What Does It Mean to Buy Wholesale and How Does It Work?

When you’re starting a business, one of the most important things to figure out is what you’re going to sell. Whether you have an eCommere store or a retail location, you’ll want to carefully consider what products to invest in, as well as where you’ll source them from. 

Buying in bulk from a wholesaler is one of the most cost-effective ways to source merchandise for your business and finding a reliable wholesaler to work with will also have the added benefit of allowing you to easily scale your business over time.  

Buying in bulk from a wholesaler and reselling the merchandise in your retail store can make a great business model, but the process can seem complicated at first. 

So what is a wholesaler and what does it mean to buy wholesale? 

A wholesaler generally buys products in bulk directly from a manufacturer and sells them to retailers in large quantities, at low prices. Wholesalers can get lower prices on merchandise directly from the manufacturers by negotiating discounts based on large order volumes. 

Retailers can also buy directly from the manufacturer. However, with bulk inventory purchases comes the need for money to invest in meeting large minimum order quantities and storage, which retail businesses often don’t have. 

Sourcing inventory through a wholesaler allows you to leverage economies of scale, meaning your cost per unit decreases as order volume increases, while also allowing you the flexibility of ordering in moderate quantities. You can then resell the inventory in your retail store at a higher price to make a profit.    

How to find high-margin wholesale products for resale 

The main advantage to sourcing inventory wholesale is that buying in bulk allows you to access lower prices on merchandise, meaning higher profits on your sales. The difference between the wholesale price and the retail sale price is called the profit margin. You of course want to find the highest margin products for your business, but identifying which products will have the best resale value and be popular with your customers can be tricky at first.  


There are several approaches you can take to finding wholesale inventory online.  

Research what your competitors are having success with. 

If you know the product category you’re interested in building your business around, looking at what’s working or not working for competitors in your niche will give you a good place to start. Look at their website, as well as social media accounts and ads, and note which products they heavily promote.  

Shop our top-selling items. 

Check out our selection of top-selling items and Best-Seller Boxes on Wish Wholesale to see what’s been selling best for us on the Wish shopping app. We have 500M+ shoppers worldwide on the Wish shopping app and regularly update the Wholesale site with the products that are currently trending and selling best there. 

Calculate the estimated profit margin.  

Once you narrow down some products you’re interested in sourcing, search online to see how much other retail stores are selling the same or similar products for. You can then compare the average retail price to the wholesale price to get your profit margin. 

To calculate profit margin, you’ll divide your profit by the total revenue you get from the sale.  For example, if you purchase necklaces wholesale at $2 each and resell them for $5, you’ll have a profit of $3. You then divide the $3 profit by the $5 of total revenue to get a 60% profit margin.  

Profit = Revenue - Cost 
Profit Margin = (Profit / Revenue) x 100

Once you have your estimated profit margins, you can see which products are expected to be the most profitable and select those to sell in your store. The final step from there is to find a reliable supplier who can get you the products at the lowest price possible.  

How to find a wholesale supplier  

The easiest way to find suppliers is by searching online. There are a ton of options out there these days, but the most commonly recommended are sites like Alibaba, DHGate, and Wish Wholesale. There are pros and cons to each, which we wrote about on the blog last week, but ultimately going with Wish Wholesale is going to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.  

Other good ways to find reputable suppliers are networking with other business owners and getting their recommendations, as well as checking with your local chamber of commerce on recommendations they may have.  

Finding a trustworthy supplier who can consistently provide you products at low prices is key to running a successful business. Make sure to request a quote from any supplier you plan to work with, as well as samples.


If you’d like to work with our team here at Wish Wholesale, reach out to us or Request a Quote. You can also sample any product we offer by ordering 1 unit of the item. Shop now.