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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

My company is in the startup phases, producing a unique platform that we'll be launching to the market at Interbike in September. Being a startup and not currently selling, we're having a hard time finding a wholesale component distributor that will work with us. Any advice for how to work around the standard restrictions of requiring a storefront, active print advertising, etc. in order to set up a wholesale account? Those restrictions seem to be more applicable to bike shops than OEMs. Until we start selling, my garage is my shop and warehouse. Anyone out there interested in working with us? We will be turning significant volume of high-end components.

Thanks
Paul
 

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PaulGSI said:
Hi all,

My company is in the startup phases, producing a unique platform that we'll be launching to the market at Interbike in September. Being a startup and not currently selling, we're having a hard time finding a wholesale component distributor that will work with us. Any advice for how to work around the standard restrictions of requiring a storefront, active print advertising, etc. in order to set up a wholesale account? Those restrictions seem to be more applicable to bike shops than OEMs. Until we start selling, my garage is my shop and warehouse. Anyone out there interested in working with us? We will be turning significant volume of high-end components.

Thanks
Paul
You're not going to get anywhere without a business license or tax id #.
Assuming you have that taken care of, call other builders and find out where they source their groups. If you're building bike frames, you may qualify for OEM pricing with a restriction that you will not start "back-dooring" parts (selling the parts by them selves instead of the parts attached to bikes).

Once you've established that you are a legitimate business then you get to jump through the credit hoops... good luck.

You've heard the saying I'm sure;
"the only way to become a millionaire in the bike industry is to start with two million $"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the response

Thanks for the response. We've actually finished our incorporation and are licensed to do business. We have all of the "corporate" things down - just haven't actually started selling yet.

I will get in touch with other builders and bike shops and see if they might hook us up to start. I'm guessing that when we show at Interbike, we'll have plenty of distributors interested in selling parts to us.

Thanks again.
Paul
 

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PaulGSI said:
Thanks for the response. We've actually finished our incorporation and are licensed to do business. We have all of the "corporate" things down - just haven't actually started selling yet.

I will get in touch with other builders and bike shops and see if they might hook us up to start. I'm guessing that when we show at Interbike, we'll have plenty of distributors interested in selling parts to us.

Thanks again.
Paul
Maybe, maybe not, but you will certainly make lots of contacts.
Look for Security Bicycle Accessories out of NY while you're in Vegas.

I think they may have worked with a few small builders in the past.

Care to make your company name public?
 

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Small builders have it tough

trying to get set up with wholesale companies for a couple of reasons. I work at a distributor and you would be suprised at the calls and emails we get daily from all of the cranks that think they "deserve" to have wholesale or better pricing. That's right daily. All the distributors are inundated with requests from all sorts of people who have "a shop in my garage where I work on my buddies and families bikes" or "are thinking about starting to build some frames" They usually have no idea how the industry is structured. Plus almost all of them have no website, insurance, or business liscense, let alone industry references. It's usally not too difficult to set up a small builder with an account, but make certain you are up front and honest with your inside sales person. We hear lots of shady sounding calls a day, so talking the talk like your are on the up and up is key. Another reason is that when any bike builder gets above the 40 plus bikes a year number, they pretty much have the hook up with the manufacturers directly. It's called an OEM account. Distributors are geared to do business with the shops and online retailers. Many builders still use us for build kits and parts they need from time to time, but all of the major manufaturers are set up to business with bike comanies. Another reason is that distributors are often told who they can and can't sell to by the very companies they represent. Most distributors won't risk losing their major lines by selling to a new "bike company" shrouded in secrets and vague descriptions. PM me if you still need help in getting set up. Good Luck and welcome to the strange, inscestuous, crazy, bike industry. :)
 
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