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How to buy beauty supplies wholesale for my retail store?

10 November 2022

Any new business owner has to deal with a whole range of complex issues relating to opening up a store. One of the biggest challenges is finding reliable wholesale beauty suppliers that you can purchase products from. 

Finding the right wholesale beauty suppliers is a major factor in determining how much profit your business can make. This is particularly true when it comes to the highly competitive beauty and wellness industry. Sourcing wholesale beauty and hairdressing supplies can be incredibly difficult. The competition for wholesale beauty products, cosmetics and makeup is fierce and new retailers must work hard to secure a good wholesaler. 

To help new entrepreneurs in the beauty and wellness sector, we have put together this quick guide on how to buy beauty supplies for a retail store. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the retail logistics with wholesale beauty suppliers.

Clara Jammes

What products are best for a beauty/wellness store?

The first thing you will need to do when planning your search for a wholesaler is to figure out exactly what types of products you will need. This is highly dependent on what type of business you wish to operate. For example, a beauty store may choose to focus on organic products. A hairdresser may choose to work with one or two manufacturers whose products they trust.

In general, a beauty or wellness store might stock:

  • Makeup
  • Moisturisers and skincare products
  • Soaps and shower gels
  • Massage oils
  • Brow treatments
  • Nail polish
  • Cleansers
  • Scrubs
  • Facial masks
  • Beauty tools, such as tweezers and clippers
  • Hair care products

A hairdresser may want to purchase a range of hair products wholesale, such as:

  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Makeup
  • Lash and brow tints
  • Hair removal products
  • Waxes
  • Manicure and pedicure products
  • Hair colouring products
  • Spa products
  • Salon equipment, such as scissors, towels, gloves, tweezers and brushes

Make sure you always choose products or equipment from reputable brands that your customers will trust. Sourcing is an essential concept that needs to be considered carefully. New retailers can find a ready marketplace with a vast variety of products and suppliers via Ankorstore. The Ankorstore online marketplace is specifically designed to put businesses in touch with each other to facilitate product coursing and distribution. If you are searching for a sourcing shortcut for beauty and wellness products, try Ankorstore today! 

How can I anticipate seasonal and market needs?

Entrepreneurs in the beauty and wellness sector need to keep a close eye on the current trends. Staying up to date with what the market desires means reading the latest trade and fashion magazines, blogs, and websites. Watch what your competitors are up to. 

Holidays and seasonality can greatly affect the buying decisions of consumers. Beauty and wellness retailers should expect increased demand around major holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, for example. Special shopping occasions such as Black Friday also need to be taken into account.

The advantages and disadvantages of different suppliers

Many new beauty retailers first source their products from other retail stores. However, while this may be OK in the short term, it is not a viable long-term solution. At some point, you will need to make a bulk order of goods with a wholesaler in order to remain competitive. 

Wholesale beauty and hairdressing supplies can be purchased either from suppliers in your country or from international suppliers. Price, quality and the speed at which the suppliers can fulfil orders should all be taken into consideration when selecting a wholesaler. While an overseas wholesaler may have better prices, a local supplier may be able to fulfil orders faster. This means that if a sudden rush of orders depletes your stock, you won’t miss out on sales due to low inventory. 

Quality is also an issue that must be considered carefully. Often, wholesale cosmetics suppliers located overseas are not subject to the same stringent rules as those based in the UK or Europe. Even if you manage to secure a shipment at below market price, if the quality is poor, you won’t be able to sell the goods and the reputation of your business may be damaged. 

With an ever more informed consumer pool, retailers also need to ensure that they source their products from reputable producers. Consumers are now increasingly looking for organic products, vegan products, and cruelty-free products. Make sure you choose an ethical supplier.

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How can I buy wholesale beauty supplies from abroad?

There are many ways you can locate an international seller of wholesale beauty products. Firstly, you can join an online B2B portal. These platforms feature hair and beauty wholesalers located throughout the globe. You can also browse forums for beauty and wellness retailers or even ask your competitors who they use. 

The majority of wholesalers will be for ‘trade only’ customers. This means that if you cannot prove you are a legitimate business, they will not sell their products to you. However, not all wholesalers will demand proof of trading. Proof of trading can be anything from a business card to a letterhead to proof of a merchant bank account or even a previous invoice from another wholesaler. Some wholesalers may request that you apply for a trade card with them

How can you pay your wholesale beauty suppliers?

Paying for wholesale beauty products or hairdressing supplies is done in the same way that you would purchase retail items. In general, most wholesalers are happy to accept cash, bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, or PayPal payments. Some wholesalers may even accept cryptocurrencies. Be aware that there may be third-party fees depending on your payment method. There may also be shipping costs on top of the cost of the products. 

How to manage VAT with wholesale beauty suppliers

Managing your Value Added Tax (VAT) obligations can be complex. Any UK business that earns more than £85,000 must be registered for VAT. The VAT on any items that you have purchased for your business can be claimed back via your tax return. However, not all wholesalers will charge VAT. Any wholesaler outside the UK will usually not charge VAT. Despite this, you will have to account for the VAT due and report this to HMRC on your tax return. 

Purchase orders for wholesale beauty suppliers

Purchase orders are common for retailers that purchase goods from wholesale beauty suppliers. Usually, a wholesaler will only fill bulk orders. Also, a beauty products retailer or a hairdresser may find that they require a certain number of products every month. A purchase order can be a good way of ensuring that your supplier always has the goods you need available to be shipped to you.  

It should be noted that when placing orders via an online B2B marketplace like Ankorstore, there is no need for purchase orders!

Common payment terms for wholesale beauty suppliers

Wholesalers only work with retailers, so they release the pressure that businesses face. It is common for wholesalers to set payment terms that are dependent on the delivery of the goods. If a shipment arrives late or is damaged, then the retailer can dispute the price or refuse to pay. 

Wholesalers also know that many business owners must sell the products first in order to generate funds to pay invoices. For this reason, the payment terms for a wholesaler can be anywhere between 30, 60 or even 90 days after the supplies have shipped and delivered. It is up to the individual retailer to negotiate the best and most favourable terms for their business. 

How to make contact with a wholesale beauty supplier

First, start off by making a list of all the potential suppliers you may wish to do business with. Then, draft an introduction text. This is usually sent via email but can also be done over the phone. 

Your introduction text is simply a way to introduce yourself and your business to the wholesaler and assure them that you are a reliable person to do business with. A wholesaler is like any other kind of retail business. They want to make sure they are maximising their sales capabilities while minimising their risks. So, as a new customer, you will have to provide assurances to your wholesaler at the beginning of the relationship. One way to do this is to pay for your first order up front and then make standing orders for a few months in the future.

If you are a new beauty retailer, you can get great advice and support from Ankorstore. Our Ankorstart programme is non-binding, totally free and designed to help new entrepreneurs develop sustainable businesses. 


Can you negotiate local exclusivity with a wholesale beauty supplier?

In some cases, a retailer may negotiate an exclusive deal for wholesale beauty products, wholesale cosmetics or wholesale hairdressing supplies. This will depend on the number of products you purchase, the frequency of your orders, and the payment terms you offer. 

How can I compete with competitors in finding a wholesaler?

It’s not always easy to find a wholesaler that won’t already be doing business with your competitors. Try and look further afield for a wholesaler than your competitors might. Offer better terms and you might be able to secure a better wholesale price for your goods. 

How many wholesalers do I need for a beauty salon?

Having multiple suppliers is always a good idea for any business. Having multiple wholesalers will help you keep your inventory stocked.

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