Wholesale Shopping? Your wallet will love it!
“Buy wholesale and save!” How true is this common marketing pitch? Savvy shoppers judge an offer on the basis of overall value. In addition to price, they consider quality, customer service, add-on expenses such as shipping, and return policies. Many wholesalers only sell to dealers, but a few, including direct-to-consumer manufacturers, offer direct sales. Wholesale buying clubs offer another way to stretch the consumer’s buying power. A buyer’s expectations and the seller’s policies will vary with the type of product.
“Try on both and walk in them.” I still stand by my mother’s rule for shoe purchases, and it’s truer than ever when shopping for deals. True wholesale shoe dealers only sell full cases, but discounters like L.A. Wholesale Shoes advertise, “Shoes at wholesale price.” Smart Shopper Daphne Munro of ABC15.com loves their prices, but cautions, “Make sure you like what you are buying before you buy it. You will only be able to exchange shoes that are defective.” Online marketplace DHGate brokers consumer sales with discount sellers, most overseas. Your money is not turned over to the seller until you confirm receipt of the order. Shoes can be returned, buyer paying return shipping unless the order is defective.
When a general contractor sends a client to a showroom to select flooring, kitchen cabinets, or light fixtures, the prices the homeowner sees include a hefty markup over the contractor’s actual cost. With careful shopping, a homeowner purchasing directly may be able to save as much as 50% of the showroom price. American Carpet Wholesalers, located in Dalton, Georgia, claims to offer the best prices on major brands. They have a few carpets in stock, but purchase most carpet only when a customer order is taken. CliqStudios , a factory-direct business, creates semi-custom kitchen cabinets to customer specifications. Their claim of beating home-improvement store prices by 55% seems to be born out in customer reviews, and they offer free samples, free design services and free standard shipping.
Electronics is a major business for wholesale buying clubs such as Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s. Do the clubs really offer significant savings? At the time this was written, a 65” Samsung Smart LED HDTV with a suggested retail of $4,299.00 sold on the Samsung website for $3,099.99, for $2,279.00 (free shipping) at Costco, and for $2,400.98 at Sears. Savings with the club membership seemed modest.
What could be more personal than a wedding dress? Attend a trunk sale or special event such as the Chelsea Market bridal warehouse sale in New York City, and find designer dresses as low as 75% off of retail. Pseudo-wholesalers abound online. Register as a wholesale member with Auva’s Bridal (no charge) and you can order a single dress or outfit the entire party. The company states it offers 20%-30% discounts off of retail, and larger discounts for orders over $10,000. Wholesale-Dress.net offers dresses shipped directly from warehouses in Europe and Asia at prices ranging from $70-$200, and states “unconditionally returns accepted.” No customer reviews were posted for either site.
Buy wholesale and save, but remember, value considers not only price, but hidden costs, customer service, quality, and return policies. Shop carefully and enjoy your savings.