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Need a new wholesale source.

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viconyteas said

We are now offering oversea Chinese tea wholesale service. You may consider it:

http://www.viconyteas.com/tea-wholesale.html

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We sell wholesale specialty teas along with herbs, spices, and custom blends. We’ve won dozens of North American Championships for our teas also. Our founder, Manik Jayakumar, was instrumental in founding the first organic tea plantation in the world.

Here is a list of all of our products relative to what specialteas was offering you.

http://www.facebook.com/QTradeTeas#!/note.php?note_id=176526682383260

Please e-mail me at: [email protected] if you would like some more information.

Best of Luck,
Joshua

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Interesting…I can’t help but chime in here. With the exception of Q-Trade, every one of the companies that contributed to this thread is a retail company first and wholesale company second.

This goes to the whole incestuous nature of the American tea industry. Everybody buying from a few tea wholesalers, then rebranding their tea and selling their brand. It is not uncommon to see the very same tea sold from many different brands under many different names.

That said, the following companies, like Q-Trade, are proper wholesalers – not retailers, which are wholesaling out their brand. While appreciate the branding efforts people do, I don’t appreciate being sold a tea from a brand without some real, quantifiable added value to it.

http://www.metrotea.com/ – Metropolitan Tea Company
https://www.dethlefsen-balk.us/ – Dethlefsen & Balk
http://www.teavendor.com/ – International Tea Importers
http://www.herbco.com/ – Montery Spice

These are four companies that I know of just off the top of my head. Each one has the buying power to bring down costs for the small business owner. Some of the folks who have already posted in this thread, will know these names. They do not sell retail quantity tea (though Montery Spice has become more flexible in the past couple of years, making smaller, more consumer-friendly sizes available. I also think they do not have a minimum purchase requirement).

Anyone looking for a tea wholesaler would do well to start looking at those four companies – they can certainly and easily fill the needs of the original poster (without the extra middleman level added)

52teas said

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And AMEN!

I posted here offering to assist with our wholesale programs, but I will be the first to say, I’m not wanting to replace anyone’s mainline supplier, just supplement their offerings with some variety. That, and I feel that we do add value to the products we would sell wholesale and retail.

These practices of buying from one of these larger companies (like the ones you mentioned) and simply reselling the same product at a premium is just flat out DISGUSTING. It’s not fair to consumers. It’s not fair to the small businesses who are trying to find legitimate wholesale sources.

I have worked with each of the five companies you mentioned above, though I have not ordered from D&B, and I would recommend them to anyone. In addition, I would mention that while Qtrade is awesome, they do require substantial minimum purchases (large case quantities, etc.). They are worth looking into if you do a lot of volume, but smaller businesses might be more interested in their “sister” company, Kopius Teas which has all of the same products, but only 2lb minimums.

This whole thing prompted me to start another discussion about starting a tea buying cooperative. You can find that thread here: http://steepster.com/discuss/1497-attn-small-tea-businesses-tea-buying-cooperative

Thanks again, Leafbox. I wanted to say the same thing, but something held me back a bit.

Your input is very helpful for many people looking to source teas. I do need to correct you though on one part of your comment about all of the thread replies being from retail-first businesses. We (The Jasmine Pearl) started out as a wholesaler, (six years ago) with tiny retail web presence, and only opened our first retail shop seven months ago.

I just needed to clarify that point because although the companies you mentioned are all great companies, there are other ones out there and each company brings something different to the table. Most tea retailers do not buy from just one wholesaler, and I think that this is wise.
When retailers mix up their vendors a bit, it really keeps importers and wholesalers on our toes, so we are motivated to excel at quality and service.

Shang Tea said

Thank you for the post Leafbox! As thejasminepearl did above, I would also like to clarify about the teas that we wholesale as well. Shang Tea does have a retail store in Kansas City, MO but we get all our tea from our own tea farm in China. There is no middleman and we do not purchase any of our tea from another wholesaler. Our tea garden is located in the Fujian Province on the Tai Mu Mountains, and we specialize in high quality, organic, white tea.

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Thanks Leafbox (and 52 Teas). You said it all. We source all our own single origin teas and our blends are custom made exclusively for us. We do not sell wholesale (and lord knows we’ve been asked) for the simple reason that we want to be the ONLY source for what we have. Why bother selling what everyone else has? We believe in offering a unique product and that is one of the reasons a consumer will see consistently high ratings for many of our teas, all of which are only available at our store. For your reference there are several other major wholesalers all of which have a major presence at World Tea Expo, The Fancy Food Show and many other trade shows. My suggestion — get your butt out of your store and explore the world and you’ll find everything you need. We spend nearly two months a year traveling through Asia and Europe to acquire the finest the world has to offer, none of which is available anywhere else except in our store (or online if you don’t happen to live in Southern California.)

Excellent advice! For me personally – I am at the “off butt and out of store and exploring world” stage. Got the teas. Now just trying to figure out how to bring them back!

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