How to Buy Wholesale for Your Ecommerce Shop in 2024

What does it mean to buy wholesale?

Buying wholesale means purchasing products in bulk directly from the manufacturer or distributor at a lower price than buying individual items.

3 types of wholesalers


Manufacturers produce the products themselves and sell them directly to retailers or ecommerce shops.

Retail wholesalers

Retail wholesalers purchase products in large quantities from manufacturers and sell them to retailers at a marked-up price.

Merchant wholesalers

Merchant wholesalers buy products in bulk from manufacturers and sell them to retailers or other wholesalers.

How to buy wholesale

1. Prepare to buy wholesale

Before you start looking for wholesale suppliers, make sure you have all the necessary legal documentation and business licenses in place.

2. Identify the wholesale products you need

Decide which products you want to sell in your ecommerce shop and determine the quantity you need to purchase.

3. Research potential wholesale suppliers

Look for wholesalers that offer the products you’re interested in and compare their prices, minimum order quantities, and shipping terms.

4. Contact the suppliers you’re interested in

Reach out to the wholesalers and inquire about their products, pricing, and terms. Ask for samples if possible to assess the quality of the products.

5. Purchase and receive your wholesale items

Once you’ve chosen a supplier, place your order and arrange for the delivery of your wholesale products.

Where to buy wholesale products in 2024

1. Faire

Faire is an online wholesale marketplace that connects retailers with independent brands and makers.

2. Wholesale marketplaces

Platforms like Alibaba, Global Sources, and ThomasNet offer a wide range of wholesale products from manufacturers and distributors.

3. Word-of-mouth recommendations

Ask other ecommerce shop owners for recommendations on reliable wholesale suppliers they have worked with.

4. Ecommerce forums

Participate in online forums and communities dedicated to ecommerce to network with other shop owners and get leads on wholesale suppliers.

5. Facebook groups

Join Facebook groups for ecommerce entrepreneurs and wholesalers to connect with potential suppliers and get insider tips on buying wholesale.

6. Google Search

Use search engines to find wholesale suppliers by entering specific product keywords along with “wholesale” or “supplier” to narrow down your search.

Start selling wholesale with Shopify

If you’re using Shopify as your ecommerce platform, you can easily set up a wholesale channel to offer discounted prices to bulk buyers while maintaining separate pricing for retail customers.

How to buy wholesale FAQ

Can a normal person buy from wholesale?

Yes, anyone can buy wholesale as long as they meet the minimum order requirements and have the necessary legal documentation to do so.

How do you buy wholesale as a small business?

Small businesses can buy wholesale by researching suppliers, preparing their business documents, and contacting wholesalers directly to negotiate terms.

Can the public buy from wholesale?

While the public can technically buy from wholesalers, most wholesalers require buyers to have a business license or tax ID to make a purchase.