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What do you need to buy wholesale?

As we stated earlier, most suppliers will trade with you if you're just starting out. In many cases, thanks to modern e-commerce, you just order the goods online without speaking to anyone at all!

However, in a few cases, you may need to show some proof or 'evidence' that you're genuinely starting or running a business and not just buying cheaply for your own use.

Good 'evidence' would be one or more of the following: (the more the better!)

Business name

You can set up as a sole trader and use any name. eg: John Doe, T/A, (Trading As), ABC Trading. You do not need to register a name or business, but it's advisable to do so if you are going to work full-time and want to maximise your credibility.

Web Address

Having a web address is a very good sign that you're running a business. If you don't have the money or skills to have a website just yet, you can get a free web address in a jiffy by opening an eBay shop. You can then put this address in any emails or online forms. Check eBay for details.

Fax number

If you have a fax machine, you can put the fax number in your emails to potential suppliers or, more commonly these days, when you register with them online. This will give your credibility a boost.

Business Cheque

Some banks offer free business accounts that come with a checkbook! This can be used to show proof of trading.

Company letterhead

You may be asked for a fax copy of your company letterhead. If you have a printer, you can download free letterhead templates from the internet and edit and print one off. If you don't have a fax machine, your local library should have one.

Letter from Bank or Accountant

Ask your bank or accountant, if you have one, to draught a letter confirming that you're running a business. You can show this to suppliers if they ask for proof of trading.

Supplier Invoice

You will most certainly find many suppliers that will trade with you if you follow this advice, so keep any receipts as further proof of trading that can be shown to future suppliers.

VAT/Business Registration Number

If you're really serious, register your business!

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