How to Open an Online Store Using Wholesalers & Distributors

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Some wholesale suppliers will take care of shipping for you.
Some wholesale suppliers will take care of shipping for you. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Opening an online store is a lucrative way to make money every day of the year. Setting it up to sell products from wholesalers and distributors takes a bit of research, planning and effort, but once the initial setup is completed, your online store will be able to sell name-brand electronics, popular kids' toys, designer clothing and more.

Get a sales tax ID from your state business license office. Wholesalers and distributors will not let you open an account without one.

Research wholesale companies that provide the types of products you want to sell. Wholesale companies specialize just like most retailers do, so you may have to create accounts with multiple companies if you want to sell both electronics and home decor items, for example. Your local library may have a book of national wholesale companies you can use for your initial research.

Contact each wholesale company through their website or by calling them on the phone, and fill out their new account applications.

Select an online store provider such as Yahoo, Amazon or eBay and set up an account.

Select a credit card payment processor for accepting payments through your online store. PayPal is popular and easy to set up, but you can also set up a regular merchant account at your local bank or use any of the readily available merchant services online.

Purchase the products you intend to sell or set up drop-shipping arrangements with your wholesale partners.

Add product images and descriptions to your online shopping site, and configure the purchase system according to the store and merchant processing instructions.

Promote your online store to begin making sales.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many online schemes claim to be able to set up a wholesale store for you, but they only seem interested in requesting money. If a website or business claims to be a wholesale company but does not require you to provide a business sales tax ID, permit or license, they are probably not a real wholesale company.

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