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Every business requires at least one supplier. Most require many. The quality of that supplier and the goods or services they provide will have a direct impact on your profitability. Today it’s much easier to find suppliers thanks to the internet. However, not all suppliers are legitimate so proceed with caution. These 5 things can help you choose legitimate suppliers.

1. First you need to start to source out the product(s) you want to purchase for resale. When you already know what product(s) you need it makes it much easier to reduce the number of suppliers you have to thoroughly check out to confirm legitimacy. Whatever you do don’t assume a supplier is legitimate just because they have what appears to be a legitimate website and contact information, and never send money until you’ve done your homework.

2. Decide what type of supplier you need. If the quantity you need is really large you might consider manufacturers rather than suppliers. When dealing with manufacturers the quantities and requirements are much different so be prepared for the stringent requirements. The same rules applier to manufacturers as to suppliers. Do your homework before you part with any of your hard earned money.

3. Online offers a really quick and easy way to search for suppliers. You can also become a member and then use the wholesale directories but it is expensive and may be a cost you do not need to incur. There are many wholesale forums online that can really be beneficial. Don’t forget about trade shows, which are an excellent way to connect with suppliers and see their wares right away.

4. Once you’ve located a supplier you believe will be of benefit to you, it’s time to put on your investigators hat. Pick up the phone call, confirm the physical address and the phone number, speak to other sellers about this supplier. Look for references. Be cautious because it takes minutes to build an illegitimate website, and get a VOIP phone number. In the past some of these illegitimate sites have raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in a month and then they were gone and those who sent money received nothing.

5. If prices sound too good to be true they likely are. For example, last year there was a run on fake supplier offering electric scooters out of China for prices that were significantly lower. They claimed they could offer these prices because they were the manufacturer. They would request half of the order value be sent via money transfer and by the time those businesses that ordered realized it was a fraud, the fraudsters were gone. So use some common sense.

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There are some excellent legitimate sellers around. Take the time to find them.

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