Wholesale Central Review 2018

By Milo Cruz | Last Updated: August 19, 2018
Wholesale Central

Table of Contents

Wholesale Central Overview

Online since 1996, Wholesale Central is a company based in Bethel, Connecticut. It’s a popular B2B service that aims to connect retailers with wholesale suppliers.

Their official website may look a bit dated, but make no mistake – Wholesale Central does a decent job at helping you find products for your drop shipping business. Interested in learning more? Read on.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Wholesale Central?

Pros

  • Free to Use: You don’t need to sign up to use most of what Wholesale Central offers. For the premium service, you simply provide your email and gain immediate access to additional features – at completely zero cost!
  • Easy to Navigate: Plenty of search options and a simple design make navigating the Wholesale Central service quick and intuitive.
  • Helpful Sourcing Tools: Wholesale Central provides various methods of sourcing new products and suppliers. Their entire service is geared towards helping retailers and wholesalers find each other.

Cons

  • Small Directory of Drop Shippers: Only 84 suppliers out of 1,000+ suppliers offer drop shipped products.
  • No Integration and Selling Tools: Wholesale Central doesn’t offer any automated tools for your business. Most of the work will have to be done manually, or completed by third parties.
  • Lack of Support Channels: Without email or live chat options, you’ll have to rely on more conventional means of communication like telephone and snail mail.

How much is Wholesale Central? What drop shipping services does it provide?

Pricing

All of Wholesale Central’s services are free! Visitors to the official site gain instant access to the product and supplier directory without having to sign up or pay any fees.

However, while the directory lists many different kinds of suppliers, not all of them drop ship. As of this writing, there are only 84 suppliers from the entire directory that allow for drop shipping. The good news is that some of these suppliers have very large inventories and catalogs, so you’re likely to find suitable products for your business.

Other Services

Apart from being able to access the Wholesale Central directory, visitors to the website can also make use of the following services:

  • Wholesale Central Deals: The Deals & Steals section of Wholesale Central features promotions from approved wholesalers. Check here often as it gets updated regularly.
  • Trade Shows Calendar and Directory: Head to Wholesale Central’s trade shows page to find upcoming trade shows you can visit and get a chance to talk face-to-face with suppliers. You can search for events by keyword, category, location, and date.
  • Closeout Central: This is essentially a classified ads-style resource for finding suppliers who want to unload excess or unwanted inventory. You can search products by category or browse through the site’s featured section. Some offer drop shipping options, so it’s worth checking out.
  • Independent Retailer Magazine: This is Wholesale Central’s monthly online publication dedicated to owners of traditional and online stores. You’ll find product offerings from leading manufacturers and expert advice on wholesale retailing.

Wholesale Central Independent Retailer magazine

If you decide to sign up for the premium service – called the Wholesale Central Buyer’s Network and is also free – you’ll receive even more perks:

  • Product Locator: This service lets you post requests for products that you have difficulty finding. Simply input the name of the product you’re looking for, add a description, choose a category, and hit the send button. Pre-qualified suppliers will be able to see and respond to your requests.
  • Newsletter: Sign up and get regular updates on the latest deals, newest products, and upcoming events that are relevant to your business.

What products can I sell with Wholesale Central?

Product Catalog

Wholesale Central lists over 400,000 different products from more than 1,000 wholesale stores online. (Remember, only a small portion are drop ship-ready.) There are two primary ways of finding products for you to sell.

You can search by product. Simply type in a keyword and Wholesale Central will provide you a list of relevant results with direct links to suppliers’ homepages. You can also browse by category or specify the merchandise type (premium, midrange, value, etc.) to narrow your search down further.

Wholesale Central product search

You can search by supplier. Similarly, you can input specific terms and Wholesale Central will list all suppliers with names that match your query. You can also search by location or supplier type (importer, manufacturer, wholesaler, etc.) to find the ones that match your needs

If you’re looking specifically for drop shippers and their products, you can use the advanced search tool to display only suppliers that drop ship.

Supplier Information

Wholesale Central reviews suppliers before adding them to their directory. Complaints are investigated and suppliers found to be fraudulent are removed from the service. Additionally, suppliers who wish to be listed in the Wholesale Central directory have to pay a hefty fee of $399 every 6 months.

If you want to find out more about a specific supplier, simply navigate to their website from the Wholesale Central directory to learn more.

How do I sell products with Wholesale Central?

Actually, you don’t – at least not on their website. While you can find products to sell from the Wholesale Central directory, all transactions take place between you and the supplier. Wholesale Central has no part in deals made, and thus, takes no cut from your earnings.

To sell products, you have to deal directly with the supplier. That means uploading their products’ data files to your store. Most suppliers will have these on hand for the most popular eCommerce platforms.

You’ll also be responsible to make sure that your customers’ orders are fulfilled. Different suppliers will have different processes for doing this, so just follow their prescribed procedure.

In a similar vein, shipping and return policies will also vary among suppliers. Make sure to double check with the supplier what options they provide – complete with estimated times – and indicate those clearly for each product.

Since Wholesale Central has no actual selling tools to help streamline the process, you’ll have to do all the work involved in selling your products yourself. Basically, you’re trading convenience and efficiency for bigger margins.

How do I contact Wholesale Central?

Customer Support

To get in touch with Wholesale Central representatives, you can send them a ticket via their contact page. Other options include telephone, fax, and snail mail. The company isn’t clear on what times the phone lines are open.

Self-Help Sections

Wholesale Central lacks a dedicated page for instructions or guides on how to use their website. However, due to the straightforward nature of their service, everything is easy to understand and you’ll find yourself getting accustomed to it in no time.

Is there anything else I should know about Wholesale Central?

A majority of what Wholesale Central has to offer can be obtained without even signing up for their service. Even as a site visitor, you get access to most of Wholesale Central’s services.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a one-stop solution for all your drop shipping needs, then you’ll have to look elsewhere. Wholesale Central lacks a lot of functionality that other services provide. It’s primarily just a directory; but it’s a decent one at that – considering that you don’t have to pay for using it.

And because it’s free, it wouldn’t hurt to use Wholesale Central alongside other, more feature-packed drop shipping services.

The bottom line: While far from being a complete drop shipping solution, Wholesale Central is still a great supplementary resource for your business that comes at absolutely no cost.