How to Sell Wholesale Online Globally Without Initial Costs?

Selling wholesale online can be a tough ask, especially for small artisans and manufacturing companies. The sheer number of competitors who are larger and more capable can eat into the sales figures of small manufacturers who want to sell wholesale online.

Selling Wholesale Online

However, the biggest problem facing small manufacturing companies willing to sell wholesale is the difficulty in setting up and maintaining a store on online wholesale platforms. While most of the online wholesale platforms are predominantly directories, there is no guarantee that small manufacturers’ listings are noticed by buyers who then get in touch with them to negotiate prices for placing orders.

It is hard in itself to get noticed in these large wholesale directories. But to go through the process of answering buyer questions, negotiating prices, and arriving at a deal is time-consuming and certainly not rewarding for small manufacturers who do not have the resources to maintain a team of skilled salespeople and marketers. So, what is the option available for small manufacturers looking to sell wholesale online?

After sifting through countless websites for wholesale, we haven’t come across any reliable platform for small manufacturers other than Alibaba and Amazon. However, both these giants have their fair share of big drawbacks that make them unsuitable for small wholesalers looking to sell globally.

The Problem with Alibaba

Alibaba is one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies facilitating trade between businesses. There are hundreds and thousands of products across many categories listed for wholesale purchase on Alibaba. Even though there are suppliers from different parts of the world including the USA, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Russia, and Singapore, suppliers from China dominate the product listing across the site. Also, Alibaba is more akin to a wholesale directory than a wholesale marketplace.

Even though there are features like trade assurance and freight shipping offered by Alibaba, there is nothing like a simple e-commerce interface like that on Amazon and Etsy to make wholesale trade easier for sellers and buyers. Apart from this, the biggest drawback for small manufacturers to use Alibaba is the Gold Seller Membership that costs 2000 USD and up.

This may not be an issue for small manufacturers in the USA, UK, and Canada. However, for skilled artisans in Asia and Latin America, shelling out 2000 USD is a big deal. Only with a Gold Membership does a seller garner reputation as a trustable seller.

But it has to be noted that for categories with high competition, sellers also have to spend money on ads to rank their keywords higher for search terms. This puts small artisans and sellers at a disadvantage when compared to larger sellers with deep pockets. For these reasons, Alibaba is definitely not suitable for small artisans and manufacturers to market and sell wholesale online globally.

The Problem with Amazon Wholesale

Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central are two programs offered by Amazon for their sellers. While Amazon Vendor Central is an invite-only program for successful suppliers, the Amazon Seller Central program is open for all sellers.

It costs $39.99 per month + additional selling fees to be a part of the Professional Selling Plan on Amazon. The additional selling fees include referral fees, fulfillment fees, and storage fees.

For small manufacturers, covering the monthly membership cost and additional selling fees demands selling more units of their products. The profit margin can be small or none if there is no demand for the product they are selling.

If the seller uses Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), then they have to worry about storage fees when their inventory sits unmoved without enough demand from buyers. Large manufacturers and sellers can weather the storm by offering a wide range of products. So, if a few products do not generate enough sales, they have other products with huge demand to offset the lack of sales.

For small artisans and sellers, it is hard to recover if their consecutive product offerings do not generate much demand from buyers. For this reason, selling wholesale on Amazon is not suitable for small manufacturers and sellers.

The Solution with Strade

Alibaba Amazon Strade
Intuitive E-Commerce Interface
Large List of Wholesale Sellers
Cheap Setup Costs Optional
Secure Escrow-type Payments Favors Buyers
Buyer/Seller Verification Optional
Inspection of Products Chinese Only
Financing for Sellers Chinese Only By Invite Only
True Wholesale Bulk Discounts
Start with Free Setup Optional
Low Currency Exchange Rates


Strade is the answer to the wholesale woes of small sellers and manufacturers. Not only is Strade the solution for small wholesale sellers, but it is a platform of change for the entire wholesale industry. Combining the intuitive e-commerce style interface of Amazon and the wholesale listings of Alibaba, Strade also has unique features like secure escrow-type payments, integrated product inspections, integrated air and boat shipping rates, integrated financing options, and low currency exchange rates.

The best part of it all is the free setup of stores for small artisans and sellers. While this is a feature available for only a limited time, the membership cost that will follow will be extremely affordable for small sellers across the globe no matter their location.

Without the exorbitant setup costs, Strade is lowering the bar for small artisans to set up stores and get access to buyers from around the world. Who says selling wholesale globally should be time-consuming and costly?

At Strade, we are building the wholesale marketplace that the global wholesale industry deserves.