How to get your products in front of thousands of retail buyers “Go Wholesale”

Faire Vs Tundra Vs Handshake Vs others

Photo by Blake Wisx from Unsplash

Are you thinking about selling wholesale and looking to get your products in more stores and boutiques? Where do retail buyers and store owners look for products?

Whether you’re selling clothing, jewelry, baby products, accessories, bath & beauty products, home decor, or foods, read on to find out how to let retailers discover you.

As an independent retail business owner, there was a time when your only option to buy or sell wholesale products was trade shows and live markets.

Over time, both of these avenues have become less reliable. Trade shows have seen low attendance and decreasing sales, especially for lesser-known brands. and Sales Reps tend to work with only those brands that already have a strong base of stockists.

These trade shows can cost between $5K-$20K to attend and show at — but for a long time (and before COVID), they often yielded a barrage of sales. Reps (people who represent your line to stores in exchange for a commission) were another option.

Covid was the final blow to this industry, and there are platforms banking on this disruption.

Now there are platforms that offer you the ability to sell wholesale or buy wholesale — all online.

These marketplaces are designed for local retailers to discover makers and brands to stock their stores.

If you’re a maker you can sell to brick and mortar store owners and if you’re a brick and mortar store owner, you can buy from makers and brands.

A wholesale marketplace is like Etsy for businesses — independent brands post their products on the site; buyers then search for products and buy directly through that platform.

Advantages of selling on these wholesale marketplaces:

  • Usually, no upfront cost to join.
  • Exposure to stores you might not have found otherwise.
  • Little effort on your part to get set up.
  • The online model works well in our post-COVID low-contact world.
  • The marketplace may be able to offer terms or tools you might not be able to offer (e.g., Net 60, free shipping, streamlined wholesale ordering, etc.)

That said, there are some general disadvantages to wholesale marketplaces:

  • You may not be accepted, and if you’re rejected, you don’t usually get reasons why.
  • Commissions can be very high and usually apply to every order for the lifetime of the account.
  • If you don’t get sales, there is little that you can do.
  • It can be hard to cultivate relationships or reorders with stores.

Let’s break down all these platforms: Each marketplace has different advantages, disadvantages, and risks.

Faire:

Faire is the largest wholesale marketplace in this space and is known for its unique, curated collections of artisan-made items. The heavily venture-backed platform reflects their mission to simplify the wholesale process as well as their highly selective application process for makers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Faire’s standard commission structure is 25% on opening orders and 15% on reorders
  • FAIRE offers free returns on first orders with makers. From the date your order is placed, you have 60 days to return the product. This allows you time to try out the product and return what doesn’t work for a full refund. Any reorders from a Maker are not eligible for return.
  • FAIRE offers free shipping on your first order.
  • FAIRE — Net 60 payment terms are available for all orders (eligible for brick & mortar businesses) and they occasionally offer Net 90 terms.
  • FAIRE offers an Insider subscription program to brick and mortar businesses. Insider is Faire’s exclusive subscription program with free freight — the more you buy, the more you save! Members are granted free domestic freight on all orders from select makers and early access to the newest arrivals.

Here are a few suggestions from my personal experience:

  • If you’re engineering a luxury brand, then reach out to Faire about their beta buy-back program to regain control of your returns.
  • Keep a sharp eye on your numbers to ensure that you can afford 25%-28% commissions on your products.
  • Enable direct wholesale ordering on your website, and offer special incentives (lower minimums, faster shipping, complimentary shipping over a certain threshold) to incentivize direct orders.

Tundra:

Tundra is a modern marketplace with over 2,500 brands and they have harnessed technology to prioritize transparency with every transaction, streamline the shipping logistics for makers, and support their platform with ad-based revenue.

Tundra’s business model is a little different than Faire.com. Their business model does not rely on transactional fees and commissions. They make money through subscriptions and daily promotions.

Key Takeaways:

  • TUNDRA has a Zero-Commission model. Brands with a Gold Badge indicate you get the products at the lowest price online.
  • TUNDRA does not offer returns — citing their lower prices and low minimums reduce the risk for retailers.
  • TUNDRA has free standard shipping on most products. All products marked with the blue truck icon have free standard shipping.
  • TUNDRA does not charge a fee, markup, or commission on orders between buyers and suppliers and never will. Tundra makes money by providing optional services and features. Buyers can purchase expedited shipping, insurance, and prepaid duties, and taxes for international orders at checkout. Suppliers can pay for faster storefront setup as well as select brand promotion opportunities.
  • Tundra allows suppliers to list their products on the platform, which is built to look and feel like a B2C marketplace. Buyers can come on the platform and shop for products, complete with ratings and reviews, supplier performance metrics, and free shipping with easy tracking.
  • To generate revenue, Tundra offers premium options at checkout, such as faster shipping, order insurance, and additional customs clearance and logistics services for international orders.

Handshake:

Handshake is a wholesale marketplace for an independent store that runs on the Shopify platform. Handshake does this all from within the Shopify ecosystem. So if you’re already using Shopify, your inventory, billing, and orders will all be in the same places you’re used to. Shopify acquired Handshake to handle B2B e-commerce directly for customers.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are no fees. It’s free to join Handshake. And whether you’re making your first sale or your 50th, there are no commissions. Scale your sales without scaling your fees.
  • Manage your wholesale business on Shopify. Handshake is built by Shopify, which means suppliers can manage their wholesale business in the same ecosystem and backend as the rest of their business on Shopify. Wave goodbye to those CSV files: Your Handshake products are a reflection of your Shopify products.
  • Retailers you can trust with your brand. Handshake is committed to unlocking long-lasting relationships between brands and retailers. That’s why retailers must have a reseller ID to join and buy on Handshake.

Bulletin. co:

Bulletin, a women-founded Y Combinator-backed platform with unique brands and artsy products.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bulletin offers net-60 terms to qualified retailers.
  • Bulletin is a subscription-based platform, where brands pay a flat rate and then split the revenue from the store with Bulletin 70/30.
  • Founders describe their business model as a we-work for direct-to-consumer online companies giving them shelf space fast with almost no commitment.
  • The company chooses small brands to sell based on a variety of factors, including previous sales data for similar products, current trends, the brand’s Instagram or portfolio, and how well similar products perform on social media. If it’s a well-known business, they won’t ask for samples, but for products where images can be deceiving, like gold-plated jewelry or skincare, the team always asks for samples.

HelloAbound:

Abound is a wholesale marketplace serving retailers and brands in the US and UK. By connecting independent retailers and emerging brands, empowering them with relationship-building tools, and doing it at scale, Abound can collapse the inefficiencies that limit their potential.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are no fees for joining the marketplace so that you can sell your products on Abound. Abound is compensated with commissions when you successfully sell to new retailers on Abound, so our incentives are aligned with your success.
  • They offer net 60 payment terms and free returns.
  • They tend to favor brands with more than 50 SKUs, but we will accept single-SKU brands that have a particularly unique value proposition. We also look for brands with a growing consumer following, particularly on Instagram.
  • They offer two payment options for selling on Abound to accommodate your business needs.

Option 1 (lower commission) charges a commission rate of 15% for first-time orders and 8% thereafter per retailer with net 45 payment terms (from the date of product delivery).

Option 2 (faster payment) charges a commission rate of 25% for first-time orders and 15% thereafter per retailer with payment within 5 days of product delivery.

Here are a few more wholesale marketplaces that I haven't personally used, but you can look into:

Cheers,

Manav

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Manav Golecha

Manav Golecha

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