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How to Effectively Find Custom Watch Manufacturers Like a Pro

So you’ve decided to start a retail business by creating an eCommerce watch brand. Good idea, as this kind of business gives you a huge demographic including males and females of all ages. Not to mention watches’ rising popularity.

Starting up a retail business through eCommerce can be exciting and promising. You get to make money on your own terms as your own boss. For your business to be successful, it is vital to have an excellent plan that is thoroughly thought of. And one of the first essential things to consider is the supplier or watch vendor, in other words.

A watch vendor is your business partner that can help you kickstart your business as well as maintain your business in the long run. A good watch vendor is one that is suitable for your business model. You may wonder, “What is a business model?” We’ll touch on that later in this article.

You may also be clouded with questions like:

“Where can you find watch vendors?”

“How can you tell which is the best one?”;

“How can you contact them?”

“What about scams, and how can you avoid them?”

“Is it possible for a watch vendor to customize a watch according to your ideas for your own brand?”

No worries, for we’ve got you covered with the low-down on finding the perfect watch vendor for you.

What Is Your Business Model

stainless steel watch

Before anything else, you need to come up with your business model. Once you’ve got that figured out, you can narrow down your choices in your search for a watch vendor to carefully select a suitable one for your startup business. So what is a Business model?

Simply put, a business model is like a blueprint for your business that points out the direction you’re going with your business. Comprising a business model is the products or services to be sold, which, in your case, are watches; how the products will be sold; the target market; the expenses required; and how to make income.

Choosing the Right Watch Vendors That Fit Your Business Model          

Now, you know what a business model is. It’s also important to note that there are different business models. Each business model has its own advantages that can suit different retailers. And the perfect watch vendor, of course, is one that complies with your business model, e.g., dropshipping; wholesale; manufacturer; and private label.

Below, you can read about the corresponding suppliers for the different business models.

custom watch

Watch Dropshippers

Brief Explanation of a Watch Dropshipper

A watch dropshipper stores the watches for the watch retailer, and once the watch retailer receives an order from a customer, the watch dropshipper ships the order directly to the customer. The watch dropshipper is to be notified with the necessary information to fulfill the delivery, which includes the customer’s order and shipping details.

Step by Step Procedure

  1. On your preferred eCommerce platform, put up the watches you have for sale.
  2. Once a customer purchases from you, you forward the order along with the shipping details to your supplier.
  3. You pay your supplier the wholesale price of the watch that was sold, which is a fraction of the watch’s retail price. Also, there is likely a small dropshipping fee that your supplier will require you to pay.
  4. As you’ve instructed your supplier, they package and ship the order to your customer.
  5. Although you had nothing to do with the package, you are responsible for communication with the customer.

Retailer Compatibility

For first-timers new to eCommerce and just starting their own online store, the best way to go would be dropshipping. It is for the reason that in this business model, there is no need for you to invest a big amount of money for bulk goods that may not sell nor to have storage space for stock. All you need to do is place your products on the eCommerce platform and just standby for the sales. That being said, there is less risk and expense for sellers in the dropshipping business model.

The downside of the dropshipping business model, however, is the lower profit margins since you won’t have the convenience of the discounts when purchasing in bulk, and there’s also the high per-item cost.

Moreover, there are two kinds of dropshippers. There are the “true” dropshippers and the pre-purchase dropshippers. “True” dropshippers are those who only ship items when you made a sale. This is the more convenient kind for its practicality, especially for a new business. Pre-purchase dropshippers, on the other hand, are those who require the pre-purchase of products.

However, you still won’t receive and stock products. The storage of products will still be done by the dropshipper. In this kind of dropshipping, you will pay a certain amount for your inventory, and once a customer orders it from you, it will be automatically shipped to your customer. 

If you’re going for the dropshipping business model, make sure to chose a dropshipper with an arrangement that works for you.

Where to Find Dropshippers


AliExpress is a wholesale and dropshipping platform with millions of products from suppliers that are categorized in 40 niches. It’s an easy-to-use platform, making it convenient, especially if you’re a beginner. And on top of that, you can sign up for it for free.


SaleHoo is a supplier directory, where you can have easy access to over 8,000 tried and true suppliers that have been verified to ensure authenticity and legitimacy. Among the multitude of suppliers, you can simply filter to dropshippers. SaleHoo has a $67 sign up fee per year with a 60-day money back guarantee.


Doba is a dropshipping platform that has millions of products from hundreds of suppliers that are all placed in a single streamlined catalog with upgraded search technology and relevant filters, making your search for products a breeze. It allows a 14-Day free trial, and thereafter, you can choose a plan.

Those are just a few examples. You can find more here.

Watch Wholesalers

Watch Wholesalers

Brief Explanation of a Watch Wholesaler

A watch wholesaler buys watches from a watch manufacturer in bulk, which comes at the lowest price. After purchasing from the watch manufacturer, the watch wholesaler sells to watch retailers or watch distributors for a slightly higher price. A watch retailer or watch distributor, then, sells the watches at retail prices.

Step by Step Procedure

  1. The watch wholesaler buys watches in bulk from watch manufacturers in the lowest price, which they, then, list for sale.
  2. You source the watches from the watch wholesaler, which can come with a cheaper per-item price when more is bought in bulk.
  3. You settle the payment for those watches up front and have them shipped to you.
  4. You list your inventory for sale on your preferred eCommerce platform.

Retailer Compatibility

Money for investing upfront on bulk goods, a place for storage, experience in selling, and confidence that your products will sell are included in the checklist when it comes to sourcing from wholesale suppliers. If you can tick the boxes off on the aforementioned, then the wholesaler business model will work well for you. And through this, you may be able to have the advantage of negotiating with the wholesaler to get the products for a lower price, which, in result, makes a higher profit margin for you.

Where to Find Watch Wholesalers

In Your Local Area

When you source locally, it allows you to communicate easily with suppliers as well as be able to inspect goods. Google can come handy in searching for suppliers. You just type in “(your area) + wholesale market/wholesale mall” for your search. Another means to help you find suppliers are wholesale directories and magazines for your area; if there are available.

Trade Shows

At trade shows, wholesalers and manufacturers put up their latest products for display. You can search for upcoming trade shows online.

Online Directories

There are several online directories that can provide tons of wholesalers. Examples are SaleHoo, Toptenwholesale, Worldwide Brands, and etc.

Watch Manufacturers

Watch Manufacturers

Brief Explanation of a Watch Manufacturer

A watch manufacturer produces watches and sells them to watch wholesalers with a minimum order requirement (MOQ). In the watch manufacturer business model, you buy the watches in bulk at a low price, which you can sell to customers at a much higher price.

Step by Step Procedure

  1. The watch manufacturer produces watches.
  2. You purchase the watches by bulk, which comes at a low price. However, there is MOQ usually required by watch manufacturers.
  3. After acquiring the watches, you list them for sale on the eCommerce platform of your choice.

Retailer Compatibility

If you’re a retailer who is up for a serious investment with considerable experience in selling, then sourcing from a manufacturer would be suitable for you. As manufacturers rely on economies of scale, they’ll require you to buy in bulk for cost efficiency. That would mean hundreds or even thousands of items for your inventory. You’re also going to need storage for your stock. This system gives you the benefit of high profit since you can purchase the products at a very low price, as you’ve bought them in bulk.

Where to Find Watch Manufacturers

In Your Local Area

The upside of sourcing locally is that you can easily take a visit to the factory and check out the goods. However, this gives you limited options.


In contrast to sourcing domestically, when you source overseas, you get more options to choose from. Online directories like Global Sourcing Specialists (GSS), Alibaba, and are some excellent resources with suppliers from all over the globe.

Private Label Watch Suppliers

Private Label Watch Suppliers

Brief Explanation of a Private Label Watch Supplier

A private label watch supplier produces watches offered to businesses, wherein they can have their brands placed on them. In other words, the watches they produce are made for others, not under their brand but to bear clients’ brands. They provide pre-designed watches services and can also customize watches services according to the preference of clients.

Step by Step Procedure

  1. You can choose from the private label watch supplier’s pre-designed watches or have them customize watches as you please.
  2. Pay your supplier your dues for the production as well as customization of the watches, wherein there’s also MOQ required.
  3. The supplier, then, ships the watches to you.
  4. You list your watches for sale on your chosen eCommerce platform

Retailer Compatibility

Private label is the solution for those who aim to establish a brand of their own. With the help of a private label supplier, carrying out your business with your very own brand would be a breeze. You just have to come up with your brand, contact a private label supplier to have your products produced for you, pay for them in bulk, have them shipped to you, and you’re ready to sell.

However, it’s more costly as compared to other business models, with the customization; production; and bulk purchase involved in it. Nevertheless, going for a private label product gives you long-term benefits, which include powerful branding and marketing; product ownership; and the higher price you can sell the products with as compared to generic ones.

Where to Find Private Label Watch Suppliers


You can always count on Google to give you answers. Just enter “private label watch supplier” in your search.


You can find discussions regarding private label suppliers and other related relevant information in forums like Reddit, Warrior Forum, and SaleHoo Forum.

Online Directories

Online Directories give you a wide range of options for private label suppliers. You just filter your search to find the right supplier for you. Popular online directories for private label suppliers are SaleHoo, Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay.

In Your Local Area

Visiting trade shows allows you to discover a suitable private label manufacturer for you, firsthand. Making contacts in your area also helps.


How to Contact Watch Suppliers

How to Contact Watch Suppliers

  1. Contact at least 5 suppliers. This will get you a better chance of having the best deal as well as the best business partner suitable for you. Although it can be time-consuming, it’ll be very rewarding, for you can learn a lot, and it can better your business.
  2. Call them. It’s more efficient than simply emailing them. Actually conversing with them allows you to ascertain legitimacy and trustworthiness.
  3. Project good qualities that suppliers are looking for. It’s also important to note that there must be mutuality in terms of benefits in a business partnership. In the same way that you expect reliability and trustworthiness on a supplier, a supplier also expects a fair and professional client.

A serious buyer mentality is one of the suppliers’ expectations. You should have a firm approach with your business and eCommerce. It is important to do your research on the supplier, be prepared, and be committed to following through.

Another is clear and concise communication. You have to be straight to the point to the supplier as well as clarify everything with them, including matters on price; MOQ; turnaround time; payment terms; product samples; and other necessary questions. You must also be polite when communicating with them.

Lastly, suppliers want long-term clients, for they seek predictability in their income. To assure them a long-term partnership, you can provide them links to your online store and share with them your plans in your business. It also helps to have confidence.


How to Avoid Watch Supplier Scam

How to Avoid Watch Supplier Scam

  1. You find out how old their website is. If it’s new, it could either be the company is new, or it’s a fraud. You have to be cautious when it comes to new websites. But don’t be too quick to judge. Just be sure about other aspects. Moreover, you can check the age of a website using the domain age checker tool.


    2.Google searching the supplier + ripoff, fraud, or scam. Feedback on scams; fraudulence; and ripoffs regarding companies can be found on the internet, as people tend to post complains, which can be useful in making your decision.


   3. Find their phone number and call them. This is a quick way to tell if they’re legitimate. Red flags are if they don’t have a phone number listed on their website, they don’t answer calls during business hours, if you hear an automated message that sounds unusual, or if the person you talk to seems shady.


 4. Verify their address. Get their address and look it up in Google Street View. Can you see a building with their business name or logo on it? If you don’t see anything, especially if it’s just a vacant parking lot, ask the supplier why it is so. They may answer a logical reason, but this may also be a red flag. Not having any address is another red flag. Also if they are a US-based company and are not listed on the Better Business Bureau (BBB)’s website, it’s not a good sign. Although it doesn’t always mean the company is a scammer, it’s one detail to consider.


  5. Avoid suppliers that don’t accept credit cards and checks. If they require wire transfers, it’s best not to go through with them. Although there are some legitimate suppliers that only accept wire transfers, there isn’t a lot, and there is a high risk in it.


   6. Search in supplier directories. There are reliable supplier directories that can help make your search easier, as they provide only verified suppliers with authenticated products like SaleHoo; eSources; Toptenwholesale; Chinabrands; and Aliexpress.


How to Build a Relationship With Watch Suppliers

Communicate regularly with your supplier. Keep in touch at least two to four times a week. Even if it’s nothing official, you can share to them about your sales; which product is popular; and how your business is going. Let them feel appreciated and valued. And like in any relationship, you must be polite and friendly.

Address issues immediately. You’re going to encounter issues in your business. When they happen, tell your supplier right away to solve them at once before matters get worse.

Pay your supplier promptly. Not only does it exemplify good business, but it also shows respect and appreciation to for your business partner.



The process of searching for a supplier must be dealt with scrupulously. You must weigh out your options and think thoroughly in making your decision in order to end up with a quality supplier that you can have a good relationship with in the long run and can help bring your business to success. Keep in mind and follow what we’ve shared in this article, and you’ll be well on your way.

For any questions about finding a custom watch supplier in China, please leave a comment below and we will give you our best solution.