Manufacturers and suppliers are similar in meaning, but they are different to some extent. What is the difference between a manufacturer and a supplier?
A manufacturer is a business or a company that make goods in large quantities to sell. And a large manufacturer is usually equipped with a large factory with a lot of equippment and lots of factory workers. Manufacturers typically produce one type of product so that they can operate in a large scale with high productivity. You can work with one manufacturer for clothes and another for boxes if you want to sell clothes in your online store. A supplier is a company or a person that supplies goods or services for other companies or persons. Moreover, suppliers include manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.
When you search through Google, you can find lots of resources about supplying what you want for your online business, but you should figure out what type of suppliers you look for. A manufacturer or a supplier(including a wholesaler & a distributor) or both is really up to you.
There are domestic and overseas suppliers for you to choose. It is a good idea to obtain both domestic and overseas suppliers for your ecommerce store to become more competitive. As is well known, sourcing products from some Asian countries, like China and India, is much cheaper because of lower labor costs. But due to the long distance, the overseas shipping is slower than domestic shipping. Your domestic supplier can make sure that your goods arrives at your customer’s home faster when the customers require a fast delivered product. In addition, you can have global buyers through your online store, so overseas suppliers make your business more convenient.
You’d better hire a manager, who lives near your overseas supplier and speaks local language, so that he/she can handle negotiations, orders, managing your overseas supplier and solve some possible problems in person. A good local manager can make your business smoother.
Suppliers are crucial for the success of your ecommerce store. So you should spare no efforts to find reliable suppliers who are honest with good reputation.