Finding suppliers is one of the biggest challenges that new e-commerce store owners face. They know the products they want to sell, but sourcing them at the right price from the right supplier isn’t easy.

Picking the right supplier for your store is a crucial step in getting your e-commerce store off the ground. The wrong wholesaler can end up costing you both time and money, so it's important to find the right one for your business needs.

So, how do you find the right dropshipping supplier, wholesaler, or manufacturer for your e-commerce business?

When searching for a wholesale supplier to provide your store with the products it needs, a few key factors can help you make the right choice.

Here are a few tips to help you select the perfect supplier

1. Know what you need for your store

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

First and foremost, you should look for suppliers who can provide the goods and services that your store requires. Like startups in any other industry, e-commerce stores need to create a product or service offering that meets their customer's needs and then find suppliers who can fulfill those needs. Create a detailed list of products and their features that you require from suppliers before contacting them so that you are well-prepared to ask relevant questions.

2. Consider your budget and costs

When selecting the right supplier for your store, it's important to take your budget into consideration. Do they provide volume discounts? Do they have a minimum or maximum order limit? What is the advance you need to pay to ship orders? Inquire about the time period required between placing the order and receiving it. To make sure you spend your money wisely, it's essential to get a clear idea of their terms and conditions and whether they are viable for your business. Get a detailed report on how much the shipping and product costs are. That way, you can determine which supplier will be the most cost-effective for you.

It's also important to factor in any other associated costs, such as return costs or product replacements, to make sure that the wholesaler you select offers competitive prices while still maintaining a high-quality service. Additionally, if their catalog regularly features new items or offers discounts on particular lines, this could also save you money over time. By taking all of those elements into account, you'll be able to confidently select the right supplier that is best suited to your store's needs and budget.

3. Research about potential suppliers

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

Research each potential supplier thoroughly. Look at their pricing, compare their services, and read reviews from past customers. This homework will give you a sense of what to expect if you decide to work with them. No matter what type of wholesaler supplier you're looking for, it's crucial that you take the time to do your due diligence so that your store always offers customers quality products from reliable sources.

4. Attend trade shows and industry events

Attending trade shows or industry events can be a great way for you to get more information about a possible supplier in person. At events like this, you can ask questions directly and even get samples of the products themselves. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to check out some other potential suppliers too!

5. Read reviews for service quality

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

Whether it is B2B or B2C e-commerce, reviews help you get the information and insight you need. A quick online search will usually turn up reviews of any given wholesaler. Make sure you read through these reviews; not only do they provide valuable insight into the company's level of service, but they can also alert you to any potential problems that you don't want to deal with. After all, you need to ensure that their products and services are reliable and worth investing in.

6. Use directories and forums

Online business listing directories allow you to search for suppliers in a specific industry, giving you quick access to dozens of suppliers. Additionally, online B2B forums give you a way to ask questions about suppliers as well as gather advice from other merchants who are directly in the same industry.

7. Ask for testimonials

Don't forget to ask for testimonials from the wholesaler's existing clients. This can give you an idea of what kind of service they provide. Many suppliers list these online, but don't hesitate to ask for more if you need them! Aside from assessing supplier capabilities, make sure they have an excellent track record when it comes to customer service and turnaround time. Try to find out how long they have been in business. The longer they've been around, the more experienced they will be in handling requests and providing top-notch service.

8. Establish clear communication

Communication with your potential wholesaler should be clear and upfront. Be sure that all details of the agreement, pricing structure, and delivery schedule are clearly stipulated before signing on the dotted line. Also, make sure they are available when you need to resolve queries instantly.

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9. Match their services with your needs

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

Make sure that the services provided by the suppliers match what you need for your e-commerce business. Are they able to accommodate international customers? Do they offer drop shipping? Are they able to provide fast delivery if necessary? By finding answers to these questions before signing up with a supplier, you can be sure you're making an informed decision. Also, consider their return policy and warranty information, as this helps guarantee satisfaction once an order is placed.

10. Do your due diligence for quality control

You must take the time to thoroughly vet each potential wholesaler to make sure they meet your standard of quality. Quality control goes beyond making sure their products are up to par. You must also ensure that the company adheres to relevant laws, industry regulations, and ethical standards.

11. Ask about shipping terms and conditions

When looking around for wholesalers, it's important to make sure you know about the shipping and handling terms and conditions. First and foremost, you want to be sure that the supplier can deliver on time, especially if your store has a strict deadline for deliveries. You also want to know how they handle returns, damaged goods, or any other eventualities. It's also worth asking whether they offer any discounts or promotions on bulk orders.

12. Find out what packaging they use

The packaging a wholesaler uses can tell you a lot about them. The right packaging will ensure your products are delivered safely and securely, so ask the supplier about their packaging process and what kind of materials they use. They should be able to provide detailed information in this regard, including measurements for different-sized packages.

13. Negotiate deals to maximize profit margins

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

When looking for the right supplier for your store, it's important to negotiate deals to maximize profit margins. You want to look for a partner that is willing to offer you discounts based on the volume of the orders you place. Some suppliers are even open to setting up long-term contracts that guarantee a certain pricing structure.

14. Make sure there are no hidden charges

Also, make sure to investigate other fees and charges associated with setting up an account with a particular wholesaler. Look for wholesalers who are likely to provide reliable service and who will not charge exorbitant fees on top of what they charge for their products.

15. Always have a backup plan

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

Never rely on one supplier for all the products in your store. Even if you have a good relationship or rapport with a trusted supplier, maintain goodwill with other suppliers. This will ensure that your business doesn’t suffer when your supplier cannot meet demand or has issues with product delivery. In spite of all this, if items are out of stock in your store due to supplier issues, we have a plan for you.

Have a mobile app for your store to maintain customer trust during supply management issues

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

To save you from all the trouble of not being able to source products from your supplier on time, we recommend that you have a good strategy in hand. And that is having a mobile app for your store. It is the best way to manage customer relationships when there are supply management issues. We’ll tell you how.

On your mobile app, encourage customers to click on Notify Me when the product they want is out of stock. This way, you increase customer satisfaction and make them feel that you care for them and are trying your best to provide them with what they need.

Send them a push notification or email when this product is restocked. A push notification gives you higher click-through rates and increases customer engagement in your app.

Go through the best-selling item list on your app and maintain adequate stock for this product list. This saves you from last-minute supply management issues.

You can use the no-code app builder Swipecart to easily create an app for your store. Apart from being a no-code tool, it has features and add-ons to help you manage customer relationships.

  • Its Back In Stock plugin helps you notify shoppers when items are back in stock.

  • Use its advanced analytics tool to get insights into the most visited product pages.

As they say, it is better to be prepared than to face the consequences. So, make sure you have a mobile app ready for your store to help you improve customer relationships.

Additional tips to find the best supplier for your store

15 Tips To Find The Perfect Supplier For Your E-Commerce Business

Now, here are some additional tips to help you get the best possible deals with wholesalers:

  • Gather quotes from multiple suppliers so you can compare prices and terms.

  • Consider buying in bulk, as this can save you money in the long run.

  • Speak directly with a representative at the wholesaler, as they may be more flexible in terms of pricing and requirements than they are when dealing with customers online through email inquiries.

  • Negotiate hard, but also be realistic about what is feasible and fair. Keep communication open. Show that you understand their product or service and be willing to compromise where necessary.

By taking these steps when selecting a supplier for your e-commerce store, you can be confident that you're getting the most suitable partner for your business needs.


All in all, selecting the right supplier for your store is an important decision. There are a few things to consider, such as the product range, cost, and delivery times, but the most important things are to ensure that you're getting quality products and a good customer service record.

Take the time to do your research, and always closely inspect the products before you commit. It's also worth keeping the contact details of at least two or three suppliers so that if one fails you, you can switch your business over quickly and easily. Once you find the right supplier, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of a strong professional partnership and a successful e-commerce store.