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A Guide to Securing Wholesale Accounts for Your New Skate Shop

Opening a skate shop is a dream for many, but navigating the initial hurdles can feel overwhelming and almost impossible at times. One of the biggest challenges for new shops is securing wholesale accounts with distributors and brands. Getting products in your store may seem just out of reach, especially when established companies demand a “proven track record” before opening an account with new shops. But don’t worry, fellow skate entrepreneurs, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and strategies to land those wholesale accounts and get your shop rolling.

Distributors and Requirements

While major brands like Deluxe, Baker Boys, and Skate 1 might not directly partner with new shops, they often collaborate with distributors. These distributors act as intermediaries, connecting shops with a diverse selection of brands (you can find a detailed list in our blog post: Choosing the Right Distributors for Your Skate Shop.)

Gaining their approval is crucial to stocking your shelves with the in-demand brands your customers want. However, most distributors require specific criteria for working with new shops, including:

  • Business License & EIN Number: This establishes your shop as a legitimate business entity, allowing you to collect taxes.
  • Resale Tax ID: This allows you to purchase products wholesale without paying sales tax, which you then collect from your customers.
  • Physical Brick and Mortar Store: While online stores are gaining traction, most distributors still prefer shops with a physical presence.
  • Website: This showcases your brand, products, and professionalism.
  • Store Images: Both interior and exterior shots give distributors a sense of your shop’s atmosphere and legitimacy.

Understanding Costs Before You Buy

Before you open your doors, it’s crucial to understand your product costs. This can be tricky without access to wholesale pricing. Here’s a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay for popular skate gear at wholesale cost:

  • Complete Skateboards: $60
  • Decks: $40-$50
  • Wheels: $20-$30
  • Trucks: $15-$20 (usually sold individually)
  • Bearings: $7-$10

Remember, this is just an estimate as of 2024, and actual prices may vary depending on the product features, brand, and distributor.

The Shipping Mystery And Hidden Cost

Another crucial factor in your pricing equation is shipping. This can be a real head-scratcher for new shops, but here’s a simple trick: multiply your total cost by 10% to estimate your shipping cost. This is a general guideline, and most distributors offer deals and promotions that can significantly impact your bottom line. Stay informed about these opportunities to optimize your pricing strategy.

Going Direct with the Big Brands

While distributors offer a wide selection, securing accounts directly with major brands unlocks incredible benefits:

  • Exclusive deals and sales: Obtain better discounts and promotions directly from the source.
  • Dedicated support: Brands want your shop to succeed and often offer marketing assistance, product knowledge training, and other valuable resources.
  • Industry connections: Build relationships with brands that can lead to exciting opportunities like hosting demos, team rider meet-and-greets, and even co-branded merchandise.

So, how do you land those direct accounts? Here are some key strategies:

  • Establish yourself: Aim to be in business for at least a year before approaching big brands.
  • Support the community: Get involved in local skate events, sponsor local riders, and build a reputation for supporting the scene.
  • Leverage credible references: Having a good word from a pro skater, industry insider, or even a satisfied customer can go a long way.
  • Build relationships: Tag the brand on social media, share content featuring their sponsored riders, and initiate conversations through direct messages – but avoid being overly pushy.
  • Show them the love: Post pictures of customers buying and using their products, demonstrating strong demand for their brand in your shop.
  • Stay persistent: Regularly check in with brand representatives via email to inquire about new account opportunities.

Remember, building relationships takes time and effort. Be patient, persistent, and professional, and you’ll eventually land those dream wholesale accounts.

Need Our Assistance?

We’re here for you! Send us an email with details about your shop, and we’ll help you identify potential distributors and brand partners. We may even be able to connect you directly with brand representatives to kickstart your journey.

With the right knowledge and strategies, securing those wholesale accounts and getting your shop stocked with the hottest brands is totally achievable.


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