After contacting over 1,000 suppliers, I came up with an email script that I started using EVERY time I would email a new wholesale supplier.
Here’s EXACTLY what I would say:
I was interested in getting more information about becoming a reseller and had a few questions:
- What is needed to set-up an account? (ie. business license etc.)
- What are your minimum purchase requirements?
- Do you offer blind drop shipping? (if so, are there any fees?)
- Would it be acceptable to resell your products on sites like eBay or Amazon in addition to an eCommerce site?
- Would I be able to use some of your photos and product descriptions for reselling online?
- What is your general return/guarantee policy?
- How long does order processing take?
Thanks for your time and help! 🙂
Now each of these questions are designed to save me time and help me know if a particluar company is one I might want to work with or not.
Let’s look at why each of these questions are important:
- #1. What is needed to set-up an account?
- #3. What are your minimum purchase requirements?
- #4. Would it be acceptable to resell your products on sites like eBay or Amazon in addition to an eCommerce site?
- #5. Would I be able to use some of your photos and product descriptions for reselling online?
- #6. What is your general return/guarantee policy?
- #7. How long does order processing take?
#1. What is needed to set-up an account?
It’s not uncommon for companies to require a business license before approving your application to resell their products. But if you don’t have a business license yet, then it’s good to know if that’s a requirement so you can pass on them for now (or try later once you have a business license).
Also, by bringing this question up, it demonstrates that you’re familiar with how the process works and it makes it sound like you’ve done this before.
Even though you may be a complete newbie… sometimes it can be helpful not to sound like one 🙂
NOTE: There are lots of suppliers that are VERY happy to work with complete newbies. But, some companies can come across as being a little more resistant to new resellers. So just keep this in mind if you reach out to a company and they don’t seem that friendly.
And if that happens, just keep going and realize that there are truly LOTS of friendly and wonderful suppliers to work with. Unfortunatley, that’s just not always the case for the first supplier you contact.
#3. What are your minimum purchase requirements?
This is important to ask because some companies will require that you purchase at last $50, or $200 or sometimes over $1,000. This could be a one-time purchase to become a reseller or it could be a minimum purchase requirement with every purchase you make from them.
For example, if you’re only interested in dropshipping, then you’re probably going to want to avoid companies that have a minimum purchase requirement.
However, a possible exception is that if you wanted to purchase items from a wholesale supplier, and then store those items at your home (or store facility you’re renting, etc.). Then when someone makes a purchase from your site/online store, you would be the one to ship the products to them form the inventory you purchased.
This can certainly be a great option to consider. The downside is you have the upfront cost and the need for storage space. But it means you’ll probably be able to sell something that’s not as common to find online because it’s not as easy for just anyone to be able to sell.
#4. Would it be acceptable to resell your products on sites like eBay or Amazon in addition to an eCommerce site?
This questions is worded very specifically.
Because another way you could ask this is to say “Can I sell your products on eBay and Amazon?”
The problem with asking the question that way is that you can come across as someone who’s just looking to make a quick buck and you don’t care about what you have to do to make that quick buck.
I learned this from talking with hundreds and hundreds of suppliers. Many of these suppliers have had bad experiences with people who ‘only’ want to sell their products on eBay or Amazon. The suppliers would feel taken advantage of and as a result, they were a lot more cautious about approving someone who just wanted to sell their products on eBay or Amazon.
Now, when I was getting started with dropshipping, that was often all I wanted to do. I was really just looking for products I could purchase at wholesale (or a good discount) and then resell those products on eBay/Amazon and make a little money from doing that.
I knew I was going to abide by the rules, but there was no way for the supplier to know what my intentions really were (which I understand).
So the question I used here, comes across like I’m saying, “hey, I like to be able to resell your products on my online store/ecommerce site, but by the way, if i also wanted to try selling your products on eBay and Amazon to help get more sales, would that be ok to do as well?”
These are subtle things, but it can make all the difference. And sometimes they would say something like “yes, you can resell our products on eBay or Amazon but you can’t sell our products for less than the retail price.”
Ultimately, if you come across like a professional online retailer, then I find suppliers are much happier providing you the information you need. And that again is the idea behind how these questions are worded.
#5. Would I be able to use some of your photos and product descriptions for reselling online?
This questions had two purposes.
First, it’s good to ask because some companies have restrictions regarding this. They don’t want you to use their photos, you actually would need to provide your own or at least contact the brands they’re representing.
For example, some wholesale suppliers act as a distributor for several brands (such as Nike, Garmin, Panasonic, etc.) And these wholesale suppliers have permission to use photos of these products on their site but sometimes they don’t have the authority to grant you permission to use the same photos.
It’s not something I ran into very often, but occasionally I did come up. So this question protects you just in case this might be an issue.
And secondly, by asking the question it demonstrates you understand how things work. So asking this questions, once again helps you to look like a savvy online retailer who’s been around the block a bit and is aware of what you need to do to not get anyone in trouble.
Because in the back of some suppliers minds, they’re kind of thinking “is this person going to be a headache to work with?” or “are they someone that might get me in trouble for approving their application?”
But most of the time, I found suppliers were more than happy to have you use their photos and descriptions because they want you to use whatever you can to help you sell more.
#6. What is your general return/guarantee policy?
This is important to know, because if you sell a customer a products and they want to return it, it’s possible you’ll have to cover that loss if the company you bought it from doesn’t have a good return policy.
For example, I worked with a company that sold spy gadget type products. And one time a customer purchase one of their products from me who was having problems with the product. I was able to contact the company and make sure the customer I sold this product to had a good experience.
Some companies have excellent return policies, where they will even pay to have the product returned to them. But some don’t allow product returns so it’s good to know what that policy is so you can decide if it’s a company you’d want to work with or not.
Personally, I only chose to work with companies that allowed me to have a product returned to them if it wasn’t working or if a customer wasn’t happy with it.
#7. How long does order processing take?
This is a very important question if you’re specifically going to be dropshipping. Because you want to be able to communicate to your customers when they can expect to get their products.
And even among dropshipping companies, this can vary quite a bit. Some companies strive to have products shipped out within 1 business day while others could take up to a week.
Personally, I preferred to find companies that would guarantee products are shipped within 1-2 business days (if I was using them to drop ship products).
Again, this is just really good information to have and it can also help quite a bit if you’re comparing companies and trying to decide which one(s) you might want to work with.
So hopefully this list of questions was helpful for you to see.
If so, please share this post with friends on social media. All of our content is reader supported so it helps us out a lot.
And if you get a chance to use any or all of these, I’d love to hear in the comments below how they work for you!