A Complete Guide to Different Suppliers

It goes without saying that suppliers are crucial for your retail business. Depending on the scale of your business, you might need a single or a multi-supplier network fulfilling your daily orders. But different suppliers have different ways of operating, it’s up to you to decide which supplier suits your needs the best.

Merchant the executives is the cycle that enables an association to go to fitting lengths for controlling expense, decreasing potential dangers identified with sellers, guaranteeing amazing assistance deliverability, and getting esteem from merchants over the long haul.

This incorporates investigating about the best appropriate sellers, sourcing and getting estimating data, measuring the nature of work, overseeing connections if there should be an occurrence of different merchants, assessing execution by setting authoritative guidelines, and guaranteeing that the installments are constantly made on schedule.

So, let’s discuss some of the types of suppliers in the business scape.

The Manufacturer

Many retail businesses prefer sourcing their products from manufacturers directly through their sales representatives. This supplier option is only for those who already have a considerable amount of experience in the business industry or a huge investment.

A producer is an individual or an enlisted organization that makes completed items from crude materials in a bid to make a benefit. The products are subsequently dispersed to wholesalers and retailers who then, at that point, offer to clients. The retailers show the items by means of physical stores or on outsider eCommerce stages. In the assembling business, items are made for an enormous scope to fulfill the overwhelming need from buyers.

It’s standard practice to demonstrate the spot of production. This data is normally shown on the bundling material. In customary conditions, the producer needs to meet a specific edge and adjust to the set guidelines.

Basically, makers should meet item accreditation prerequisites. This cycle includes execution tests and quality confirmation trial of the products which are being created. The certificate bodies underline meeting every one of the material worldwide guidelines. It’s a technique to upgrade buyer insurance.

A maker needs to notice all quality affirmation measures to stay away from any likely claims from the shoppers. Observe, a definitive objective is to raise consumer loyalty.

Manufacturers, as the name suggests, produce goods that you can buy in bulk at the lowest prices and sell at a greater profit. This is the best approach if you aim at making bigger profits but there’s a catch. If you buy in bulk, you’ll need a dedicated space to store all your stock.


  • The biggest advantage of sourcing products from manufacturers is the great control over product’s quality as they check the products quality themselves before handing over to customers.
  • Sourcing from the manufacturer itself gives you freedom of branding. Since the product is specially manufactured on your demand, you have the rights to sell it anyway you want.
  • Since manufacturers have proper production lines instead of hand crafting every single product, you can buy items in large quantities and stock up for future needs.


  • Production process includes many stages of prototyping, sampling and refining before the product is ready. It’s quite time consuming and a complex process.
  • Dealing with manufacturers in bulk will restrict you to only source products in larger quantities.
  • Depending on your business location, getting bulk items shipping can incur a huge cost.

The Wholesalers (Distributors)

If you find dealing with a manufacturer directly tedious, then this will be a better solution for you. Wholesalers, also known as distributors or brokers, buy from manufacturers in your stead and store it at their own warehouse.

This way, you’ll be dealing with ready to sell products without dealing the manufacturers. The prices of wholesalers are higher than manufacturers, they can supply your products from different manufacturers. Distributors often operate from several locations which means it’ll be easier to find one near you.


  • The best thing about dealing in wholesale items is that the products are ready-made. You don’t have to put resources into RnD and create a product from scratch. It means if a product fails to meet customer’s expectations, you could always have other options at the ready.
  • Wholesale Suppliers often give you exclusive offers and special discounts with time.
  • Since products are already well-established in the market, they can impact your business establishment positively.


  • Products already present in the market creates a problem of competition. You have to strategize well to compete with other brands to gain attention of the customers which requires money and effort.
  • It limits your pricing strategy to a certain range as well. If a customer finds items at your store to be priced higher than the competition, then they won’t be coming back.
  • It can make inventory management a hassle. You might be sourcing larger or smaller quantities from the wholesale vendor. Since there isn’t a fixed value, it makes inventory management and sales forecasts unpredictable.

A Craftsperson

Hand crafted items are far superior than what factories produce, it’s an obvious fact. Craftspeople deal in creating exclusive items and sell them at rep or trade shows.

They sell a variety of handmade items according to the customer’s demand. From clay pots to expensive jewelry and watches, craftspeople can twist and mold materials into exquisite pieces of art. It does come at a hefty price though since everything is made by hand.


  • With the right experienced craftsperson, the quality is uncompromised and is sure to please your customers.
  • You can easily add more items or modify the product line.
  • You can develop a loyal relation with the craftsperson and he might offer his services exclusively to you.


  • The item creation will be extremely slow since everything is made one by one by hand. For quicker production, you could hire more craftspeople but it still won’t come near to a machine.
  • The end product may be amazing in quality, but it’s cost will skyrocket.
  • Hiring a single craftsperson for the job can leave you highly dependable on his services. If he decides to quit or monopolize his merchandise, you could be backed in a corner. On the other side, hiring more craftspeople will double the cost.

An Importer

Many retailers prefer buying their goods through foreign sources either through a domestic importer or simply purchasing the goods themselves. Domestic importers function similar to a wholesale supplier but instead deal with foreign goods.


  • Manufacturing cost is much lower depending on the country’s economy.
  • There are many manufacturers to choose from across the globe.
  • There are many digital platforms like Alibaba which is a wholesale marketplace that harbors B2B vendors worldwide. This has made searching for an importer much easier and hassle-free.


  • Inconsistent quality of products as compared to locally made due to different labor and manufacturing standards.
  • Shipping time is varied, causing slight inconsistency.
  • Communication gap due to different language and time zone barriers.
  • Product importation requires several customer and taxation department clearance which can add to the delay.


As we have discussed above, not one supplier is great for everything. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses which leaves the final decision on you. Is your business more suited to dealing with a manufacturer or a wholesaler? Does the nature of your business allow for products to be delayed a bit or you need them as quickly as possible? After taking a deep dive into your business requirements while keeping these factors in mind, you’ll reach a definitive choice of a supplier that will be best suited for your business.

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