourself.
I recommend you to hire sourcing agents on freelance platforms like:
Alternatively, you can also hire sourcing agents from B2B online marketplaces like Alibaba. Click here to look at the list of sourcing agents on Alibaba.
Typically, sourcing agents specialize in one or more industries. Therefore, make sure that you hire someone who has experience in your products & has handled similar sourcing projects in the past.
Also, note that, a sourcing agent's fees may be flat or as percentage on the total sourcing invoice bill. I recommend you to hire an agent who works for a flat-fee. Why? Because as a beginner, you need to keep costs low.
Sourcing agents aren't just about finding suppliers. They can provide a host of other important services like - quality check, pre-shipment check, factory inspection, production process checks, etc.
To deal with sourcing agents, I advise you the following:
- Only work with verified sourcing agents (UpWork displays a badge for freelancers who're verified)
- Hire sourcing agents who're already located in one of your industry's manufacturing hubs (Example: If you want to import Shenzhen, China, your sourcing agent also should preferably be located in Shenzhen or at least anywhere else in China)
- Make sure the agent is well versed with your industry
- Check for ratings & reviews of the agent (UpWork has ratings in-built)
- Look at the portfolio of the agent. Does the work match your expectation?
- Clearly indicate your requirements. Communication is the key when it comes to working with freelancers.
- Simple, easy & stress-free
- Professional help & advice
- Increases the cost of your product (due to the sourcing agent's fee)
- You may never know if the sourcing agent negotiated price with the supplier effectively or not
This process of finding wholesalers is best suited for someone who's not willing to take sourcing risk & wants to play safe by hiring an expert who knows stuff well.
8. Join Industry Associations or Federations
An industry association is a formal group founded & run by business owners of a particular industry. They're great for networking & meeting like-minded people of your industry. There're some business benefits as well like - getting seller & client referrals.
The idea is simple. Join an industry association, network with its member & ask for seller referrals.
Now, you must be thinking why would your competitor share seller referrals with you? You're right but not everyone is on the same page. There would definitely be someone who will be willing to help you (like industry veterans who've already achieved a lot & have got nothing to lose). Also, your success of getting seller referral will be directly proportionate to the effort you put towards networking. Makes sense?
You can find industry associations simply by using Google search. (Example: Try searching for "Garment industry association in Chicago").
Here're a few popular industry associations in the USA:
- American Farm Bureau (Agriculture)
- American Pet Association (Pets)
- American Art Pottery Association (Arts & Crafts)
- National Autobody Council (Automobiles)
- American Apparel & Footwear Association (Garments)
- American Bakers Association (Food)
- Strong referrals (Sellers may even offer you credit upfront just because you got referred by an industry veteran)
- No immediate result. Needs patience & constant work.
I won't recommend this sourcing method for a beginner. Yes, in long-run, joining an industry association can offer multiple benefits.
9. Try Amazon Business
Amazon Business is an eCommerce portal dedicated to institutional buyers & small businesses. In others words, it connects wholesale suppliers to companies & small businesses. So, be it corporate purchase or wholesale purchase, Amazon Business is here to cater.
The idea is to buy bulk at Amazon Business & re-sell the same via Amazon FBA with a profit markup.
The best part? Buying on Amazon Business is as simple as buying on Amazon.com. Simply add products to cart & then checkout.
To create an Amazon Business account, you'll need to submit your business details like tax registration number. The process is easy. Click here to know more.
- Simple & Easy
- Backed by Amazon itself
- End-to-end transaction support
- Not the best rates
- No communication with the supplier
- Fixed or non-negotiable rates
I won't recommend this method of finding suppliers unless you're into institutional buying & selling. For FBA sellers, there're far more effective ways to find vendors.
10. Browse Across LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the most popular business networking platform. Therefore, an ideal place to find wholesale vendors.
To find suppliers on LinkedIn, simply create an account or log in(if you already have an account) & then search for terms like "garment manufacturing", "automobile parts", etc.
Here's how the search results look:
Here's how you should be approaching the supplier on LinkedIn:
Step 1: Create a LinkedIn account or log in if you already have an account.
Step 2: Search for terms like "garment manufacturer" or "garment supplier", etc.
Step 3: Click on one of the search results to open the company or person's profile
Step 4: "Follow" the profile & send a message requesting more information. Never forget to to introduce yourself.
Step 5: Visit the supplier's website to know more about them.
- Fast & easy
- Networking benefits
- There's no way to know if a LinkedIn profile is genuine
- Long-term effort required to build relationship with suppliers
I would only recommend this method if you're tight on budget & won't want to spend a penny on finding suppliers. Else, this method should be avoided sheerly due to the risks involved.
11. Ask For Referrals on Facebook Groups or Reddit Threads
Facebook Group is a great way to network with like-minded people, feel a part of a community & get your queries answered. Similarly, Reddit is a discussion forum where you can post a query (on a relevant reddit thread) & other reddit users (following the thread) can answer the same.
Example: There's a dedicated Facebook group (4,223 members) for Amazon FBA sellers sourcing from India - https://www.facebook.com/groups/IndiaSourcing/
Example: There's a dedicated Reddit thread (595 members) for discussing product sourcing - https://www.reddit.com/r/ProductSourcing/
So, all what you need to do is - create a post on a relevant Facebook Group or Reddit thread & wait for replies. I'm sure someone from the community would step up to help you out. And, yes, don't forget to thank them!
- Community support
- Free of cost
- Chances of scam or fraud
Pro tip: Join a community that has a good number of active members (you can check if a community is active or not by scrolling through the recent activities). That way you'll get a good number of replies to your query. More the replies, lesser the risk. It's not advisable to source from a company referred by just one random member. If more people are voting for a particular supplier, then that means the supplier can be trusted.
12. Reverse Search Private Label Manufacturers
Private label manufacturers are the third party manufacturers or contractors who manufacture products without their own label or brand. Instead, they label their products with their customers'(retailers or wholesalers) brand names.
Example: A cosmetic brand named ABC may outsource the manufacturing of one of their products to a contract manufacturer. The manufacturer, in this case, will label the manufactured product with the brand name ABC.
Private label manufacturing is pretty common practice in today's corporate world. Why? Because it helps you reduce cost & risk associated with a full-fledged manufacturing setup. Believe it or not, but your favorite cola brand may not be actually producing its own cola. They simply pass on the cola syrup formula to a contract manufacturer (outsource) & focus their complete attention on marketing/distribution.
So, how do you find private label manufacturers or suppliers? Simple. Find out the manufacturer's name printed on the package of a private labelled product. Search that name on Google. Fire an email to the manufacturer & explain your requirements. Boom! You just found a supplier. Trusted & used by your competitors. Cool?
- Trusted & vetted manufacturers
- Most private label manufacturers have high MOQ requirements
Once you've established your Amazon FBA business well enough, you can surely try the private label route. For new comers, its better to work with wholesale traders or suppliers & gain some industry experience.
Finding wholesale suppliers for Amazon FBA isn't that hard when you know what you're doing. For a newbie, it may seem overwhelming. But, trust me, it actually isn't.
So, what're you waiting for? Choose one of the aforesaid sourcing methods & get started.
Your dream Amazon FBA business is just ONE step away!
Source. FBA. Passive Income.