How to Find Wholesale Suppliers for Your Online Business

Thanks to the growing retail industry, businesses have various options available to them when purchasing inventory. With a greater number of wholesale suppliers and online databases to find those suppliers, securing wholesale stock has become easier than ever.

Here’s how businesses can find wholesale suppliers to help them with their online businesses and brick-and-mortar stores.

What is a Wholesaler?

A wholesaler is a type of supplier that sells large quantities of finished goods to businesses at a discounted price. Wholesale purchasing helps companies acquire new inventory for less to ensure higher profit margins when selling to their customers.

They buy products straight from the manufacturer and then sell them to business owners to sell online or in-store. Wholesale suppliers do not operate a store but supply the inventory to other companies to be sold.

How Wholesalers Work

Companies can secure goods from either domestic or foreign wholesale suppliers to sell in-store or on their business website. This wholesale supplier will offer an attached MSRP, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or sticker price, that is recommended to businesses on how much they should sell the acquired products for.

Typically, buying wholesale should see you securing products at a 30% to 50% rate off the MSRP. There are usually minimum prices and quantities that must be bought to ensure the best-discounted price.

After businesses have bought the wholesale products, they can raise the price to the suggested MSRP, receiving a more significant portion of the profits after the goods have been sold.

Wholesaler vs. Retailer

A retailer is an entity that sells goods directly to the customer or consumer at regular market pricing. A wholesaler, on the other hand, is an entity that sells products in bulk to other businesses or retailers for resale. Retail and wholesale business models offer various advantages and disadvantages for the seller.

Wholesaler vs. Distributor

A distributor plays the middleman between the manufacturer of a product and the businesses that sell that product. Distributors look to wholesalers to help them find other businesses to sell the manufacturer’s goods. Where the distributor works closely with manufacturers, the wholesaler works closely with retailers.

How Do I Find Wholesale Suppliers?

To find wholesalers to work with, you will want to first look for the products you would like to sell. Once you determine what you want to sell, and then source products. Do this by going online and researching who the wholesale distributor is for those products.

If the products come from a smaller company, they typically do not have distributors and will sell to you directly. It is important to note that when buying from a wholesaler, you typically have to put in a minimum order for each product to secure the best price possible.

You may try going to local Canadian trade shows to discover new suppliers and wholesale suppliers for domestic services. On the other hand, if you are looking to source from foreign suppliers, then consider browsing search engines for overseas manufacturers or foreign supplier databases. There may be more logistics to consider when working with foreign suppliers, but they also offer the best discounts for your business.

Types of Wholesale Suppliers

There are three main types of wholesale suppliers businesses can work with:

  • Merchant wholesalers: Also known as pure wholesalers, these are suppliers that solely deal in buying goods from manufacturers and producers and selling them to businesses and retailers directly. They generally work for themselves rather than the manufacturer or retailer, so they can serve all parties involved.
  • Agent or broker: An agent or broker wholesaler is a middleman in the supply chain, meaning they operate a link between the manufacturer and retailer. Typically, agents and brokers work directly for the manufacturer, finding buyers for the products and receiving commissions off of those wholesale deals.
  • Specialty wholesalers: Businesses that strictly deal in one type of product at a highly specialized level. They do not keep stock of thousands of different products like other wholesalers. Instead, they focus on one niche market, providing products to specialized retailers.

Why Should Small Businesses Buy Wholesale?

Businesses choose to buy wholesale for a variety of reasons, such as:

  1. Lower purchasing costs of products mean higher sales and profit margins for the business.
  2. Buying in bulk means delivering in bulk, minimizing shipping costs and lead times.
  3. Secure a wide range of products and goods from global suppliers that you might not otherwise be able to find on the retail market.
  4. Can find and sell products from well-known brands to take advantage of brand loyalty.
  5. Allows smaller businesses to compete with larger companies as they have access to the same products at a lower price.
  6. Does away with the manufacturing process, including raw materials, to make supply chain management easier.

Canadian Wholesalers for your Online Store

Once you have your brick-and-mortar business or eCommerce and online store set up, you will need to research and source your products from suppliers. Generally, domestic suppliers are more expensive than foreign suppliers. However, that does not mean that small businesses cannot still secure good deals from their country’s wholesalers.

Local Canadian wholesale suppliers include:


Small businesses can work with Amazon Business to find all types of products in small and large quantities, with free shipping. Take advantage of quantity discounts or progressive discounts that see you saving money over time. Businesses can sign up for Business Prime for free to explore the highest-rated products, buy best-selling items and gain fast and free delivery.

Bargains Group

Canadian-owned and operated Bargains Group is a reliable domestic supplier that offers fast turnaround items and great deals with the ability to lock in prices on specific stock for up to 6 months. With over 10,000 promotional and non-branded goods, businesses of all kinds can source apparel, accessories, bedding, personal hygiene products and more.

Canadian Choice

Canadian Choice is a specialized wholesaler focusing on food products and natural and organic specialty products. This wholesale service offers environmentally and socially responsible items with all-natural ingredients for resale to grocery stores and other food-related businesses.

Canadian Merchandiser

As a wholesaler database, Canadian Merchandiser lets businesses find thousands of professional suppliers for the general merchandise industry. Easily search the online directory by product, category, location, or company to find everything you need. Even better, there is no membership fee, so you can use this platform long-term without having to pay a monthly or one-off cost.

Foreign Wholesale Suppliers

Foreign wholesalers from overseas typically offer products at a lower price than domestic suppliers. However, the quality of the products may be impacted as a result. Therefore, before working with foreign suppliers, it’s essential to ensure you can secure well-made products at the right price. For reliable wholesalers, consider these overseas suppliers:


One of the largest Asain directories of wholesale distributors, Alibaba offers businesses millions of products to choose from at great prices. With a rating and review score, you can verify the reliability of suppliers before working with them. With numerous payment options to choose from, and secure payment services, an intuitive interface, and authenticated suppliers, Alibaba is one of the best foreign platforms today.


SaleHoo offers businesses an entire database of trustworthy suppliers that offers over a million high-quality products. This go-to wholesale supplier directory can be accessed for a small fee, either annually or a lifetime fee depending on what you want. With low order quantities and fast shipping, you can start selling your products in no time when you order from SaleHoo suppliers.

When buying wholesale, you’ll want to track your expenses and inventory on an ongoing basis. Your business can easily monitor inventory expenses and profit margins of products with accounting and inventory software like QuickBooks Online.

Try it for free today and join the millions of users that have improved their inventory processes and finances with this professional software platform.

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