As members of my Easy Auction Business video course will know, I think wholesale directories are one of the best ways to find new suppliers, particularly if you are not yet ready to place large import orders from China and are looking for UK, EU or US based wholesale companies.
So in this guide I’ll go over the easiest ways to find directories and of course; reveal the best wholesale directories, which you can start using straight away.
Starting off with UK wholesale directories:
Having been online for more than 14 years now, The Wholesaler UK is the largest UK based wholesale directory. It is completely free to use and contains suppliers in a number of categories, ranging from aromatherapy products to kitchenware to umbrellas… pretty much every niche is covered here!
All suppliers are listed by category and sub-category and their website is very easy to navigate and use so you won’t need to spend hours upon hours going through jumbled lists of suppliers with no order.
And for all of you looking to sell licensed products (Disney etc.) on eBay, which you cannot do legally by importing from China (as I’ve explained many times in various Q&As as well as in this blog post here), check out the dedicated Licensed Products category where you can find legitimate wholesalers selling such items.
All companies featured on TheWholesaler.co.uk are UK based (or at least have a representative and hold their stock in the UK), supply the independent retail trade, and provide verifiable contact details.
eSources is the UK’s fastest growing wholesale trade directory and they now have a huge amount of listed suppliers. As well as UK wholesalers, they also list dropshippers and international suppliers.
eSources’ website is also a bit more in-depth than others, with more search options as well as more specific sub-categories which is definitely needed due to the number of suppliers.
The regular trade buyers account is free and this allows you to contact wholesale suppliers and even list buying requests. There is also a Premium Buyer Membership option which gives you access to additional ‘exclusive’ wholesale sources and websites. This premium membership costs £20 for 1 month but can be as little as £5 a month if taking the annual plan.
eSources also has some worthwhile additional resources, such as a list of UK Auction Houses (nearly 800 at the time of writing!) plus a calendar of UK trade fairs and exhibitions, and lastly, they also have a large number of Trade Articles covering various topics which you should check out.
Established over 70 years ago, The Trader is the UK’s No.1 stock buying magazine and TheTrader.co.uk is simply the online version of this magazine. Again, a huge number of suppliers are listed in a variety of categories suitable for retailers, market traders and eBayers. Check out their catalogue return section for a great way to find profitable return and liquidation stock and they also have a dedicated £1 lines category which is something a lot of people ask me about.
The Trader is completely free to use and one thing I really like about it is that you can browse the magazine in full for free online! This in itself is a terrific feature and especially useful for those still searching for their niche or those looking for new products. Sometimes browsing through a magazine with a huge number of different adverts can really help you discover a product or niche you’d never have considered yourself if simply searching online category by category.
Plus the magazine often emphasises hot selling, seasonal products so if you’re a market seller or simply want to find some short-term products to add to your current items to supplement your sales then this is the place to look.
Completely free to use, Wholesale-Outlet provides a fairly comprehensive database of UK wholesale suppliers as well as a small number of international ones under their India Manufacturers and USA Based Wholesalers categories.
The ones I’ve covered are the most renowned and respected UK wholesale directories and therefore have the best companies listed and there’s more than enough above to keep you busy.
But what about European suppliers?
Although it’s quite industrially oriented, there are still a large amount of wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers listed. It’s also completely free to use so simply make a search or browse by category and then select which regions and countries you want to see results from.
As with the European directories, a number of the UK sites covered already will also include sections for the US but as it’s such a huge market with thousands of companies, it’s definitely worth looking for directories dedicated solely to US based suppliers, such as:
One of the best wholesale directories, SaleHoo features nearly 10,000 suppliers and well more than a 1,000,000 products!
Now SaleHoo is not free, in fact it costs $67 for one year’s membership but sometimes you get what you pay for and SaleHoo really is much more than a free wholesale directory!
Firstly and probably most importantly, there is a verification process in place for any company that wants to be listed on SaleHoo which includes making sure:
- It’s a real company offering actual wholesale prices
- Safe payment methods are offered
- The supplier doesn’t have a bad track record with customers (minimising the risk of a scam)
- The supplier has full contact details so you can get in touch in a variety of ways if needed
- The supplier only sells legitimate and original items
Now in my eyes, supplier verification is worth the membership fee alone as it means when they say there are 8,000 suppliers listed, there are actually 8,000 genuine and real suppliers listed.
But there are also some other things offered by SaleHoo that sets it apart, such as their Research Lab which provides a lot of selling and competition statistics (similar to Terapeak but less in-depth of course).
Then you also get access to their guides as well as the private, members-only forum.
And last but not least, you’re covered by a 60 day money back guarantee if you don’t feel SaleHoo is worth the subscription price.
So while $67 may seem a bit much initially compared to the many free offerings, you can hopefully now see that you really do get a lot for your money and if you are in need of a US based supplier, you should definitely consider signing up. After all, what’s $67 if it enables you to find a profitable supplier that you can use for years to come?
Along with SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands is probably the biggest and best wholesale directory out there. There are thousands and thousands of suppliers listed, and they’re also sorted into different categories such as Wholesale Dropshipper, Light Bulk and Volume Wholesalers so you can quickly and easily find suppliers that match your buying power.
And again, like SaleHoo, there is a verification process in place so any old company can’t just simply add themselves to the directory.
For example, to be listed in Worldwide Brand’s Wholesale Dropshipper database, you have to be either the actual manufacturer of the products or the factory-direct wholesaler so you know you’re getting as close to the source as possible and cutting out the middlemen who will eat into your margins. Plus all the companies listed are happy to work with online sellers so no time wasted on suppliers who only want to sell to you if you have a bricks and mortar store (which can sometimes be a problem with UK based companies).
There are also a number of great ebooks and other great selling resources in the form of videos and articles which you can access completely for free on their site.
So onto the price, and membership is not cheap, requiring a one-time payment of $299 but in return you get access to the world’s largest directory of dropshippers and wholesalers.
Overall I would say that Worldwide Brands is more geared towards dropshipping and while some of you may remember, that’s not my favourite business model, however the US is the one country where I think it’s viable so if that’s the direction you’re looking to take in your business, then it could certainly be worth signing up.
Unlike SaleHoo and Worlwide Brands, Wholesale Central is free to join and features a number of suppliers in all the usual categories, including specific dollar store, dropshippers and closeout suppliers.
The website is very simple and easy to navigate so it’s a great way to do some research into US suppliers at no cost.
Now I don’t want to overwhelm you by listing countless directories when I think you’d be better off concentrating your efforts on actually finding reliable suppliers and profitable products from the ones I’ve given you so I won’t list any more from the US – particularly as they generally follow more of a paid model than the many free ones in the UK.
But the two paid ones listed above are very comprehensive and have a huge number of suppliers plus I’ve included a free option for those not quite ready to sign up or if you just want to test the waters, so to speak.
There is one last thing I want to cover in this guide though and that’s wholesale directories from other countries.
So far I’ve covered the UK and US in depth as well as EU suppliers generally but what about other countries from South America, Asia etc.?
Well let me preface this by saying that for the big Asian exporters I still recommend using Alibaba and other such similar B2B platforms as that’s really the best and easiest way to find suppliers from countries such as China, Hong Kong, India etc.
But what about importing from lesser-known countries around the world? If you’re looking for more specialist or niche suppliers then you may have to look into this (say you want to get specific screen protectors from Japan or South Korea)
Now for these kind of searches it’s quite difficult to find general wholesale directories for each country. This is due to a number of reasons but mainly language and the fact that they’re less common for importers (though that may potentially mean more profitable!).
So in these instances, when you’re looking for a specific product that may not be available from the usual main exporters (US, China etc.) then it’s more worthwhile to search for suppliers for that product individually rather than doing a general search for wholesale directories from that country.
The easiest way to do this is by using Google! Simply search for product name plus wholesale and country, like this:
- screen protectors wholesale Japan
- screen protectors manufacturer Japan
- and so on.
Well I think I’ve covered everything then! I hope you find this guide useful and take full advantage of it – wholesale directories can be a great way to source new products and suppliers you wouldn’t otherwise have even thought of.
The fact that a company is listed in a wholesale directory DOES NOT guarantee ANYTHING!!! Yes, some wholesale directories verify their members but we don’t know for sure how accurate and updated that information is. Always use common sense and do your own research to verify each company you plan dealing with. Start with small, sample order and only use safe payment methods.
If you do have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned or if you need some further help navigating one of the sites, then don’t hesitate to post below in the comments section and I’ll answer you personally.
Until next time.