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Wholesale shopping is not as simple as you might think, really. Regardless of what you want to buy in bulk – stationery, jewelry, pharmaceutical products, clothing or accessories, home goods, or anything else – there seem to be a set of common wholesale challenges that bind us all together.

I know this well because we’ve spent many years working with retailers from all over the world. And my job as a children’s smocked clothing manufacturer has helped me realize that there are many pitfalls constantly tripping up wholesale buyers, time and time again.

Fortunately, when you know where the landmines are, you can skillfully maneuver to avoid them entirely. With that in mind, here are the most common mistakes I’ve seen in the wholesale buying strategies of the retailers I’ve worked with.

Top Pitfalls To Avoid When Wholesale Shopping

Mistakes When Choosing Products

These are the main (though not all) mistakes that many retailers are currently facing. I will provide solutions right after to help you make timely changes.

1. Always going after the trends

There is a reason why people often tend to follow trends or fads. It could be because some famous music icon wore it during a live performance, or it appeared during Fashion Week, or simply because consumer tastes changed.

Change is good, but it should be a change for the better, not just a shift from one trend to another. Therefore, when selecting products, if you want to build a lasting career, we do not recommend this speculative behavior. Since it is very difficult to determine the perfect timing, it is better to focus on products that can sustain your business in the long run.

2. Staying with low-value products

Many retailers believe that low-value products will be cheaper, thereby helping to reduce costs. But what they overlook is that low value also means low quality. No matter how much a product is improved, it will not or barely increase its initial value and will also diminish customer expectations.

Therefore, when searching for wholesale products, buyers should ask multiple suppliers, looking for high-quality products that fit your budget. Also, consider the shipping costs, as this can also be a headache.

3. Assuming that high-consumed product market is easy to jump in

Just because a product is selling a lot, doesn’t mean it’s easy to get into that market. The most popular products often have a lot of competition already.

Even if a product is in high demand, that doesn’t mean it’s a good opportunity for you. The most consumed products are likely to have a lot of other sellers trying to compete for those customers. The market may already be saturated, making it hard for you to stand out.

In the end, there will be a lot of fierce competition in the market for widely consumed products. Therefore, you should also consider the scale of your business. If you feel you don’t have enough resources to get involved in that brutal competition, then choose a perfect niche market for yourself – enough to reduce competition and still be profitable for you.

4. Overlooking shipping and logistics

When choosing products to sell, a lot of people forget about the costs and challenges of shipping and storing those products.

You have to think about things like:

  • How much will it cost to ship the products to your customers?
  • How long will it take to get the products delivered?
  • Do you have the space to store large quantities of the products?
  • What are the packaging requirements?

If you don’t plan for the shipping and logistics upfront, it can end up costing you a lot of money and causing problems down the line. The product itself might be great, but if you can’t get it to your customers efficiently and affordably, it won’t be a successful product for your business.

You have to factor in all the shipping and logistics details when deciding which products to sell. Otherwise, you could end up losing money or having unsatisfied customers due to shipping issues. It’s an important part of choosing the right products.

Mistakes When Choosing Suppliers/Manufacturers

In addition to the mistakes when choosing products, the wholesale position is also an issue that retailers may face difficulties.

1. It’s best to work with factories

A lot of people think that the best way to get products is to work directly with a factory. They believe that cutting out the middleman will save them money and give them more control.

However, working directly with a factory isn’t always the best solution. Factories can be difficult to communicate with, have minimum order requirements that are too high, and may not provide the level of customer service you need. Even the workforce may go on strike if you demand quantities that are too small compared to their scale.

The key is to not assume that the factory is always the best option. You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of different sourcing methods to find the one that works best for your business needs and budget. Don’t automatically think the factory is the perfect solution.

2. Prioritizing lowest price

When choosing products to sell, a lot of people make the mistake of just focusing on finding the lowest wholesale price. They think that as long as they can get the product for cheap, they’ll be able to make a good profit.

However, this approach can backfire. Choosing products solely based on the lowest price often means compromising on important factors like quality, reliability, and customer service. The cheapest option may end up causing more problems in the long run. Come on, think carefully, do you often get good quality products at the cheapest prices in the business?

So instead of just chasing the lowest price, you need to look at the overall value the supplier can provide. Things like product quality, shipping times, and how responsive the supplier is should all factor into your decision. The lowest price isn’t always the best deal if it comes with a lot of headaches.

You have to weigh all the variables, not just the upfront cost. Prioritizing the lowest price above all else can lead to issues with your inventory, customer satisfaction, and profitability. It’s important to find the right balance between cost and value when choosing products and suppliers.

3. Choosing only one supplier/manufacturer

Choosing to diversify suppliers is a classic example of the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. For example, if you only have one supplier partner, and they fall behind on production and supply to you, or even disappear completely, what would you do? Panic, scared, and randomly choose another supplier to replace them? It even makes things worse.

Instead, you should work with multiple suppliers for the same or similar products. This supplier diversification provides you with more flexibility and stability. If one supplier has an issue, you can turn to your other suppliers to fill the gap.

Mistakes When Choosing Suppliers On Alibaba

1. Trusting “Alibaba Gold Suppliers” too much

Just because a supplier has the “gold supplier” badge on Alibaba doesn’t mean they are a great supplier. This badge just means they paid for a membership – it doesn’t guarantee quality or reliability. You can’t judge a supplier’s quality just by this label.

2. Relying too much on trade assurance

Wholesale buyers should know that it’s not easy to get a refund from Alibaba suppliers, even with their trade assurance program. Trade assurance isn’t like a payment processor that always protects the buyer.

To get a refund, you need a lot of documentation like sales contracts, inspection reports, and lab tests. Trade assurance isn’t a 100% guarantee. You need to carefully consider factors like the supplier’s experience, communication, and pricing, not just rely on trade assurance.

So What Can You Do?

Research carefully in the first place. Whether you are looking for suppliers/factories domestically or internationally, you need to research them thoroughly, about their MOQ, products/services, etc. And you can find all of this information through Google or forums and reviews from other buyers.

And when it comes to wholesale smocked dresses, K-Embroidery of Vietnam will be the first name that comes to mind. We are reputable (a government partner), accept low MOQs (30 products) and have reasonable prices (10-20% lower than the general market). Aren’t all of those things intriguing to you? If so, please contact our Sales team on WhatsApp: +84 85 555 5961.


In conclusion, wholesale shopping can be a great way to save money and grow your business, but it’s important to be aware of the common pitfalls. With the right approach, wholesale shopping can be a powerful tool in your entrepreneurial toolkit.