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, high shipping costs, 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 an affordable local supplier, which saves you a lot of time and money. If you happen to live in a major city like Toronto or Vancouver, local sourcing should be relatively easy. If not, explore shipping and receiving options that are designed to reduce shipping costs and other headaches.
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 wholesale 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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 & Directories for Canadians
Wholesalers Serving Canadians – This post includes a list of wholesalers & drop shippers that serve Canadians (both inside and outside of Canada).
Thomas – Free access to over half a million North American suppliers in a searchable directory.
Non-GMO Sourcebook – A Canadian buyer’s guide to suppliers of non-GMO and organic seeds, grains, ingredients, feed and foods.
AppScenic – Facilitates and automates every aspect of the connection between ecommerce stores and premium wholesalers, either for bulk wholesale orders or individual dropshipping. Their platform includes products supplied by Canadian businesses, as well as global suppliers. Search by country to find wholesale suppliers in Canada. AppScenic integrates with all major ecommerce platforms. They have five-star ratings on Shopify, Trustpilot, G2 and Capterra.
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.
Canadian Trade Index (MacRAE’S) – Directory for manufacturers, exporters, distributors and service companies.
Scott’s Directories – Contact information for Canadian businesses.
Syncee – Facilitates integration between wholesalers and major ecommerce platforms used by online retailers. Their focus is drop shipping, but most of their Canadian suppliers are straight wholesale.
Faire is an online wholesale marketplace where small business owners and independent makers can buy and sell wholesale online. The platform provides sales, marketing and analytics tools, so sellers can simplify their wholesale business. Users can go straight to a ‘Made in Canada’ page or filter search results to only include companies that ship from Canada.
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. Luckily, there are powerful tools to help. You can capture, analyze and refine billions of data points from Amazon with Jungle Scout, for example, plus research competitors and even find suppliers.
We’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.
Discuss this and other online business topics in the Online Business Canada Facebook group!
Note: This post is continuously updated. It was first published in 2014.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.
i want to buy BIC Soleil Smooth Scented Women’s Disposable Razors, Triple Blade Razor For a Smooth Shave, 4-Count
Hi – I’m looking for a Canadian Manufacturer to produce a sample product for me, and Drop Ship as well.
Any help is appreciated!
Am looking for a place a can buy bulk cereal to sell back
i am looking for supplier from canada for my product my product is bread bags
I am looking for a distributor here in Canada for my small business, my products are scarfs, hand bags & jewlery. Please help
If you send me your product catalog I might be able to help if it fits for us both.
hi are you suplliers
It’s an idea that overwhelms me but I think there’s a big opportunity for wholesale in Canada and I’m thinking about building a big warehouse in central Canada. Maybe with dropshipping??
I’d probably have mostly Canadian merch so I don’t run into as many supply chain issues except for the ones that trickel down from manufacturers. I hope they start getting supplies from Canadian companies too. That would be smart!! As you’ve said Canada needs to become more self sufficient.
Anyway… any feedback or words of wisdom on my idea? Anybody?
I’d certainly love to see Canada become more self-sufficient and it’s ambitious ideas like yours that will take us there. Good luck with it!
i am looking for a canadian distributer fo my bussiness ..here kindly sugest me the best one
hi, we are manufacturer and exporter of industrial gloves, we want to expanded our business online business. please advice how to due ?
Please refer to B2B Ecommerce for Canadian Wholesale Distributors.
Kindly leave you contact, would love to get in touch regarding business.
you can reach me on.
I am a care provider looking for an advise on how to start a medical products store.
I am struggling right now, already have a store and a domain.
I will appreciate you input.
We’re looking for Wholesalers/distributors of Soap & Body Products to enlarge our market growth!
Can you help us out Melody?
I don’t know of one off the top of my head. The legwork is unavoidable, unfortunately, but you should find something if you dig into the resources suggested here.
I am an interior decorator where can I buy wholesale home interior decorating accessories for my online store
Hello Cindy, You can try Made in Distribution. We are a wholesaler of decoration and interior design in Canada
Canadian wholesalers can be really difficult overall. They don’t understand today’s world of online options and they don’t even respond to web businesses most of the time. IT IS getting better but until they enter this digital age they’re not going to grow either. When you find a wholesaler who will work with you consider yourself lucky!
Did you know Canadian wholesalers are starting to recruit online businesses? When I first started they wouldn’t touch an Amazon seller with a 10 foot pixel! It started with wholesalers in the U.S. and China and now finally Canada. I hope more do it too!! It’s about time!!
How do I purchase wholesale license in Canada? More specifically in Ontario? Want to purchase wholesale t shirts for my business.
Thank you for your kind information
I’m looking for a Wholesaler/distributor of Home & Kitchen products!
Can you help me out Melody?
You might find some on the dropshipping list. The legwork isn’t fun but if there are any to be found, you’ll find them following the suggestions in this post.
I am looking for a wholesaler who sells canned food items to ship to the Caribbean. Please help
Hi Melody, how are you? I am thinking of opening a pet supplier wholesaler business or online pet store. Do you know the gross profit markup in the wholesale business or online retail business? Thinking to sell treats, toys, blankets etc. Also looking to open baby furniture business maybe wholesale or online retail store ,selling Cribs, Strollers, beds, toys. Do you know the gross profit margin for theses business Wholesale and online retail ? I would appreciate if you know if you can let me know or where i can find it. i looked i can’t find it. Thank you, let me know looking forward to hearing from you. thank you.
Financial performance – Canadian Industry Statistics:
Pet & Pet Supply Stores
I am looking for wholesaler in Canada for dollar plus merchandise that can be sold in the Caribbean. Any suggestion?
I am looking for a wholesale company that sell and the prices for bulk are cheap. I want to start a small business
Hi I am looking to sell clothing, shoes, etc. wholesale for my small business.
I need names and telephone numbers of different wholesalers.
i am looking for list of retail market in Canada or other international countries to sell my PC , Mobile , IT accessaries
I am looking for grocery wholesale suppliers that ship within Canada. Categories include:
Beverages: tea, coffee,
Breakfast & Cereal
Canned Goods & Soups
Condiments/Spices & Bake
Cookies, Snacks & Candy
Dairy, Eggs & Cheese
Grains, Pasta & Sides
Please advise with suggestions. Many thanks in advance
Contact with me and provide your requirements.
Imad, what’s your contact info? Or can you share your findings here?
I am planning to start my first small business as a wholesale cleaning supplier from home. I need some help. Please provide me with some suggestions, idea and the list of cleaning items manufactures and wholesale cleaning products suppliers in Canada.
Thank you All!
We can help you with the freight forwarding import/export or transportation if you need any help please let me know on email@example.com for canada,usa,veitnam
This site is so informative about the current situation of wholesale suppliers in canada.Finding a good wholsale supplier along with valid products and prices is hard to find yet there are wholesalers that provide good services to their consumers.
I am just a beginner in this filed and this is very useful. Thanks for sharing. I am planning to take Canadian products outside Canada even if small stuff. We don`t have much resources to go in international market and that`s what my aim is.
Great site! I am looking for Canadian suppliers of durable waterproof fabrics that can be used to manufacture back packs and bags.
Hi Naomi, Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Very nice blog. Thanks for sharing Information.
For eco product wholesale, check out https://www.bohoandhobo.ca/
Looking for a list of suppliers of carbon steel woks and other similar goods
Here in Canada or outside?. There are saveral options for company in Mexico that i know supply to US market. You connect me at email@example.com to talk.
Wholesalers in Canada are definitely shy about the internet. Maybe they don’t think they need to be online but they do! It’s the first place I look for supliers and it’s so frustrating to not find any or they’re all in the states or China. I don’t see many brands or products with a wholesale section either. Can they sell with their online store for consumers and just have a special log in or something?
Yes, it’s easy to add wholesale options to some eCommerce platforms, like ShopifyPlus Wholesale eCommerce. I’m not sure how many wholesalers actually know about that though. They’re missing out on revenue, that’s for sure.
Thanks so much to share your knowlegde with us, this is some good informations.
Any supplier of air-cond from Canada
Thanks a lot. These guidelines and information are the exact things I was looking for a long time.
Hello from Georgia,
I work as an import manager at Tranzit-M Ltd.,we are searching different kind of building materials such as:Fiberglass mesh,Film Faced Plywood,MGO boards,Fiber Cement Boards,Commercial Invoice,Black screws and etc.Can you give me a suggestion how to find suppliers in USA and Canada?
Hope you can help me.
Thanks in advance:)
You should find what you need if you work your way through the above resources. I’d start with trade magazines and industry associations.
Oh please tell me there’s more than this?? I’m having a hella time trying to find products in the natural baby niche in Canada. Everything is in the USA and it’s so frustrating!!! Please keep growing the list and I’ll keep hoping you’ll find some useful suppliers for me, thank you.
Hello you can reach out to me to help on sourcing quality products within US and Mexico. Contact me @ Clifftv01@gmail.com
Hey guys Im hoping to find wholesale suppliers, video games, video game products, computer parts, mobile parts such as screens, digitizers, frontal assembly’s as well as charging ports, and anything else within this category. thank you guys.
Im looking for PET suppliers who ship from within canada. Any suggestions?
Contact me here: Clifftv01@gmail.com
You took me from frustrated to excited in 5 minutes flat! I’ve been banging my head on the wall trying to figure out how to find wholesale products without going across the border or overseas. I’m hopeful to find some local options. Thanks!
Check out our niche product at http://www.deviceshield.ca We are supplying to wholesalers throughout Canada from SK.
The biggest problem with wholesalers in Canada is they don’t have websites and they want to sell 10 metric tons of everything so they’re no good for small businesses.
Everyone bellyaches about the middleman distributors because they’re “not truly wholesale” but what do they expect when their orders are small? 60% off? When you’re small you have to grow into larger and larger orders until you can get the “truly wholesale” prices and increase your margins. If you don’t want to do that you have to find investors, loans, a warehouse and take on more risk with big inventory.
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.
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,
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.
I agree it’s frustrating! Thanks for the pointers.
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.
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.