What is a Wholesaler?

Definition of Wholesaler: Wholesalers are a middleman between manufacturers and retailers. They provide you with products at low prices, so all you have to worry about is selling them!

What does Wholesaler mean?

There are many companies in the consumer market that purchase and sell products before they reach consumers. Products are often bought and sold by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers before the consumer buys them.

The manufacturer is the originator of all consumer goods. Most often, the manufacturer designs and manufactures the product. Because wholesalers have often developed relationships with retailers and distribution channels that manufacturers do not, the manufacturer sells the product to them. The wholesaler then sells the product directly to the retailer, who can market the product and sell it to the end customer.


This is the typical chain of sales: wholesaler, manufacturer, and retailer. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Wholesalers like Sam’s Club or BJ’s buy their products directly from the manufacturers. Because the products were bought cheaper, wholesalers can sell them cheaper than retailers. Wholesalers don’t need to maintain retail stores or incur marketing expenses. This is why warehouses are called Sam’s Club or BJ’s. They choose to sell from a warehouse rather than a flashy retail store.

Apple Computer is another exception. Apple manufactures computers and electronic devices and then sells them directly at their retail stores. Apple does not use wholesalers or retailers. It does both.

How to start a wholesale business

Many businesses are already active in the global wholesale market. This is despite the fact that there has never been a better moment to start. With the wide range of digital tools today, sourcing, marketing, and selling products has never been easier.

To start wholesaling, you need to have some industry knowledge and a few financial resources. You also need a good B2B Marketing plan since you are essentially a business. Here’s how to start wholesale business.

  1. Choose the wholesale products you want to sell. Wholesaling can include everything, from electronic and mechanical parts to jewelry materials and foods. You can also sell DTC food. Choose a niche that has high demand and offers enough profit potential. While you can expand your product ranges as you grow, it is important to start with a reliable product.
  2. Decide the type of wholesale you are interested in. Both wholesalers and merchants require a different approach. You will be selling to other producers if you are a broker. You’ll sell wholesale goods to consumers if you are a merchant (see D2C meaning).
  3. Target a specific market. Selling to a large market will not work for you. Consider baby clothes as an example. This niche is in high demand but it is already overflowing with sellers. However, clothing for babies or upcycled infant clothes could be a great niche. It is important to find a problem in a larger market.
  4. Find relevant suppliers or manufacturers by searching How to find vendors. You can browse a wholesale directory. You should ensure that both you and the vendor are getting a great deal. You and your customers may not like the way some companies trade on the black market.
  5. Completion of all required paperwork. The government will require certain forms to be completed, as it is with all businesses. These documents usually include an eCommerce license, an employer identification number (EIN), a sales tax ID and possibly a reseller’s permit. Also, you will need to search how to obtain a wholesale license before applying for it. You can show that you are honest and have a wholesale agreement to prove it if there are any legal issues.
  6. Create a solid wholesale sales and marketing strategy. After all the housekeeping is done, you will need a strategy for getting your brand noticed. This can be achieved by matching your wholesale advertising budget to your marketing efforts. A business that is just starting shouldn’t spend thousands on advertising and eCommerce-PPC. An alternative approach is low-cost DTC Marketing such as eCommerce SEO and referrals.
  7. Organise your retail efforts. Wholesalers often sell products in retail shops, which increases visibility and traction. To increase your chances of being a wholesaler, it is important to offer attractive offers. Look for stores that accept new vendors.
  8. If you require a workspace, you can rent or open one. Dropshipping is a method of shipping products directly to consumers (DTC). Wholesalers also use materials to make new products that are then sold to customers. The business model you choose will determine your needs. For wholesaling, it is beneficial to be familiar with warehousing. You should invest in high-quality eCommerce packaging as well as a eCommerce shipping staff that is capable of completing the task.

Your wholesale business approach will depend on who you are trying to reach. The sales relationships that you build with brokers will be different to those you would create with merchants if you are selling products.

Let’s take a look at how to sell wholesale products.

How to become a wholesale vendor

Although there are many ways to become wholesale vendors, everyone follows the same path. These are the basics of how to become wholesale vendor.

  • Find the right products to sell. Many eCommerce experts (see What is e commerce), recommend that you start with one product niche, and then expand as your business grows. You’ll be competing against dozens of other successful brands that are reaching existing customers.
  • Develop relationships. It can be difficult to break into the vast market of wholesale distributors and vendors, retailers outlets, and customers. It’s important to get started early. Retailers are interested in making a profit. If you can show that your products will help them achieve this goal, they will be more than happy to work with.
  • Determine your pricing model. Wholesaling offers more flexibility and higher profit margins. You have the option to sell products in smaller quantities to consumers or to make your own products. Or you can sell larger quantities to retailers. You want to make sure you are selling at the right price for your product. Find out what other vendors are selling similar products and price your product accordingly.
  • Target your audience. You can sell to consumers or retailers in any market. Being able to identify the weaknesses of your competition can help you gain an edge, especially if you are a wholesaler. This information can be uncovered by reviewing product reviews, participating on forums, and creating buyer personas.
  • Complete the paperwork. This is not the most exciting part. Business documents are required to become a wholesaler. Geographic location can have an impact on the laws and regulations. Do your research before you start.
  • Establish a minimum order quantity ( ) Once you gain traction with retailers many will want to find out your MOQ. This principle allows you to be profitable and maintain great client relationships. A high MOQ will generate momentum and encourage frequent orders from retailers.
  • Provide competitive deals. Shoppers are used to having many vendors competing for their attention. It takes more than just a high-quality product to make your brand stand out. You don’t want unreasonable requests from retailers. You can incentivize your customers’ business by offering flash sales and bulk orders discounts.

wholesale Vendor Vs. Whole Sale suppliers

It is important to remember that wholesale suppliers and wholesale vendors are different. Wholesale vendors are those who purchase wholesale goods in bulk and then resell them to consumers or businesses.

Wholesale suppliers are those who sell raw materials or other materials in large quantities to businesses. Suppliers sell only to other companies because they don’t have the ability to create retail networks for their products. This is their nature. Let’s look at how to become wholesale suppliers.

  1. Choose the products that you are willing to stand behind. This will help you as a supplier. Prospects will not buy from you if you are selling products for a profit. It is better to invest in a niche and be reliable.
  2. You must decide if you will be selling manufactured goods or raw materials. As a supplier, you’re in a unique position. You can either sell materials that are part of a manufacturing stock or to brokers who deal with retailers. Selling to manufacturers can often result in a greater number of sales to fewer clients. Selling your goods to brokers will allow you to reach more markets quicker.
  3. Run a healthy budget. While wholesaling can be very affordable, it doesn’t mean that you should abandon caution. It is worth researching the cost of maintaining your raw material inventory first. Don’t forget about labor and indirect costs. Before you start expanding your catalog, take the time to evaluate your business model.
  4. Establish relationships with wholesalers or distributors. While having a great product is one thing, getting it into the hands the right people is another. The sooner you establish mutual relationships with your partners, the better. Everyone is interested in your goods and how they can benefit them. You’ll thrive if you can find a problem they have that you can solve.
  5. Value is the key. Wholesale products can vary in quality. Distributors and retailers are well aware of this fact. Although low-cost goods are easy to profit from, that doesn’t necessarily mean that retailers will stock your products. Your products should have a unique functional and market value that sets them apart from other products. Your goods will be noticed by customers when they shop if you have carved out a niche in the supply chain.

To Wholesale and Beyond

The sky is the limit once you’ve learned how to become wholesale suppliers. You must be patient and diligent in building relationships with retailers and delivering value to customers. Also, you must perfect your eCommerce selling process. Your fill rates will increase as you sell more. This leads to happier customers.

For ways to consolidate your B2B (see B2B meaning), or B2C supply chains, keep an eye on them. Don’t forget to prioritize high-value products. Learn more about wholesaling by reading our wholesale management guide.

A Few Questions to Ask About Becoming a Wholesaler

Being a wholesaler requires planning, financial resources, strong marketing skills, and a lot of hard work. You can find the most frequently asked questions below if you want to know more.

Is it profitable to do wholesale business?

Wholesaling is profitable if there are strong wholesale marketing plans, high-demand products and an audience ready to buy.

Maintaining profitable minimum order quantities (MOQ), and average order quantities is one of the greatest challenges in wholesaling. An MOQ (minimum order quantity) is what a buyer must buy in order to make a production run profitable. An AOQ (average order quantity) is how many customers have ordered the same product.

Wholesaling includes building your buyer network, offering discounts, purchase incentives, and processing orders quickly. Wholesale success is possible if you are able to identify the sales numbers that will be profitable and if you communicate with your buyers regularly.

Are you able to sell wholesale as a business?

Yes. Yes, as long as you have both a wholesale and retail license, wholesalers can buy wholesale goods from consumers and then sell them to retailers or distributors.

A significant profit margin is necessary to be a profitable direct-to-consumer wholesaler. Wholesale products typically have a markup of 30-50% for consumers. However, this percentage will vary depending on the marketable price of similar goods. Wholesalers are preferred by most consumers if they offer lower prices, greater value, or both.

Is it worth selling wholesale?

Whether or not a wholesale company is worth it will depend on how you market your business and your personal approach to sales. With the increasing competition in wholesaling and the ease of purchasing products online, wholesale businesses must be distinctive to succeed.

If you have trustworthy suppliers, strong customer bases, and great products, selling wholesale can be a worthwhile venture. These things take time, but it is worth the effort. Start with what you have and build your business relationships every day.


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