Finding Wholesale Suppliers for your Canadian Business ©

It can be frustrating and time consuming to find wholesale product suppliers for your business in Canada, particularly in specialty niches. Whether you’re sourcing supplies to make your own products or stocking your virtual shelves, finding the right supplier is usually a long and involved process. Many factors are involved in the decision, from quality to reliability.

The primary concern is usually price. You can probably find a cheaper price outside of Canada, but you’ll have to deal with language barriers, Customs compliance, the lower Canadian dollar, and longer waits for order fulfillment. If you source domestically, all of that has been taken care of but you’ll frequently pay more through the Canadian distributor. Of course, supporting the Canadian economy is important to your business as well, however inadvertently. The holy grail is finding a local supplier, which saves you from a thorough gouging by Canada Post. If you happen to live in a major city like Toronto or Vancouver, local sourcing should be relatively easy.

Note of caution: When you’re considering price, beware of counterfeit products or other low-quality (or illegal) knockoffs that are dirt cheap.

Finding Product Suppliers For Your Canadian Online Business

Research and know your products well before approaching suppliers. It isn’t necessary to tell them you’re new on the scene or otherwise lay your cards on the table. Stay in control of the process by arming yourself with a standard list of questions and be prepared to negotiate.

Start the legwork:Canadian Wholesale Suppliers

Online – An obvious but often frustrating choice. It can be extremely time consuming to pick through wholesalers and manufacturers online.
Trade Shows – Local, national or international trade shows have a lot to offer. You can cost compare and research on the spot, as well as network and negotiate.
Industry Associations – Directories are commonly found on industry association websites and you’ll also find out about events.
Trade Magazines – You’ll find suppliers advertising in trade magazines and many publications publish an industry directory. Most of them offer free subscriptions and many are published online. Tradepub has tons of free trade magazines and you can search for those available to Canadians.
Directories – As mentioned, these are often published by trade magazines but they’re also available from other sources.
Library – Local libraries often have business directories on hand.

If you’re looking for competitive intelligence and US deals that are low enough to make it worth sourcing there, we recommend using tools like Cleer Platinum to ensure profit and save an enormous amount of time. Cleer Platinum is a quick way to source online for resellers, book sellers, or private labeling. Get arbitrage info from many major retailers. Free bonuses include a browser extension for one-click sourcing research, several eBooks about arbitrage online sourcing & selling, and a list of direct links to 85 online clearance pages. Both free and paid options (no recurring fees).

Once you’ve located potential suppliers, start a spreadsheet and text file to track and compare information about each. Your notes will be invaluable in your final selection, plus it will provide a handy list of backup choices.

Online Wholesale Suppliers and Directories for Canadians

Wholesalers Serving Canadians – This post includes a list of wholesalers & drop shippers that serve Canadians (both inside and outside of Canada).
Industry Canada – Government directory of wholesale suppliers of goods, services and technology in Canada.
Frasers – Canadian online directory of industrial suppliers and manufacturers.
Non-GMO Sourcebook – A Canadian buyer’s guide to suppliers of non-GMO and organic seeds, grains, ingredients, feed and foods.
World Wide Brands – Lifetime access to upwards of 10,000 certified wholesale companies. It’s set up to serve drop shippers but wholesale purchasing is also possible.
Canadian Apparel Federation Suppliers Directory – Includes services, textiles, trimmings, machinery and supplies.
SaleHoo Canada – Thousands of verified wholesale suppliers, along with direct shipping manufacturers. They also have a community for anyone who sells online.
Tradekey – Suppliers in Canada as well as international importers.
Dorfin – A major Canadian wholesale distributor.
Canadian Choice Wholesalers – Grocery wholesaler specializing in natural, organic and specialty foods.
Canadian Merchandiser – Listing of Canadian wholesalers.
Scott’s Directories – Contact information for Canadian businesses.
Light In The Box Wholesale Goods – Wide range of wholesale products from China. They’re the first Chinese company to launch an IPO on the NY Stock Exchange. LightInTheBox ranked “number one in terms of revenue generated from customers outside of China among all China-based retail websites that source products from third-party manufacturers,” according to iResearch.
Retail Council of Canada – Supplier directory.

Do Your Homework

Your worst nightmare is ending up with tons of products that aren’t selling.  However, predicting success can be difficult without proper research.  Canada’s Terapeak is a powerful tool that is taking sellers to the next level. You’ll gain access to insider eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba analytics for Canada, the US and other countries. Calculate your margins and monitor the listings, quantities, and prices from your competitors to stay ahead of market conditions. Access detailed supply and demand data to know what not to source, how many is too many, and how much you can profitably pay. Seamlessly source the winning products from Alibaba through Terapeak, or use the data to go through other drop shipping suppliers.

If you’re new to selling online in Canada, there are lots of free and reasonably-priced courses available to help you learn online business and related subjects, such as online marketing.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessWe’ll continue to keep this post updated with any resources we become aware of. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.

You may also be interested in reading:
Drop Shipping / Wholesale for Canadian Sellers
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
10 Low-Cost Side Businesses you can Start Online from Home

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7 Responses to "Finding Wholesale Suppliers for your Canadian Business ©"

  1. Carmine Meckler  October 14, 2013

    Awsome ideas!

    Reply
  2. Justin  October 3, 2013

    I skip the supplies and dropship right now. I’ll probably settle on a few supliers & take a run at that kind of selling but for now I’m good. I’ll bookmark the list just in case, thanks.

    Reply
  3. Charles  September 28, 2013

    I’ve been using Hjcloseouts.com for years, they have been shipping to Canada, well since I could remember.

    I often find their prices cheaper, since Dollar Days and a lot others are just a market place for other vendors. Often vendors raise their prices on Dollar Days to make up some of that cost of posting on there.

    Brent, after being in this business for sometime, I agree there are many fake websites out there that don’t have great prices. I often find that they are dropshippers.

    I hope this helps,
    Chalres

    Reply
  4. Brent  September 27, 2013

    There’s a ton of fake wholesale companies out there with prices that are anything but wholesale so your suggestions is very helpful. I kind of like the searching challenge but it does eat up a ton of time.

    Reply
  5. Denton W  September 26, 2013

    I agree it’s frustrating! Thanks for the pointers.

    Reply
  6. ebay ed  September 24, 2013

    It’s so hard to decide which products to go with on ebay. I usually go with the group wholesalers because I can buy less to test the market before taking up a chunk of garage space with products that might not sell. Plus some of them have either drop shipping OR wholesale so you can test the demand with drop shipping & stock it if it flies. That’s my advice to newbies.

    Reply
  7. Rocky  September 24, 2013

    You always put so much work in your posts – thanks.

    When I first started my first business I bought a printed directory but I can’t recall which one. It was huge and expensive but it did help a lot. The internet wholesale listings cost much less but the free ones are always missing key players. The printed directory had the big guys advertising and the little guys had a basic listing so everyone was in it like the internet paid directories have now.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Denton W Cancel reply