What is a wholesaler?

The wholesaler is one of the links in a distribution chain, which is the path that a product travels from the beginning of its manufacture tosupply to the consumer. Within this chain, the wholesaler is the intermediary between the producers or manufacturers and the retailer. The latter being the one who makes the direct sale to the final consumer.

Usually and in a common way it is said that the wholesaler is the one who buys in bulk. Sometimes it is also normal for wholesalers to be simply referred to as distributors.

As part of a commercial distribution chain, the wholesaler performs a series of tasks, such as the purchase of products from the manufacturer and the transport of the goods purchased, as well as their storage and conservation for their subsequent distribution and sale to retailers.

Types of wholesalers

Wholesalers can be classified based on various criteria. These are some of the main ones:

  • Location: wholesalers depending on their location, being able to be wholesaler of origin or destination.
  • Relationships: based on the relationships they maintain with other wholesalers, being purchasing centers or independent wholesalers.
  • Specialization: wholesalers classified by their degree of specialization in the activity, being able to be specialized or general wholesalers, which are those that cover more types of product.
  • Product: wholesalers depending on the type of product in which they mediate, such as agricultural, textile or food for example.
  • Sector: according to the market or sector in which they operate.
  • Ownership: wholesalers based on the ownership of the products, which may be their own or others' in which case the wholesaler's work is reduced to intermediation.
  • Sale: depending on the type of sale made to the retailers, who supply the product to consumers in the distribution chain.
  • Technology: wholesalers depending on the type of technology they use, the main ones being the traditional, remote or self-service model.

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