15 of the Best Online Wholesale Markets for Your Business
Are you wondering which online wholesale market is the best and which one you should use?
You’ve probably heard of a few big-name wholesale markets, like Alibaba – but perhaps you’ve yet to learn about the best online wholesale market for your business.
In this article, you’ll get a quick snapshot of 15 of the best wholesale markets online to help you figure out which one to use.
But first, let’s quickly set the scene.
What Is a Wholesale Market?
Online wholesale markets are websites designed to facilitate trade between wholesalers and retailers. Typically, wholesalers will list products for sale on a wholesale market for retailers to browse and purchase.
The advantages to wholesale market sites are simple: They provide retailers with access to many wholesalers and products. And wholesalers can market their products to a large number of retailers.
The best online wholesale markets also verify sellers, facilitate payments, and help wholesalers and retailers communicate effectively.
15 of the Best Online Wholesale Markets
Without further ado, here’s a rundown of the best wholesale markets online that you can use to source products for your business.
First up? You guessed it.
Look, I’m a freelance writer, and Handshake has paid me to write this article. So, obviously, I have to recommend Handshake as the best online wholesale market for retailers.
But do you want to know what I really think?
Here’s the thing: I’ve worked in the ecommerce industry for many years. I’ve personally sourced products from a few of the wholesale markets featured in this article. And I’ve researched all of these platforms in-depth more times than I can count.
Do you want to know what I’d say if I weren’t being paid to write this article?
I’d still recommend Handshake. Here’s why: Handshake is by far the safest, simplest, and easiest online wholesale market that I’ve come across.
For example, I once got screwed over by a dodgy supplier that I found on another wholesale market. Long story short, I lost a lot of money – all of my money actually and some of my investor’s.
In retrospect, I’m confident that if I’d used Handshake, that wouldn’t have happened. Why? Because unlike many online wholesale markets, Handshake isn’t the wild-wild-west. Every supplier on the platform is literally hand-picked and verified before being listed.
Plus, unlike most of the wholesale markets on this list, you don’t need to contact suppliers to ask for pricing information and negotiate orders. Instead, Handshake allows you to check out on the website – just like you would normally.
I could go on, but this isn’t a sales page, it’s a blog post. Bottom line? Handshake gets my vote. Check it out and see for yourself.
That said, there are plenty of other wholesale markets that many entrepreneurs use successfully. So, if Handshake isn’t for you, read on to learn about some top wholesale market alternatives.
Alibaba is the largest online B2B wholesale market in the world.
You can use it to find manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors in more than 190 countries and regions. However, most suppliers on the platform are based in China.
Alibaba’s key strength is its size – you can find pretty much anything on Alibaba.
Although there are plenty of legitimate suppliers on Alibaba, there are also scammers operating through the site. So, be sure to do your due diligence before placing an order with a supplier.
Thankfully, Alibaba has a service to make it easier to verify suppliers before placing an order. The service is called “Trade Assurance,” and it guarantees the quality of your products and on-time shipping date. To find Trade Assurance suppliers, look for the gold dollar symbol on supplier profiles.
3. Global Sources
Global Sources is another large Chinese wholesale market. The company is based in Hong Kong and mostly connects Asian suppliers with businesses around the world.
Like the other large wholesale markets on this list, Global Sources has a Verified Supplier program to help retailers select trustworthy suppliers.
Verified suppliers on Global Sources hold legitimate business licenses and legal documents. Look for the verification badge and ratings on supplier profiles.
This wholesale market’s main drawback is that there’s no built-in checkout. So, you can’t place an order on the website. Instead, you have to send inquiries to wholesalers and negotiate terms before placing an order. You can do this through the platform’s chat feature.
This wholesale market is similar to Alibaba in many ways. The chief difference is that most of Alibaba’s suppliers are Chinese, whereas – hold on to your hat – IndiaMart lists mostly Indian suppliers.
Like Alibaba, IndiaMart has a service that allows suppliers to pay for certifications to verify their legitimacy.
Unfortunately, you can’t check out on the website – you need to contact suppliers first to arrange orders. Thankfully, many suppliers provide a phone number to contact them directly.
EC21 is a popular online wholesale market based in South Korea.
It gives retailers access to more than 1.5 million suppliers. In fact, you can browse more than seven million products in 42 main categories, with countless sub-categories available.
Once again, you’re not able to check out on the website and must contact suppliers directly.
The site admits it has problems with scams and fraud, but it also allows retailers to purchase supplier Credit Reports. And some suppliers use the Trade Verify service – look for the green badge on supplier profiles.
These services provide information about the supplier’s legitimacy and financial standing that can help you stay safe.
eWorldTrade is based in the US, although its main operational unit is in Pakistan. The platform has 500,000 registered users in more than 220 countries and regions.
Retailers can post listings explaining their needs for suppliers to review. There’s no check-out feature on the site, and product pages don’t typically list pricing information.
As a result, you’ll need to create an account and contact suppliers directly to learn how much products cost before negotiating orders.
Made-In-China mostly connects Chinese suppliers with global buyers. However, you can also find suppliers from other countries on the platform.
You can browse this wholesale market to find products or use the platform’s Easy Sourcing Service, allowing retailers to post a listing and wait to be connected with suitable suppliers.
The website also has a service where it audits suppliers.
These audits verify suppliers’ financial situation, working environment, product capacity, quality control, and more. As a retailer, you can purchase these reports to ensure you find trustworthy suppliers to partner with.
You can also use this wholesale market’s Secure Trading Service, which will release your payment to the supplier once you’ve received your order and confirmed the products’ condition.
This online wholesale market also has a mobile app.
TradeIndia is India’s second-largest wholesale market, after IndiaMart. Like IndiaMart, the site mostly connects Indian suppliers with worldwide buyers.
You can browse for free and find a limitless selection of products in more than 2,000 categories.
The company also provides a range of business services, such as loans, digital marketing, and shipping and freight.
DHgate is another Chinese-based online wholesale market.
This wholesale market features a whopping 2.2 million sellers based in China, Korea, and Turkey. It features 22 million products, serving 222 countries and regions.
Many suppliers who use this wholesale market don’t set minimum order quantities (MOQs). So, if you’re looking to purchase small quantities of wholesale products, this wholesale market is a good bet.
That said, smaller order quantities will cost you more per unit – as usual, the more you buy, the cheaper each unit costs.
Again, supplier profiles display a few different ratings to help you choose wisely. For example, there are ratings for on-time deliveries and customer service.
Interestingly, the company is named after a strategic point on the historic silk road used to trade goods between the East and West.
Etsy isn’t a dedicated wholesale market. Instead, it’s a marketplace for handmade and vintage items. However, the site’s wholesale section is growing steadily. In fact, if you search “wholesale” on the site, you’ll find more than 600,000 products available.
It may not be the best place to find wholesale products to scale your business, but it could be a great wholesale market for boutiques looking for genuinely unique handmade and vintage items.
If you run a small online boutique, look for one-of-a-kind products on Etsy to wow your customers and help your store stand out from the crowd.
However, the site is gated and charges retailers and suppliers a fee for access. So, you’ll need to request a demo to find up-to-date pricing info and start using the site.
Tundra exists to connect US and Canadian suppliers with retailers around the world.
It’s fair to say this online wholesale market has a far more intuitive user interface than most of the platforms on this list, making it easier to navigate.
This wholesale market doesn’t charge suppliers or retailers to use the site. Instead, the company makes money from offering additional services. For example, retailers can purchase insurance, expedited shipping, and prepaid duties and taxes for international orders when checking out.
Like EC21, ECPlaza is based in South Korea but lists wholesalers and manufacturers worldwide. It features more than four million products from countless suppliers in virtually every category imaginable.
Thankfully, this online wholesale market lists product prices front-and-center – however, you still need to verify suppliers and contact them directly to place an order.
14. Amazon Business
Amazon Business is the ecommerce giant’s B2B marketplace designed to connect wholesalers and retailers.
Amazon Business charges US$39.99 per month for a retailer account. Plus, you’ll have to pay transaction and fulfillment fees for each order you place.
Dropee is a B2B wholesale market based in Malaysia that has set its sights on digitizing the world of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) in Southeast Asia.
The company is the second Malaysian startup to be accepted into the prestigious Silicon Valley startup accelerator program Y Combinator. Unlike many of the more established online wholesale markets on this list, Dropee is relatively new – the company only began life in 2017.
Prices are listed in Malaysian ringgits (MYR) – at the time of writing, 1 MYR is worth roughly 0.25 USD.
Summary: Online Wholesale Markets
There are many wholesale marketplaces online that you can use to source products for your business. In summary, here are 15 of the best wholesale markets:
- Global Sources
- Amazon Business
Each wholesale market has its pros and cons – and its quirks.
Which online wholesale market are you most interested in using, and why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!