Quickbooks recently announced that it is sunsetting its B2B site Trada on July 20, less than a year after its official launch. Originally part of TradeGecko, a platform that originated in Singapore, Trada made a splashy entrance into the American market with free shipping for retailers on all orders, and no commissions for sellers.  The platform occasionally added specials of 20% off all wholesale prices, which made their program hard to resist – and obviously not viable in the long run.

As Warren Schoulberg, contributing editor to Gifts and Decorative Accessories, pointed out a couple of months ago, “the great promise that was to be the digital marketplace has turned out to be certainly closer to a bad dream than a bright future.”  Our shop once had a list of six or seven B2B sites that we could consider buying from, although we remain loyal to sourcing from trade shows, sales agencies and reps whenever possible. Now we occasionally buy from one or two.

Although Tundra and Bulletin are hanging in there, Faire seems to be the Amazon of these online wholesale platforms.  This is undoubtedly in part because of its funding – since it was founded in 2017, Faire has raised over $1.7 billion.  Its main source of income is the commission it makes from vendors (15%) on each sale as well as the subscription fee that retailers pay to get special perks such as free freight. 

It is not necessarily true that Faire offers a better platform than any of the other B2B sites battling for wholesale purchases. What we see instead is the same phenomenon that is at play with trade shows: the more exhibitors (or vendors) you have, the more buyers you’ll attract.  And the fewer buyers you attract, the fewer vendors you’ll have.  

Faire’s success doesn’t come without some detractors – there is both praise and criticism in the Faire Retailer Community Facebook group page – but it’s nice to know that they are using some of their power to help new shopkeepers. Open with Faire provides retailers who are opening up a store soon up to $20k in inventory with a net 60 payment option, and this program is available in 16 different countries.

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder