find good distributors

Why You Are Struggling to Find Good Distributors in 2024

If you are a  consumer electronics brand looking to expand your reach and increase your sales in new markets, finding reliable distributors is crucial. Especially if you are starting out, finding good distributors can be a huge challenge. Rest assured you’re not the only one. Looking for the right distributor for our brand can be frustrating and time-consuming and in many cases very costly.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why consumer electronics brands are struggling to find good distributors and provide tips to help you find the best distributors smarter and faster.

You are Looking for Distributors in the Wrong Places

Let’s face it Google is great but it won’t find you good distributors. Why? Simply as distributors are not working on making their website rank they are busy building relationships with their corporate or retail buyers. If you have spent hundreds of hours already, you have probably wasted a lot of time. Also, if you did manage to find some, reaching out cold is even harder! The distributor’s email is flooded with cold outreach and they don’t have the time to see if your product could be a fit for them. Moreover, most new brands don’t know what distributors are looking for so the first contact won’t go great. If you don’t agree, try this approach and you will see many companies have tried it and failed. So, below are the other common places brands resort to that don’t get them the result that they want. 

Cold Calling

While it is possible to find distributors by cold calling, it’s not always the most effective approach. Distributors are busy people, and they may not have the time or interest to speak with businesses that they’re not familiar with. Moreover, cold calling is usually time-consuming and it requires a sales team to make it really effective. 


There are several agencies out there that can help you connect with distributors. However, this is usually an expensive solution since the standard commission is 10% for each product they sell to distributors or retailers. Usually, what ends up happening is if your product does well, the sales are good and you are happy as you got into a major retailer, but after that part is done, their job is finished and you still end up paying a high commission on every product sold. 

Trade shows

International trade shows are great if you can afford them, the problem here is that you end up paying so much more than you initially thought and budgeted for. Also, most companies forget the time their team spends preparing for one show! If you are doing it for marketing purposes it is one thing but doing it to find distributors is often not worth the costs. Most brands end up with 30-50 leads after a show and only a few turn out to be good distributors. However, meeting them at the show doesn’t mean you can start a partnership. The follow-up is where most businesses fail. Read here more about how to do a good follow-up if you consider spending tens of thousands on one of these trade events. 

You Do Not Have Enough Traction

Your products need to have some traction before you can reach out to distributors. If not, you are basically asking them to invest all their time and efforts to see if they can sell the product for you as you were not able to sell any yourself.  So it is obvious distributors prefer to invest in products that have a proven track record. A product that is in high demand, has also a large customer base that is interested in purchasing it. Show your total units sold, even if it’s direct to consumers. If you really want to stand out, show retail traction as well. That is how you impress distributors. 

You Do Not Have a Good Profit Margin

Distributors are always looking for good profit margins. That’s why your product should have a good margin, that is the only way they can make money while also keeping prices competitive for consumers and sticking to the Suggested Retail Price. If the margin is low, then they would rather select another product that they can sell well with higher margins. They have enough options and you are essentially competing with other brands that want to get listed too. 

The Right Category

Distributors usually prefer products similar or complementary to their existing product lines. That’s because it’s much easier for them to market and sell them to their existing customers. They understand the product category well and have invested a lot of time into that category. However, this doesn’t mean that a distributor not in your category might not be interested. We have seen distributors loving a product and being able to sell it well even if it was not in their current category vertical. 

Unique Selling Points

Distributors want to see your competitive edge and what makes your product so unique from other products already on the market. If you don’t focus on the unique characteristics of your product, you end up being one of many products on the market. The part that makes it interesting for distributors is to find products customers are usually willing to pay more for as it is unique and they cannot find elsewhere. This way they don’t need to reduce the price to sell a lot. 

Don’t forget that your product should be really market-ready. For example, your packaging should be appealing and retail ready. For example, you may need to think about the right packaging depending on where it is going to be placed in a retail store. Does it have peg holes to be hung up for example?

How Important is it to Select the Right Distributor for Your Brand

The benefits of working with the right distribution partners in different markets are tremendous. Distributors can help you significantly increase your sales, reduce logistics and warehousing expenses, gain insights into a local market and establish a strong presence faster in new markets. Getting your product listed in major retailers will be significant for your brand’s image and reputation. If you want to learn more about the benefits of working with distribution partners, you can read this article here.


Finding and reaching out to distributors is not a matter of quantity, it is about finding quality partners. Selecting the wrong partner can do more harm than good.

We know how difficult it is to find distributors and especially the right one for your innovation. Our team has worked with hundreds of distributors in the past and we have set up a platform to help you find the best pre-vetted distributors. 

On Tradesnest, you can connect directly with the best pre-vetted distributors and introduce your product in over 80 markets around the world. Are you a consumer electronics brand and looking for a smart way to find distribution partners? Sign up on today and start connecting with the best distributors in the industry today!