Finding a vendor is a common bottleneck slowing down the launch of any marketplace. A good vendor offering a product/service of the highest demand will attract more people to an online shop.
You may have already brainstormed some ideas of your own, found niche ideas and evaluated products to sell online. However, being an entrepreneur, you know for sure, you cannot allow yourself to lose momentum to actually source products. Manufacturers fitting your requirements aren’t always easy to find.
Who and where to select?
The ultimate choice is up to you. But before you begin, there are a few things you should be aware of to take the final decision.
First, you should determine what type of supplier you’re looking for: a manufacturer to produce your own product idea or a supplier/wholesaler or distributor to purchase already-existing brands and products, or a drop-shipper to supply products and fulfill orders.
Second, you need to decide about the sources: domestic or overseas. Each option can bring its advantages or disadvantages depending on what you are going to sell on your marketplace and the market itself.
After you have the exact idea of what you’re looking for and know the advantages and disadvantages of domestic vs. overseas sourcing in your environment, begin your survey. There are not so many places that can help you with the search. You can use Google or local libraries like Scotts Online Business Directory with a monthly fee or drill down with networking via Facebook and find leads from referrals. An accurate, quick and cheap solution may be considering online libraries.
For domestic ones, this list may include:
- Maker’s Row
For overseas, try these sources:
How does it look in practice?
Well, it does look perfect in theory. Easy to say than do. Let’s take an example.
The United States is the biggest e-commerce player in the world. As an entrepreneur, I want to sell in a promising area and don’t waste time on developing the whole infrastructure from ground zero.
So, I googled “Which Are The Largest Industries In The United States?” And got the real estate, renting and leasing industry as the outcome. It constitutes the largest sector of the United States’ economy thanks to consumer spending through rent and payment of household utilities and thanks to the construction of new housing units, broker fees, and residential remodeling.
As for the area to specialize in, I offer to rent solar panels. This niche is easier to fill as it knows lesser competition in comparison to car or apartment/house renting and leasing market.
Now, when decided about the niche, I want to find the vendors for my marketplace. I would consider both, local and international OEMs.
The Google search for local manufacturers listed the top US-based companies:
- Auxin Solar
- Certainteed Solar
- First Solar
- Global Solar
- Lumos Solar
- Prism Solar
- Seraphim Solar
- Solar Electric America
- SolarTech Universal
Additional list of potential solar panel suppliers to my marketplace includes 342 companies that I got from thomasnet.com. I would consider them if I failed with getting the top as my vendors.
Domestic manufacturers are better for their proximity and no language barrier. I will take them into account if targeting my marketplace to domestic renters and lessees due to a 30 percent tariff charged from the imported solar panels and cells in the United States since January 2018.
It is well known that producing solar components is cheaper overseas. Going international, it worth considering the top of the international solar panels’ OEMs:
- JinkoSolar, China
- Trina Solar, China
- Canadian Solar, Canada
- JA Solar, China
- Hanwha Q CELLS, South Korea
- GCL-SI, Hong Kong
- LONGi Solar, China
- Risen Energy, China
- Shunfeng, China
- Yingli Green, China
Finally, having a choice of manufacturers capable to offer their items for rent, I can start a marketing campaign to attract vendors to my CS-Cart Multi-Vendor store. With my solar renting company, I can easily scale my multisellers’ shop internationally.
The Simtech Development company will readily give you a clue on how to better prepare your marketplace for getting vendors faster and skyrocketing sales.