Starting your own furniture business, no matter how big or small will go through several processes before you can actually start selling. One of these processes is finding reliable suppliers for your products. This stage requires a lot of time and careful decision-making to complete.
When choosing suppliers, the first step is to identify what type you plan to work with. There are several types of suppliers that can work with you. This post is fully dedicated to identifying these types and learning their strengths and weaknesses so you can make a better choice when choosing the supplier for your furniture business.
Different Types of Suppliers
There are several types of suppliers, all of which have their own benefits and drawbacks. By understanding them more, you can better decide which type of supplier suits your business needs best.
What is dropshipping? It is a method where the seller does not store the products and will have a third party to do it for them. If you are the seller, you will simply do the selling and take orders while another company stores and delivers the product/s to your customers.
After reading its definition, you’d probably think that this is the best route for you as it is more convenient, less costly, and you don’t have to think about inventory. However, it also has its drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of dropshipping:
Advantages of Dropshipping
- No need to stock the products
- No need to worry about inventory
- No warehouse needed
Disadvantages of Dropshipping
- Higher chances of customers complaining about the quality of products, delayed delivery, etc.
- Profit margins are low
- You are putting your business at risk by depending on another company that may not have your best interests in mind
Where to Find Dropshipping Suppliers?
Considering its advantages and disadvantages, dropshipping is still preferable in certain cases, such as using it for your temporary projects and for selling a variety of certain products. If you are interested in working for dropshipping suppliers, there are several ways you can find them online:
- Perform a Google search by using the right keywords, such as furniture dropshipping supplier, furniture fittings dropshipping supplier, and so on
- Check online directories like Worldwide Brands, Doba, and SaleHoo
- Attend furniture trade shows – a great way to meet different suppliers and inspect their products firsthand
Before deciding on which supplier you’d want to work with, you should read this post from Shopify about how to spot fake dropshipping suppliers.
Wholesale Suppliers: Domestic or Overseas?
When you purchase wholesale, it usually means that you are going to pay for the lowest price of the products. Many will encourage you to choose wholesale suppliers as they are more cost-effective, you get to work directly with the supplier, and you can examine the products directly before delivering to your customers. There are two ways to order wholesale – domestic and overseas.
Domestic Wholesale Suppliers
Working with domestic wholesale suppliers means that you choose a company that is near you or within your country. If you are mainly selling wholly-assembled furniture, then it’s best to go with a domestic company as it is easier to transport bulky products to close locations.
Advantages of Domestic Wholesale Suppliers
- No need to worry about shipping
- Better chances of receiving your products on time
- Less hassle during the order and delivery processes
Disadvantages of Domestic Wholesale Suppliers
- Usually more expensive than overseas wholesale suppliers
Where to Find Domestic Wholesale Suppliers?
- The best and easiest way to find domestic wholesale suppliers is through a Google search. Use key phrases such as “furniture suppliers in (your city) or (country)” or “furniture suppliers/furniture fittings suppliers near me”.
- Local and online directories
- Trade shows
Manufacturers From Overseas
Even though it generally requires more work and time, a lot of business owners opt to work directly with the manufacturers from abroad. They are generally more affordable as labor costs overseas are way lower compared to other countries, such as the United States. If you are selling mainly furniture parts and fittings, then it’s best to go with direct manufacturers from abroad.
Advantages of Manufacturers From Overseas
- A lot of manufacturers offer free samples
- Customized orders – for example, many drawer slide suppliers from China accept custom specifications of their client’s products as long as they meet the minimum order requirement.
- Ordering directly from manufacturers are a lot cheaper
Disadvantages of Manufacturers From Overseas
- The minimum order quantity (MOQ) is usually higher
- Lead times are sometimes longer
- More work is involved – for example, shipping processes, legal paperwork, etc.
Where to Find Overseas Manufacturers?
The best way to find overseas manufacturers is through B2B sites like Alibaba, AliExpress, and Global Sources. You can find suppliers of different furniture from these sites, from antique furniture to office desks. You can also find here a variety of furniture fittings, such as cabinet hinges, closet rods, shelf pipes, and more.
These are the different types of suppliers that you can work with for your furniture business. As you can see, all of them have their unique traits, advantages, and disadvantages. The key is to determine your capabilities and needs and match them with what the supplier can offer you. Hopefully, this guide was able to help you in choosing which supplier best fits your furniture business. Best of luck!