How to Find a Supplier of Wholesale Umbrellas
In today’s competitive business landscape, having high-quality branded products can give your company an edge. Custom umbrellas are a great way to promote your brand while providing useful products to your customers. But finding the right supplier that can provide custom umbrellas in bulk at wholesale prices can be tricky. In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of finding and vetting suppliers of custom wholesale umbrellas.
Define Your Umbrella Requirements
The first step is to clearly define your requirements for the custom umbrellas. Consider factors like:
- Size: What umbrella height and canopy width do you need? Standard options are 42″, 52″ and 62″.
- Construction: What strength and ribs do you need? Fiberglass or steel? Vented or unvented?
- Fabric: What type of fabric do you want? Nylon, polyester, pongee? Waterproof or water-resistant?
- Branding: How will you be customizing the umbrellas? With a logo? Full color design? Branded carrying case?
- Quantity: How many umbrellas are you looking to purchase wholesale? Most suppliers have order minimums.
- Budget: What is your target price point per umbrella? Keep ocean freight costs in mind.
Clearly defining your requirements will help narrow your search for the right umbrella supplier.
Search Industry Directories and Online Platforms
Now that you know exactly what you need, start your supplier search by looking through industry directories and online platforms like:
- Alibaba.com – World’s largest B2B marketplace with umbrella suppliers from China and beyond. Just beware of potential scam vendors.
- Made-In-China.com – B2B directory with Chinese manufacturers reviewed by the Made-In-China team.
- GlobalSources.com – Leading B2B media platform connecting buyers with verified suppliers, including many umbrella factories.
- Thomasnet.com – One of the top product sourcing sites for North American manufacturers, with over 700 umbrella suppliers listed.
- Promotional Product Associations – Industry groups like PPAI have supplier directories across promo categories.
Use relevant search terms like “custom umbrellas”, “wholesale umbrellas”, “branded umbrellas”, “logo umbrellas” etc. Most suppliers categorize by product sub-types as well.
Evaluate and Shortlist Suppliers
Once you have a list of promising suppliers, vet each thoroughly based on key criteria:
- Types of umbrellas they offer match your specifications
- Minimum order quantities are within your requirements
- They have capability to customize umbrellas to your design needs
- Past customer reviews are positive
- They are transparent about pricing and lead times
- Quick to respond to inquiries and emails
- Willing to send product samples if requested
Check their about us pages and brochures to make sure they have experience with wholesale orders and working with brands on customization. Reach out via email with specific questions about their capabilities.
Request Quotes and Samples
Based on your evaluations, shortlist 3-5 suppliers to get custom umbrella quotes from. Make sure to provide each the same umbrella specifications, quantities and design requirements for an apples-to-apples comparison.
If possible, request free samples from these suppliers as well. Most will ship an actual umbrella sample for free or a small charge. Review the quality and workmanship closely upon receiving the samples.
Place a Small Test Order
Before committing to a large wholesale order, consider placing a small test order first with your top choice supplier. This will allow you to evaluate their quality, turnaround times and customer service on a smaller batch.
Assuming the test order meets expectations, you can then proceed confidently with the full wholesale order. This lowers your risk from issues like delayed shipments or poor quality.
Negotiate the Best Price
With quotes in hand from multiple suppliers, negotiate for the best possible wholesale price from your preferred vendor. Get clarity on costs like:
- Base price per umbrella
- Artwork customization fees
- Set-up costs
- Shipping charges
- Import duties/taxes
- Volume discounts
Having competition allows you to counter any initial quote with a lower price offered by another supplier. Stressing your long-term partnership potential can also yield a better wholesale deal.
Finding the perfect custom umbrella supplier involves carefully defining your needs, sourcing reputable vendors, validating options with quotes/samples, and negotiating ideal pricing. Establishing a great supplier relationship can provide your business with branded umbrellas that make an impression for years to come. With an organized and thorough approach, you can source high-quality, customized umbrellas at wholesale costs.