Are into large-scale hydroponics or deal in related equipment?
Then you know the importance of getting your supplies at wholesale prices and without stories that break the heart.
So how do you know that you can trust a supplier to deliver on time and also deliver top quality products all the time? We will take you through a number of tips that will make this straightforward.
But, first, let’s establish a few things that you need to bear in mind if you want to get a trustworthy supplier…
The Most Reliable Suppliers Aren’t Cheap
Don’t make the mistake of insisting on getting products at the cheapest price. There are costs to manufacturing, warehousing, handling and shipping top quality products. Add the supplier’s margins and you may NOT get the cheapest price out there.
If you insist on the cheapest price at all costs, you open up yourself to low quality products, fraudulent suppliers and an overall unpleasant experience.
So go for suppliers that give you a good price-to-value ratio and you’ll do just fine.
You’ll Need to Spend Time and Resources On Research
Don’t be too quick to pick the first wholesale hydroponics supplier you can find. You need to take your time in doing due diligence. This might mean spending some money researching especially if you are dealing with suppliers in other countries.
The amount you’ll spend ensuring that you’ve done enough background checks will be saved when you get a reliable supplier. Don’t forget that your business and reputation are both on the line when you deal with a wholesale supplier.
Determine Your Supply Needs and Choose Accordingly
It really doesn’t make much sense to set your mind on a supplier who has a minimum order quantity that’s several times above your needs. Yes, they may offer a much lower rate but they are NOT there to serve you.
In a similar vein, understand that you don’t need to slow your business down with sea freighting when all your supplies can be handled by air cargo.
Why do we bring this up?
Suppliers that cater to massive orders are usually set up to deliver their orders by sea freight while those who serve small orders generally go by air cargo.
Sometimes the supplier you need for all your hydroponics equipment or supplies is that wholesale hydroponics store you can use from the comfort of your home.
Don’t make it much more difficult without good reason.
Now that we’ve got these out of the way, let’s get into the second part…
How to Know If a Wholesale Hydroponics Supplier Can Be Trusted
We’ll hazard a guess that you are NOT dealing with a supplier in your neighborhood. It makes sense because it would be easy for you to tell if they can be trusted by just asking around. So, we’d assume that you are likely dealing with a supplier who’s in another part of the same country or another country.
Here are things to do and check if you want to get a trustworthy supplier…
1. Check their Track Record
If you are dealing with an online marketplace, it’s easy to check any supplier’s track record. Various platforms have different feedback mechanisms that allow past customers to leave a review or rating.
These reviews and ratings are very important. They give your insight into how they’ve dealt with previous customers – Don’t expect better from a supplier.
But what if you are NOT dealing via an online platform. How do you check a supplier’s track record?
Well, for one, you can check to ensure that the business is incorporated to do business in their country. If a supplier isn’t correctly incorporated, that’s a BIG red flag.
Apart from being incorporated, they should have an office that you can have someone investigate is functional. If you need more on how to check if a business is legitimate, check out this article.
2. Ask for References
It’s your duty to verify claims by any entity you intend to do business with. And one way to do that is to ask previous customers. So in order to ensure that you’d be dealing with a reliable and trustworthy supplier for your hydroponics business, you need to ask them for references.
These references must be people you can discuss with and even visit. For example, if you are in the USA, it won’t be a good idea to get references that are in China unless you have trusted friends or acquaintances there who can help you check.
It’s best to get references from your own country or region.
3. Go for Established Names
There’s a reason we mentioned that the best suppliers don’t come cheap and listed it as the first point in this article. The risk of getting a lower price from an unknown entity is simply too high.
For one, they could be scammers – People can easily claim to be anything online these days. Even if they aren’t scammers, they might NOT have the capacity to deliver timely and maintain quality control.
That’s where established names beat unknown entities. They have capacity, for one. Furthermore, they have a good name to protect.
There are few things that are more important to a business than protecting its reputation. So it’s a good thing to deal with a business that has a reputation worth protecting.
4. Deal ONLY with Those Who are Comfortable with Factory Audits
If you are dealing with an international supplier, it’s important that you let them know that you’ll require factory audits. Tell them you’ll have one before issuing a purchase order. Let them also know that you’ll require an inspection of production before you can authorize shipment. You can get a factory audit checklist here.
Trustworthy suppliers will have no qualms with these demands. However, if your potential supplier is a fly-by-night or have questionable practices, you’ll see them making excuses as to why such wouldn’t be possible.
Any show of cold feet or excuses is a BIG red flag. Avoid such a supplier.
5. Visit the Supplier in Person
There’s a lot you can pick up from an individual by having a face to face chat for a few minutes. There are things about a business that you can ONLY pick up by visiting their business place or factory.
This is your business at stake here. It’s in your best interest to visit in person or have a trusted aide do so.
Your supply chain is critical whether you run a small hydroponics store or run a farm. Getting the right supplier will determine how smoothly that supply chain works. Use the tips shared to get the best possible.