Where to find more suppliers for your eBay business

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I signed TameBay up for Review Me a while back, and this morning, we were asked to write our first paid-for review. To be honest, unless you’re an absolute a-list blogger, the pay isn’t great: at least as important a consideration in my mind was that we might get to find out about some interesting new things before everyone else does.

SaleHoo is a directory of wholesalers, manufacturers, liquidators and dropshippers. There are many such directories around, but what makes SaleHoo stand out is that they’re not just a list of websites, but are all about building trust.

Buyers can leave both comments and stars out of five for a supplier. While this replicates the familiar eBay feedback system, the issue with this function on SaleHoo is that as transactions don’t take place on the site, there’s no way to verify the source of the comments. I could leave comments for companies I’ve never dealt with, I could leave negative comments for my competition, and I could leave positive comments for myself. I think this is a great feature to have on a wholesale directory, but it needs more work to make it watertight.

SaleHoo have, however, already done something that’s pretty much unheard of elsewhere: “each week we anonymously purchase from different suppliers and then rate them on price, speed, quality and service”. They review these companies themselves (the reviews are indicated by a special icon), which does provide an extra layer of comfort: it’s nice to see them put their money where their mouth is. And if reviews don’t tell you what you need to know, their frank-talking forum probably will.

SaleHoo is very squarely aimed at newer and smaller eBay sellers: their suppliers are, for example, required to supply smaller quantities of their products rather than only selling by the container load. While this makes it a great resource for the newbie seller, it does give the site itself more responsibility not to oversell the idea of getting rich on eBay. I am sorry to say that some of the information given would be extremely misleading to an inexperienced seller: the difference between RRP and eBay sales price is almost always huge, but to anyone glancing at the advertised sellers page, that wouldn’t necessarily be clear. I took a look at some of the items featured (prices taken from SaleHoo.com and eBay.com this morning):

Item Supplier Price eBay BIN Profit?
Sony XM-D6000 GTX 1400W Amplifier $159.00 $139.95 No
Nokia 7373 $229.49 $209.99 No
Versace Boxer Briefs $26.99 $9.99 No
HP iPAQ H6320 PDA $339.00 $329.00 No

Need I go on?

It’s a shame SaleHoo do this, because once you get past the “get rich quick” surround, they’re a reasonably useful supplier directory. Although based in the US, they carry details of suppliers from around the world. You can sort suppliers by country – though this is made a little confusing for those of us on this side of the pond by listing “Britain” and “United Kingdom” as two different countries!

Though “the usual suspects” you can find in any of the free directories appear, there are some UK, European and American wholesalers I’ve never heard of, even in areas I think I know well: as I’ve spent a LOT of time over the last month looking for new suppliers for three new projects, I’m pretty impressed that anyone can turn up a wholesaler I haven’t already looked at 🙂 Add to this the current extremely reasonable lifetime subscription fee of $67 (the “normal” price is $147), and this has to be a good buy for anyone with the new seller’s perennial problem of where to find product.

One Response

  1. I got the same reviewme request and came to an almost identical decision on the site. It could be a great value for some online projects and some brick and mortar projects, but most of the suppliers are worthless for eBay sellers.



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