?A good wholesale business is a crucial component for a company that wants to succeed in the retail industry, whether online or through more traditional means. Finding the right wholesale businesses, however, can be a little bit tricky, especially for small businesses or entrepreneurs who are planning to sell on eBay or other online auctions. Wholesale businesses are those suppliers who sell to other businesses at a discounted rate. Traditionally, those suppliers sold strictly in bulk. Any retailer who couldn't afford to buy their products by the box/crate/pallet just wasn't worth their time, and this left smaller businesses at a huge disadvantage when it comes to competing against sellers with such huge buying power. Lately there has been a supply chain management model that lets these smaller businesses begin to compete, and it is particularly useful to the online selling industry. Some wholesale businesses are now willing to drop ship their products directly to your customers. Drop shipping is an efficient and effective way for almost anyone to get involved with online selling. Drop shipping begins with the seller listing the items from the wholesale businesses on the online auction or their own eCommerce website. The seller's responsibility is to make sure that the product is prominently displayed and sufficiently promoted. Then, once the purchase is made, they simply collect the payment and then transfer the order to the supplier who then takes care of the packaging and shipping fulfillment. It's quick, easy, and effective. So what are the benefits to using a drop shipping method? First of all there is the significantly lower cost entry point to doing business online when you work with wholesale businesses that drop ship products. These savings come from the fact that you don't have to buy inventory in such huge quantities. Nor do you have to deal with the fees and costs of storing your own inventory because - and this is probably the most significant benefit - you don't have to keep any on-hand inventory at all. Why is this such a benefit? Consider for a moment the volatile nature of the retail industry in general and the Internet marketplace in particular. What is popular one day is just another dust collector the next. To truly succeed in the online world you need to be able to keep up. In the past, this has been a very difficult endeavor. With stock rooms full of unwanted products, sellers are forced to either offer discounts that can make them loose money, or they have to take the loss and just dispose of the inventory. Drop shipping has eliminated this risk. When you don't have to keep any inventory on hand you can change your product offerings to keep up with the whims of a fickle customers base. Finding the right wholesale businesses goes beyond just making connections with a business that offers discount products. Do your research. Does this company put your name on the return label? Do they have a reputation for being reliable? Can they scale to accommodate your own fluctuating levels of commerce? There are many lists and companies online, each offering ways to help you find wholesale businesses, but that doesn't mean you should just trust someone else to do all the work for you? You need to know what certain products sell for in certain markets. You need to be aware of current trends - what's hot and what's on life support. The Internet is, of course, a great place to start finding wholesale businesses that can help your company. But it is also an environment in which you have to be very careful. Know your sources, maintain strong relationships, and you can soon start finding success as an online seller. Andy Eliason is a writer at Main10, Inc. If you'd like to learn more about wholesale businesses, or drop shipping, visit Simplx today.