Should Wholesalers Provide Product Photos and How?

Maximize Your Wholesale Impact: The Essential Guide to Product Photography. Learn why wholesalers must prioritize their own high-quality images to stand out, the pitfalls of relying on manufacturer photos, and practical strategies for capturing visuals that resonate with retailers and elevate your brand.
Should Wholesalers Provide Product Photos and How?

Wholesale business and websites are often seen as very minimal, bland and boring. Product descriptions alone usually aren’t enough to sell a product, so how to wholesale? The only option is to take various photographs to ensure that buyers understand just what it is they’re getting. They say that a picture can tell a thousand words, and in the world of wholesale business, this couldn’t be more evident.

Should Wholesalers Provide Product Photos?

Wholesalers often ask several questions: How to start a wholesale business, how to sell wholesale products to retailers, how to sell wholesale on Amazon, and whether they should provide product photos themselves. The short answer is yes. Wholesalers should always provide product photos to accompany the products they're selling. This helps customers understand what they're buying, gives them an idea of the different variations available for sale online, and aids them in making informed decisions based on those pictures.

However, the long answer is a bit more complicated and it all starts from where you get the product photos.

Obtaining Product Photos to Use

There are two main options when it comes to obtaining product photos when you sell wholesale products:

  1. Request them from the manufacturer - This generally involves taking whatever photographs that manufacturer can offer you. This may involve website photos, but it could also involve emailing the manufacturer and requesting a press package or more photos of the product that can be used for your needs. Keep in mind that most manufacturers do not bother taking high-quality photos because they expect clients to visit their location and see the product for themselves.
  2. Taking your own photos - This usually involves hiring a camera crew or a professional photographer that can help you take the pictures. While more involved and expensive, it does carry a number of different advantages that help especially if your goal is to create a unique brand.

There are a couple of advantages and disadvantages for both, but if you want to build your own brand and create a recognizable and profitable wholesale business, then going for the latter option is almost always preferred.

The Problem With Manufacturer Photos

The first option is to obtain manufacturer photos, but there are a number of different issues with these. Although they’re simple to obtain from the manufacturer themselves and are usually good enough to list on a website or catalog, they’re ultimately not fit for a brand that wants to stand out.

Photos Are Usually Poor in Quality

First, the photos are usually very poor in quality. This is because the manufacturer generally only takes a couple of generic pictures and they might be in very low resolutions because the manufacturer doesn’t own high-end photography equipment and they don’t feel that it’s an advantage to use time and resources to take better product photos. Instead, they often care more about the physical appearance of the product because the client normally visits the manufacturer to get up close and personal with the product.

Photos Will Be Inconsistent With Yours

Another problem is that using the manufacturer’s photos will create inconsistencies with your own. The style and quality of the photo will stand out to other products, creating some distrust in your customers and also showing a lack of attention to detail. The lapse in consistency also shows disorganization and also no care for the look and feel of the product. This creates a tonne of issues and will eventually reduce the customer’s confidence in your brand. Although a case can be made to use manufacturer photos if you’re sticking to the same manufacturer, this creates another problem in that you can’t diversify your product range.

You’ll Use the Same Photos as Competitors

The last thing you want is to see the same photos you’re using on a competitor’s website. It’s unprofessional, it makes customers question both your companies and it’s downright embarrassing. Sharing the same photos with your competitors because you both got them from the same place speaks a lot about your lack of care and attention to detail, and this lowers your reputation as a wholesaler.

A Change in Aesthetics Reduces Conversion Rates

An important and often overlooked factor as a wholesaler is that you want to keep a consistent theme and aesthetic in order to please your customers. Wholesalers will often import a number of different products from various countries, and this can cause problems with the aesthetic appearance of a product. As a result, you’ll create a variety of different designs and styles that just don’t mesh very well with your brand if you use the manufacturer’s photos.

While some manufacturers do provide fairly good product photos, it’s generally a much better practice to create your own in order to help your brand grow and stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Why Taking Your Own Photos is Ideal

Whether you’re a wholesaler providing products to retailers or eCommerce entrepreneurs, it’s vital that you take your own photos to use when selling wholesale products online or even at trade shows.

Helps You Stay Consistent

Consistency is a fundamental part of good business, and attention to detail will help you remain consistent. Photographing the same products in similar lighting conditions and backgrounds will help your photos remain consistent and will attract more attention to your well-designed website. Whether people own retail stores or eCommerce websites, they want to partner with a company that can show consistency in the products they offer, and that’s when taking your own pictures can set you apart from the competition.

Assists in Branding Strategy

As a wholesaler, you need to keep in mind that you’re not just selling wholesale, advertising to retailers and eCommerce websites, but you’re actually still advertising to end users even though you don’t directly interact with them. This is because retailers and eCommerce entrepreneurs will only pick products to sell if they think it will appeal to end users, and it’s important to build a branding strategy that keeps this in mind. In short, don’t ignore the fact that your products will ultimately end up in the hands of an end user. Take product photographs that not only appeal to the retailers that you’re selling to, but also appeal to end users.

Control the Quality of Your Photos

Quality control is another fundamental of good business. The more you can put into your control, the better your business will be. Small attention to detail will set your business apart from other wholesalers and you can show that you care about your products by keeping the quality of your photos consistent. The last thing a client wants to see is a collection of low-quality images with poor compression, artefacts and bad lighting. Since you’ll be able to control every single aspect of your photos, you’ll have no excuse not to create high-quality photos that will lead to more conversions and happier clients.

Manage the Aesthetics to Appeal to Your Audience

Wholesalers love to purchase products from various countries, but the main issue is that they might seem out of place or slightly inconsistent with the theme of your brand. Even if the product is sound and makes sense in your company, the aesthetics of the product can stand out and might create inconsistencies with the rest of your products. However, this can be fixed by taking your own photographs to show the product in an environment that you’re familiar with. Attention to detail like this can help you boost conversions and attract more customers.

Photos Based on Usage

Since you’re taking your own photos, you’ll probably have a number of different purposes in mind for each photograph. This means that you should be thinking about how each photo can be used in a different or unique situation. Some photos are better as website photos, and others can be used on brochures and leaflets. Taking photos against a bright or white background can make it easier to add them onto promotional materials, and you should also think about taking photos that show your product in use so that you can use it as part of a portfolio when advertising to retailers.

When taking photos of your products or hiring a company to do it for you, keep in mind what the photos will be used for. In most cases, you should take a set of pictures depending on the use of them and switch for a different case because the equipment and environment required will change. For instance, you might start by taking pictures of your product against a white or black background to be used for promotional materials or website listings. Next, you might require the use of a model to showcase the product being used or in its ideal conditions. No matter how many photos you take, you need to keep in mind their intended use.

Advantages at Trade Shows

As a wholesaler, it’s your job to advertise to retailers and online eCommerce stores alike, and one of the best ways to show off your latest products is to attend trade shows and engage your clients directly. There are a number of fantastic advantages when it comes to taking your own photos for use at a trade show:

  1. You’ll draw the attention of retailers and eCommerce entrepreneurs with your own professional photographs that are displayed on booths and promotional materials
  2. Having your own photos will make your pitch more convincing and get more people to trust in your ability and attention to detail
  3. You’ll stand out from other wholesalers that are also trying to sell the same or similar products that might share the same manufacturer photographs

However, simply placing a few photographs on your booth or in a leaflet isn’t enough, so to help you out, we’ve put together a couple of tips on how you can prepare photographs for us in a trade show:

  1. Make sure you prepare one or two portfolios for your customers to view at your booth. This usually involves a folder or a booklet with all the photographs that you’ve taken, the product details and also pricing information
  2. Photo slides on a screen are an excellent way to show off a product to a larger crowd
  3. Large copies of your product photos will help them stand out at your booth and will also attract an audience when they walk past your booth

Do keep in mind that the photos you take need to fit the purpose of a trade show. For instance, a portfolio will typically require photos of your product against a plain screen or a white background because the highlight is the product itself. However, if you’re trying to attract initial attention to your booth, then showing your product in use is also a great way to show off a product.

Preparing Product Photos Helps You Stand Out

If you prepare your own photographs, then you ultimately stand out from the rest of the competition and you can use this as a selling point when selling wholesale to retailers or pitching to new clients. Not only will this make you stand out from other wholesalers, but you’ll essentially be saving retailers and eCommerce stores money because they won’t need to retake photos to use for their own purposes. This could become a major selling point that sets you apart from the competition and helps to build your brand.

Retailers love to save both time and money when purchasing products wholesale from another company, and you can become a much more attractive business by offering high-quality photographs that they can use on their site to avoid having to use up their own time and resources to re-take them.


So to conclude; when selling wholesale online, wholesalers should absolutely provide their own product photos. However, the way you approach it can drastically change the popularity of a product and even affect your brand image. In short, you should never use photographs provided by a manufacturer even if you think they’re of high quality. Instead, hire a photography service for yourself and take your own photographs. As explained in the article, there are countless advantages like assisting in your branding strategy and giving you more content to create different advertising materials with.

Hopefully, this article has shown that going the extra mile and taking your own photos is the ideal way to provide product photographs.

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