Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

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teelainen
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Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by teelainen » Sat May 25, 2019 5:36 pm

What are some good places to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices? These can be products in any category. We are looking at a broad range of products.

There are many businesses and websites that claim to sell things at wholesale prices, but the prices are not really wholesale.

Any recommendations or tips on some places to buy would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

sport
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by sport » Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm

I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm

sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm
I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.
If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?

RM
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JoMoney
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by JoMoney » Sat May 25, 2019 5:49 pm

^ Costco pledges that their retail prices are marked-up by no more than 14%. They make a good chunk of change from membership fees.

Wholesalers tend to sell things in bulk (only), and some will only deal with people that have a business license/permit where they can sell without having to collect sales tax.
You can find catalogs by searching for "wholesale catalog" or "business to business wholesale". For some specific products/brands, you need to find a distributor in your region. Sometimes they will have specific requirements for how their product must be displayed in order for you to even have it in your store.
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sport
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by sport » Sat May 25, 2019 5:54 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm
I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.
If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
Costco buys in extremely high volume direct from producers. No ordinary business can expect to get the prices that Costco can command.

Teague
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Teague » Sat May 25, 2019 5:55 pm

Simple, just become a retailer and order in large quantities. Other than that, you will probably find true wholesale pricing difficult to come by.

Wholesale sellers are not set up to do business with folks who normally buy retail, pretty much by definition. And, they are very reluctant to sell direct to the public at wholesale prices because this would risk angering their existing (business) customers. Sometimes you can find a one-off exception.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 25, 2019 5:59 pm

sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:54 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm
I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.
If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
Costco buys in extremely high volume direct from producers. No ordinary business can expect to get the prices that Costco can command.
Right.
But is Costco Wholesale really selling at that same "true wholesale price" to the Costco Wholesale member?
If so, are they doing as a loss leader for the regular Costco?

RM
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sport
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by sport » Sat May 25, 2019 6:08 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:59 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:54 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm
I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.
If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
Costco buys in extremely high volume direct from producers. No ordinary business can expect to get the prices that Costco can command.
Right.
But is Costco Wholesale really selling at that same "true wholesale price" to the Costco Wholesale member?
If so, are they doing as a loss leader for the regular Costco?

RM
There is no "regular Costco". The name of the company is "Costco Wholesale". What is your definition of "true wholesale price"? There is a wholesale price that your neighborhood supermarket or hardware store pays. Then there is the price that Costco pays. They certainly are not the same due to the massive quantities that Costco handles.

Gnirk
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Gnirk » Sat May 25, 2019 6:15 pm

Costco sells its items for the same price to all its members. Members who own a business, those who have a retail business license, pay the same price as everyone else, but they don't have to pay the sales tax (if your state has a sales tax) on the items they purchase because they are re-selling them, and they collect sales tax when they sell to their customers. When we had our retail stores, we bought cases of soda to stock the soda machines, cases of candy bars and chips which were impulse items that we sold to our customers.

A "wholesaler" is the guy in-between the manufacturer and the retail customer. Because of the huge quantities that Costco purchases, and their small margin (mark-up) the prices Costco members pay are as close to "wholesale" as you can get.

In the retail world, nearly all retailers buy from wholesalers, or manufacturer's representatives and the price paid is based upon quantities ordered. Much like you pay less per pound for a 20 pound bag of potatoes than you do for one pound of potatoes. With Costco, everyone pays the same "wholesale" price.

To the OP, if you want "real" wholesale prices you need to buy from a wholesaler or manufacturer's representative, and you will need to have a resale license in order to do so, and YOU will need to answer to whatever your state laws are regarding sales tax, B & O taxes, excise taxes etc. Even as a retailer, we couldn't just pay the wholesale prices for items we personally wanted. It had to go "through the register" and we had to pay sales tax on the items.
Last edited by Gnirk on Sat May 25, 2019 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

randomguy
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by randomguy » Sat May 25, 2019 6:23 pm

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:36 pm
What are some good places to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices? These can be products in any category. We are looking at a broad range of products.

There are many businesses and websites that claim to sell things at wholesale prices, but the prices are not really wholesale.

Any recommendations or tips on some places to buy would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
What is TRUE wholesale price to you? It isn't like there is one price that a product is sold at to wholesalers. A wholesaler who buys 100k of inventory might pay 5 dollars for an item. A wholesaler that buys 10 million might pay 4.00. Would you rather pay the 5 dollar WHOLESALE price of the first guy or the 4.75 RETAIL price of the second guy?

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ResearchMed
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 25, 2019 6:28 pm

sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:08 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:59 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:54 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm
I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.
If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
Costco buys in extremely high volume direct from producers. No ordinary business can expect to get the prices that Costco can command.
Right.
But is Costco Wholesale really selling at that same "true wholesale price" to the Costco Wholesale member?
If so, are they doing as a loss leader for the regular Costco?

RM
There is no "regular Costco". The name of the company is "Costco Wholesale". What is your definition of "true wholesale price"? There is a wholesale price that your neighborhood supermarket or hardware store pays. Then there is the price that Costco pays. They certainly are not the same due to the massive quantities that Costco handles.
Sorry... I thought someone was making a distinction between "Costco" and "Costco Wholesale".

But as for "what do *I* think the definition of "true wholesale price" is?
That's what I'm asking :wink:

OP asked where to get products at "TRUE wholesale prices". Someone mentioned Costco Wholesale.
How can Costco stay in business if they are purchasing *and* selling at the same "TRUE wholesale prices"?

So is there an answer for OP?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

sport
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by sport » Sat May 25, 2019 6:35 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:28 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:08 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:59 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:54 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm


If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
Costco buys in extremely high volume direct from producers. No ordinary business can expect to get the prices that Costco can command.
Right.
But is Costco Wholesale really selling at that same "true wholesale price" to the Costco Wholesale member?
If so, are they doing as a loss leader for the regular Costco?

RM
There is no "regular Costco". The name of the company is "Costco Wholesale". What is your definition of "true wholesale price"? There is a wholesale price that your neighborhood supermarket or hardware store pays. Then there is the price that Costco pays. They certainly are not the same due to the massive quantities that Costco handles.
Sorry... I thought someone was making a distinction between "Costco" and "Costco Wholesale".

But as for "what do *I* think the definition of "true wholesale price" is?
That's what I'm asking :wink:

OP asked where to get products at "TRUE wholesale prices". Someone mentioned Costco Wholesale.
How can Costco stay in business if they are purchasing *and* selling at the same "TRUE wholesale prices"?

So is there an answer for OP?

RM
It seems that there is more than one wholesale price. It is not clear that "True Wholesale" is well defined.

randomguy
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by randomguy » Sat May 25, 2019 6:36 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:28 pm

Sorry... I thought someone was making a distinction between "Costco" and "Costco Wholesale".

But as for "what do *I* think the definition of "true wholesale price" is?
That's what I'm asking :wink:

OP asked where to get products at "TRUE wholesale prices". Someone mentioned Costco Wholesale.
How can Costco stay in business if they are purchasing *and* selling at the same "TRUE wholesale prices"?

So is there an answer for OP?

RM
Well car makers can sell cars below wholesale price and they stay in business. How? Well they get kickbacks from the OEM. They pay 20k for a car, sell it for 19k and get a 3k check from the maker to cover your costs. Everyone is happy. Buyer thinks they got a great deal. Dealer makes money and so does the OEM.

Topic Author
teelainen
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by teelainen » Sat May 25, 2019 6:48 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
When I say "True Wholesale Price", it needs to be cheap enough where I can buy it and resell it at a retail price for a profit.

Where can an entrepreneur buy wholesale like that?

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat May 25, 2019 7:02 pm

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:48 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
When I say "True Wholesale Price", it needs to be cheap enough where I can buy it and resell it at a retail price for a profit.

Where can an entrepreneur buy wholesale like that?
Are you starting a retail business?

Topic Author
teelainen
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by teelainen » Sat May 25, 2019 7:14 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:02 pm
teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:48 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
When I say "True Wholesale Price", it needs to be cheap enough where I can buy it and resell it at a retail price for a profit.

Where can an entrepreneur buy wholesale like that?
Are you starting a retail business?
We have an older relative who recently quit her job and she wants to start an online retail business. She is well capitalized and has the money to hold inventory if needed.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat May 25, 2019 7:15 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:28 pm

How can Costco stay in business if they are purchasing *and* selling at the same "TRUE wholesale prices"?

RM
Costco's profit is roughly 100% from membership fees.
teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:14 pm
We have an older relative who recently quit her job and she wants to start an online retail business. She is well capitalized and has the money to hold inventory if needed.
What's her unique selling proposition?
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Sun May 26, 2019 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Teague
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Teague » Sat May 25, 2019 7:25 pm

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:48 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
When I say "True Wholesale Price", it needs to be cheap enough where I can buy it and resell it at a retail price for a profit.

Where can an entrepreneur buy wholesale like that?
Costco, Sam's Club, Smart & Final and the like would be the easiest for you to access. For example, the neighborhood liquor store buys some of their stock from Costco, and they sell it for more. Once you get past those sorts of outfits, you're looking at things like resale permits, business licenses, establishing a line of credit with suppliers, and minimum quantities.

Have you heard of Dunn & Bradstreet, and do you understand what they may mean to your line of credit with suppliers? If a vendor sent you an invoice and at the bottom it said "5% 10, net 30," would you know what that means? If not, you've got some work to do.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat May 25, 2019 7:45 pm

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:14 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:02 pm
teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:48 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
When I say "True Wholesale Price", it needs to be cheap enough where I can buy it and resell it at a retail price for a profit.

Where can an entrepreneur buy wholesale like that?
Are you starting a retail business?
We have an older relative who recently quit her job and she wants to start an online retail business. She is well capitalized and has the money to hold inventory if needed.
It's not only the capital to hold inventory, depending on the product it may be the PLACE to hold inventory. Could be large, could have special storage requirements,...and there could be an expiration date.

I remember calling up one supplier to get something for a research project...they had what I wanted...their question was "how many carloads do you want?"

And it was railroad carloads they were talking about.

Teague
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Teague » Sat May 25, 2019 8:00 pm

Also, please understand that there is no "general wholesaler" of everything. Finding a wholesaler depends very much on what you will be selling.

Soft drinks? - Your regional bottling company for that brand. Beer? - Your regional distributor for those brands. Tractors? - Become a dealer for John Deere, Kubota, or whoever and deal with the factory. And so on. What is your friend planning on selling? This will dictate who they would buy from.
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Spirit Rider
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Spirit Rider » Sat May 25, 2019 8:49 pm

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:48 pm
When I say "True Wholesale Price", it needs to be cheap enough where I can buy it and resell it at a retail price for a profit.

Where can an entrepreneur buy wholesale like that?
randomguy wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:23 pm
What is TRUE wholesale price to you? It isn't like there is one price that a product is sold at to wholesalers. A wholesaler who buys 100k of inventory might pay 5 dollars for an item. A wholesaler that buys 10 million might pay 4.00. Would you rather pay the 5 dollar WHOLESALE price of the first guy or the 4.75 RETAIL price of the second guy?
This is a key point. There is no such thing as a "True" wholesale price in our modern economy. There is a continuous range of wholesale, "pseudo" wholesale, online and retail pricing.

I have several wholesale accounts at electrical, mechanical, industrial and HVAC distributors, yet I find myself buying a lot of items online. I am replacing a heat pump system at a condo I am the trustee of. The price I got at an online "wholesale to the public" website including free shipping for 300 pounds of equipment was 10% lower than my wholesale price at an HVAC supplier. I do not meet the low - mid five figure spending requirement for preferred wholesale pricing.
teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:14 pm
We have an older relative who recently quit her job and she wants to start an online retail business. She is well capitalized and has the money to hold inventory if needed.
What experience business does she have that makes her think she is qualified to start such a business. She obviously does not have a well thought out business plan modeling revenue, business expenses, and profits. Especially, considering she doesn't know the sources or costs of goods sold.

What could possibly go wrong. Starting an online business and maturing it while still working. Might have major headwinds, but possible success. Starting cold after quitting your job, not so much. I can''t begin to tell you how many failures I have observed in similar circumstances.

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JoMoney
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by JoMoney » Sat May 25, 2019 8:53 pm

Reminds me of the lady who visits the farmers market and asks, "How much are the tomatoes?"
The farmer says, "Well it depends... the more you buy, the cheaper they get."
The lady hands the farmer her bag and says "Fill it up 'till they're free!"
:D
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Jags4186
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Jags4186 » Sat May 25, 2019 9:30 pm

You get “true wholesale pricing” from manufacturers. Manufacturers will price you based upon how much you’re going to buy. Someone who buys $20 million of product annually from a specific supplier will have better pricing than someone who buys $1,000 of product once and maybe again in the future.

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Watty
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Watty » Sat May 25, 2019 9:41 pm

I have not been in it but there is a large wholesale marketplace here in Atlanta. Be sure to read up on their requirements for entry, as I understand it they are very strict on enforcing their rules and likely minimum purchase amounts. This would be where someone that owns a small shop might buy their inventory.

https://www.americasmart.com/

As other people have said wholesale pricing can be complex and not only depend on how much you can buy but also on how good of a deal you can negotiate, and the salespeople you will be dealing with have a lot of experience in how to get the best deals for them.
teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:14 pm
We have an older relative who recently quit her job and she wants to start an online retail business. She is well capitalized and has the money to hold inventory if needed.
She needs to be very careful since there are all sorts of scams that try to get people to buy inventory to sell on places like eBay or Amazon but there are most likely dozens of other people selling the exact same thing. Often the end result is that she would end up with a garage full of unsold stuff. It is also very likely that Amazon and other online sellers are selling the exact same thing too.

Some manufactures may also want to control the online sales and they may cut off her inventory supply if she become successful.

If she is successful then there is little to prevent other people from copying her business model.

Retail sales can be brutal.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sat May 25, 2019 10:30 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 9:30 pm
You get “true wholesale pricing” from manufacturers. Manufacturers will price you based upon how much you’re going to buy. Someone who buys $20 million of product annually from a specific supplier will have better pricing than someone who buys $1,000 of product once and maybe again in the future.
Exactly. If you want true wholesale prices, then go to some place like Alibaba.

Here's a promotional coffee mug with a logo printed on it. It costs 12 cents. But you need to order at least 500. That's what wholesale is.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 4e30BSxCdY

Or you can buy some Carboxymethylcellulose sodium, minimum order 2 tons.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 402dZgGAvs

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat May 25, 2019 10:50 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm
I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.
If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?

RM
Costco makes most of its money from membership fees, but they also charge a slight markup on the products sold. I agree, no one can truly sell for wholesale prices when reselling product from distributors on a retail basis.
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ohai
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by ohai » Sat May 25, 2019 11:10 pm

If you want to buy products at TRUE WHOLESALE PRICES, you probably need to buy them in true wholesale quantities as well. On Alibaba, you can buy, I don't know, dog bowls for 80 cents, but you'll have to buy like 10000 of them. There are lots of merchants on Ebay who run similar operations.

Costco or other wholesale places that cater to retail clients might have occasional promotions on some items that reflect actual wholesale prices. However, these might just be to get you in the door so you'll buy other items with higher margins.

randomguy
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by randomguy » Sat May 25, 2019 11:18 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 10:50 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
sport wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm
I may be wrong, but I believe that Costco Wholesale sells at true wholesale prices. I see people buying commercial size quantities when I shop there. They also carry some packages that would only be useful for commercial purchases, such as a 35 lb. container of corn oil.
If Costco Wholesale is really selling at "true wholesale" prices, then what price are *they* paying for the products? Wouldn't they go out of business?

Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?

RM
Costco makes most of its money from membership fees, but they also charge a slight markup on the products sold. I agree, no one can truly sell for wholesale prices when reselling product from distributors on a retail basis.

Coscto has an average of 10% market up on most products. The kirkland products have higher. Costco makes most of their money selling goods. Something like 15 billion from selling goods and 2.5 billion from memberships are the numbers I have seen from 2017. The membership fees though are the difference between being roughly break even company and having billions in profit.

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aspirit
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by aspirit » Sat May 25, 2019 11:21 pm

Some dealers sell X @ (?%) over/under whatever spot is for the moment w/incentives.

Pawn shops. - Depends on demand - Ive heard multi-tales.
Junkyards* by the pound/KG.- I've personal experience.
Produce purveyors .- I've personal experience.

Things are different outside the usa.
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Iridium
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Iridium » Sun May 26, 2019 1:51 am

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:14 pm
We have an older relative who recently quit her job and she wants to start an online retail business. She is well capitalized and has the money to hold inventory if needed.
The number of distributors that any given manufacturer works with is generally pretty small. The manufacturer would either have the list posted, everyone in the industry would likely already know, or the manufacturer would be happy to provide you with the list, should you contact them (after all, the manufacturer wants you to sell their product and wants to ensure that you won't accidentally buy counterfeits).

As a totally random example of a posted list : Netgear (making of networking switches) has their list of distributors posted here: https://www.netgear.com/business/buy/#t ... onpartners

As another random example, everyone somewhat familar with comic books knows that Diamond Comic Distributors is the only relevant distributor

Breaking the mold a little bit, it looks like some book publishers will allow stores to buy from them directly in reasonable volumes (for example, see the terms of sale from Hachette which has a distributor-like $150 order minimum.

To be very clear, I am not recommending any of these industries/manufacturers. Just giving some examples of different industry structures, so you can start identifying the patterns.

While folks on this thread are expressing a number of valid concerns, depending on the industry, I wouldn't be as concerned about being required to purchase a literal ton of product. The hypothetical store would largely be acquiring from distributors, rather than direct from the manufacturer, and the distributor's very purpose is to break down pallets/truckloads of product into cases that are much more manageable for small stores to deal with.

The rest of the points made remain relevant. Virtually every industry is already well supplied with stores in one form or another. Your cost structure is not going to be competitive with, say, an Amazon or even larger incumbents. I would think that if you really wanted to go into a small-scale business as a retirement hobby, the way to go would be into used items. Buy a book from the library friends book store for a quarter, then sell it on Abebooks/Ebay/Amazon for $5, and after giving $1 to the marketplace, ~$2.80 to the post office, and $.30 for packaging, you'll have a nice $0.65 profit. Since this is really hard to scale up and is labor intensive you won't have to compete as much against the big businesses. Whether you would be able to make minimum wage at the end of the day is another matter...

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by nisiprius » Sun May 26, 2019 5:09 am

The idea "I can get it for you wholesale" sounds like something out of the 1940s. Today, any mention of "wholesale prices" is just a way of saying "a good price." The nice clear distinction between wholesale and retail pricing broke down in the 1950s and 1960s with "discount department stores" that were willing to sell brand name products at prices below MSRP. Thus, they were selling them closer to the wholesale prices they paid.

It's kind of like a big furniture chain locally that pretends to offer furniture with "no sales tax." I'm actually surprised they're allowed to do it. Of course they pay the sales tax, they haven't somehow managed to avoid that. It's just that they're willing to price in a discount that happens to be equal to the sales tax. It's meaningless to ask "where can I buy something at true tax-free prices?" Either you really have to be tax-exempt, or you're just buying at some discounted price that is called by an appealing marketing name.
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun May 26, 2019 6:17 am

randomguy wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 11:18 pm
Coscto has an average of 10% market up on most products. The kirkland products have higher. Costco makes most of their money selling goods. Something like 15 billion from selling goods and 2.5 billion from memberships are the numbers I have seen from 2017. The membership fees though are the difference between being roughly break even company and having billions in profit.
2018 annual report - Net income for the 52-week fiscal year was $3.134 billion, or $7.09
per share, an increase of 17 percent. Revenue from membership fees increased 10.1 percent to $3.142
billion.


SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
(dollars in millions, except per share data)
Sept. 2,
2018
Sept. 3,
2017
Aug. 28,
2016
Aug. 30,
2015
Aug. 31,
2014
As of and for the year ended (52 weeks) (53 weeks) (52 weeks) (52 weeks) (52 weeks)
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Net sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 138,434 $ 126,172 $116,073 $113,666 $110,212
Membership fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,142 2,853 2,646 2,533 2,428
Gross margin(1)
as a percentage of net
sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.04% 11.33% 11.35 % 11.09 % 10.66%
Selling, general and administrative
expenses as a percentage of net sales . . 10.02% 10.26% 10.40 % 10.07 % 9.89%
Operating income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 4,480 $ 4,111 $ 3,672 $ 3,624 $ 3,220
Net income attributable to Costco . . . . . . . . 3,134 2,679 2,350 2,377 2,058
Net income per diluted common share
attributable to Costco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.09 6.08 5.33 5.37 4.65
Cash dividends declared per common
share . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.14 8.90 1.70 6.51 1.33
Changes in comparable sales(2)
United States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9% 4% 1 % 3 % 5%
Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9% 5% (3)% (5)% 2%
Other International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11% 2% (3)% (3)% 3%
Total Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9% 4% 0 % 1 % 4%
Changes in Total Company comparable sales
excluding the impact of foreign currency
and gasoline prices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7% 4% 4 % 7 % 6%
BALANCE SHEET DATA
Net property and equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 19,681 $ 18,161 $ 17,043 $ 15,401 $ 14,830
Total assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40,830 36,347 33,163 33,017 32,662
Long-term debt, excluding current portion . . 6,487 6,573 4,061 4,852 5,084
Costco stockholders’ equity . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,799 10,778 12,079 10,617 12,303
WAREHOUSE INFORMATION
Warehouses in Operation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Beginning of year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 741 715 686 663 634
Opened . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 28 33 26 30
Closed due to relocation . . . . . . . . . . . . (4) (2) (4) (3) (1)
End of year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 762 741 715 686 663
MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION
Total paid members (000's) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51,600 49,400 47,600 44,600 42,000

http://investor.costco.com/financial-in ... al-reports
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by whomever » Sun May 26, 2019 6:23 am

Reminds me of the lady who visits the farmers market and asks, "How much are the tomatoes?"
The farmer says, "Well it depends... the more you buy, the cheaper they get."
The lady hands the farmer her bag and says "Fill it up 'till they're free!"
Good one! I always liked the inverse:

A man is visiting a custom furniture maker:
Customer: "I like that dining room chair - how much?"
Craftsman: "$75"
Customer: "How much for a set of 8?"
Craftsman: "$1200"
Customer: "What? That's twice as much per chair! Why does buying more increase the price?"
Craftsman: "Making the first one is fun"

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Wellfleet » Sun May 26, 2019 6:30 am

I’m familiar with wholesale in the form of construction or restaurant suppliers who only sell to licensed businesses good like bricks, furnaces, lumber or hamburgers.

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by steadyeddy » Sun May 26, 2019 8:18 am

A few people have mentioned alibaba. Please keep in mind those prices on the website don’t include freight or selling expenses. Buying 10,000 coffee mugs for 12 cents each is cheap, but you might have to pay an extra $4 each to transport them across the ocean, truck them from the dock to your warehouse, store them, and retail them in an online or physical storefront. Retailing is expensive—that’s why all the small retail in America is going belly up.

OP, your question shows a serious lack of understanding of how modern retail works. I recommend you get some coffee with a friendly local retail store owner and make sure you understand the lay of the land before you put any money at risk.

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun May 26, 2019 8:21 am

OP is not contemplating this, an older relative is.
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by lazydavid » Sun May 26, 2019 8:34 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:15 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:28 pm

How can Costco stay in business if they are purchasing *and* selling at the same "TRUE wholesale prices"?

RM
Costco's profit is roughly 100% from membership fees.
This. Their business model is designed so the small markup on product (I think 10% is typical, though they pledge nothing exceeds 14%), combined with volume results in them breaking even on operating costs. The membership fees are where substantially all of their profit lies.

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by miamivice » Sun May 26, 2019 8:42 am

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:36 pm
What are some good places to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices? These can be products in any category. We are looking at a broad range of products.

There are many businesses and websites that claim to sell things at wholesale prices, but the prices are not really wholesale.

Any recommendations or tips on some places to buy would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Two options:

1) Work for a retail company, and as an employee perk, you might be allowed to purchase direct from the wholesalers at wholesale prices.

For example, as a college summer job, I worked in the bicycle industry. My employer allowed us to order anything from the QPB catalog, which is one of the main wholesalers that bicycle stores buy products from. QPB sells everything related to bicycles. This was a sweet deal, except I was paid near minimum wage and couldn't afford anything even at true wholesale prices.

2) eBay

A lot of merchandise is sold on eBay at true wholesale prices. I used to buy large quantities of merchandise on eBay and then resell them as individual items, making a tidy profit in the process. Even today, I can buy things there direct from China for 20% of what they sell for in the regular store. Much of their smaller direct-from-China merchandise is sold there at wholesale prices.

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by miamivice » Sun May 26, 2019 8:51 am

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:14 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:02 pm
teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:48 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm
Or, I guess, what is the actual definition of "true wholesale price"?
When I say "True Wholesale Price", it needs to be cheap enough where I can buy it and resell it at a retail price for a profit.

Where can an entrepreneur buy wholesale like that?
Are you starting a retail business?
We have an older relative who recently quit her job and she wants to start an online retail business. She is well capitalized and has the money to hold inventory if needed.
Oh, if that is what she is wanting to do, eBay is the place to buy merchandise for resale. The thing is you have to be careful of two things:

1) You need to buy merchandise that people actually want to pay
2) You need to sell merchandise in a manner that people will be willing to pay more than what you (and they) could buy it from off of eBay.

For example, I bought a particular computer part for $1.25 if I bought quantities of 500, and then I resold them for about $4 a piece. I made about $0.75 to $1.00 off each sale, so made $500 per lot that I sold. I found that I sold maybe 50 to 75 a month, so I'd make an extra $500 or $1000 in a school year. That was a tidy income for someone in college that took very little extra time and was compatible with school.

The other option that I know a lot of people do, and there is money in it, is browing garage sales for items that can be sold on eBay at profit. I have purchased several items that people have been anxious to get rid of and then flipped them at a significant profit. I think I made about $600 for two items that I bought off Craigslist and resold. Again, the trick is you have to know a particular line of products to know what you can buy or sell.

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by snackdog » Sun May 26, 2019 10:19 am

Why not just approach local retailers (future competition) and ask where they source their merchandise?

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by surfstar » Sun May 26, 2019 10:33 am

This seems like the worst hobby. Yes hobbies can cost money, but usually they're FUN.

A bored, retired person with extra money that wants to get into online sales (with apparently no prior experience) - why?

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun May 26, 2019 11:04 am

randomguy wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:36 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:28 pm

Sorry... I thought someone was making a distinction between "Costco" and "Costco Wholesale".

But as for "what do *I* think the definition of "true wholesale price" is?
That's what I'm asking :wink:

OP asked where to get products at "TRUE wholesale prices". Someone mentioned Costco Wholesale.
How can Costco stay in business if they are purchasing *and* selling at the same "TRUE wholesale prices"?

So is there an answer for OP?

RM
Well car makers can sell cars below wholesale price and they stay in business. How? Well they get kickbacks from the OEM. They pay 20k for a car, sell it for 19k and get a 3k check from the maker to cover your costs. Everyone is happy. Buyer thinks they got a great deal. Dealer makes money and so does the OEM.
There are legal kickbacks in many businesss. I worked in the buying office of a national retailer after college. Sales items would be bought at a sale price. Depending on how much sold during the promotion , a check would appear. Strange system. And hard to determine the true whole sale price. Purchasers of large amounts get much better price than mom and pop shops. Retailers who handle shipping to individual stores also get better prices.

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Spirit Rider » Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 8:42 am
1) Work for a retail company, and as an employee perk, you might be allowed to purchase direct from the wholesalers at wholesale prices.
For your personal use or family gifts. I have done it several time and have never seen a case where they would allow you to order from their wholesalers for resale.

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by multiham » Sun May 26, 2019 3:27 pm

Buy item from Costco
Break it down into individual selling pieces (For example, you buy a club pack of toothpaste which is 4 individually boxed tubes of toothpaste. Break it down into 4 individual tubes)
Very rarely, you will get lucky and each tube will have an individual UPC on it. If that is the case, it is easier to sell to small "Mom & Pop" retailers.
If no individual UPC's, you may need to either export out of country or sell to Bodega's in NYC or other large towns.
Repeat

You will need to do some homework to pick items. Visit your local retailers and see what the pricing is for the individual sku's. See what type of value you are getting by buying and breaking down. If it is not at least 25%, stay away.

Lots of work for little $, but if you have the time...

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by Trader Joe » Sun May 26, 2019 6:11 pm

teelainen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:36 pm
What are some good places to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices? These can be products in any category. We are looking at a broad range of products.

There are many businesses and websites that claim to sell things at wholesale prices, but the prices are not really wholesale.

Any recommendations or tips on some places to buy would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Costco and Cash & Carry (now Smart Foodservice).

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by miamivice » Sun May 26, 2019 7:49 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
miamivice wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 8:42 am
1) Work for a retail company, and as an employee perk, you might be allowed to purchase direct from the wholesalers at wholesale prices.
For your personal use or family gifts. I have done it several time and have never seen a case where they would allow you to order from their wholesalers for resale.
I will admit, that unlike other forum posters, I responded to the title of the thread without reading the body.

You are correct that you cannot run a business selling products that you purchase while working for a different business in the same industry.

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teelainen
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by teelainen » Sun May 26, 2019 11:33 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:15 pm
What's her unique selling proposition?
Honestly, the only thing she has going for her is that she has a lot of free time. She has a huge fixed-income producing portfolio of iShares and Vanguard holdings. The dividends have now surpassed her yearly income from working (which is why she quit her job).

Since she has nothing to do now, she thought about running a business from home where she can buy stuff wholesale and sell them for retail online.
Last edited by teelainen on Mon May 27, 2019 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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teelainen
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by teelainen » Sun May 26, 2019 11:35 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 8:42 am
A lot of merchandise is sold on eBay at true wholesale prices. I used to buy large quantities of merchandise on eBay and then resell them as individual items, making a tidy profit in the process. Even today, I can buy things there direct from China for 20% of what they sell for in the regular store. Much of their smaller direct-from-China merchandise is sold there at wholesale prices.
miamivice , where did you resell these items?

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teelainen
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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by teelainen » Sun May 26, 2019 11:37 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 8:51 am
For example, I bought a particular computer part for $1.25 if I bought quantities of 500, and then I resold them for about $4 a piece. I made about $0.75 to $1.00 off each sale, so made $500 per lot that I sold. I found that I sold maybe 50 to 75 a month, so I'd make an extra $500 or $1000 in a school year. That was a tidy income for someone in college that took very little extra time and was compatible with school.
miamivice, where did you sell them for $4 a piece?

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Re: Where to buy products at TRUE wholesale prices?

Post by surfstar » Sun May 26, 2019 11:58 pm

Volunteer work would "pay" much better for the retiree and society, in my opinion.

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