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Difference Between Wholesaler and Distributor

A company relies on distributors and wholesalers for business. Although they are both parts of the company’s supply chain, their functionality is different. Many businesses do not understand the job description of these two units. Here, we offer some insights for both. You can find out what these two parts of your business are doing.

Wholesaler vs. Distributor

Let’s discuss their differences to comprehend their jobs and structure.

Who is Who?

A wholesaler is an organization or person who buys a large quantity of a product and resells it in large quantities to retailers. They buy their products from manufacturers or distributors and offer them to retailers. They sometimes break the bulk into units to make more profit.

A distributor is a mediator or a middle-man. Manufacturers prefer not to sell their products directly in the market. They engaged distributors as agents. Distributors sign a contract with the producer and sell their products to wholesalers and retailers under obligation.

Scope of Function

Wholesalers rely on bulk orders for their profit. They do not have a wide scope of function as their targeted audience is only retailers. They sometimes sell per unit items to customers to gain more profit, but it is a rare situation.

Distributors enjoy a wider area of function as they deal with wholesalers, manufacturers, customers, and even with companies. They constantly look for a business opportunity. Distributors play an important role in product promotion and information.

Work Liability

Wholesalers have no job responsibilities because they run their own wholesale business. They buy products and sell them with no obligation to maintain sales. They are only responsible for providing ordered products to their customers. Wholesalers can adjust their items according to their business needs.

Distributors are agents of manufacturers. This makes them act as salespersons or agents. They work under contractual obligation. Their major source of income is the commission and percentage paid by the manufacturer on every sale. Sometimes manufacturers set a sales target for them to achieve.

Business Activities

Wholesalers are not involved in product marketing. Their main reason for marketing is to promote their business, not the product. They do their business for growth and generating revenue. Their primary focus is not on any specific product sales but revenue.

The distributors act as sellers. Their major focus is on a specific product by a manufacturer. They promote the product, not the business. Their marketing activities involve the launch and promotion of the product. They sell products for their producers and earn on every sale they make.

Which is the More Profitable Business Distribution or Wholesaling?

Both businesses are having their own pros and cons. Distributors do not need to run their own businesses so they have a limited scope of investing money. Wholesalers run their own business and have to invest in it. Distributors earn from sales on a percentage basis and wholesalers generate their own revenue by reselling products. With a proper plan and knowledge, you can excel in both fields.

Distribution of Wholesaling: Which Business has Smooth Path?

Distributors are sales agents, so it is easy to work as a distributor. Whereas wholesaler needs to plan the business with an investment. Distributors work under a signed contract, and wholesaler has no such obligation. Distributors pick the goods from manufacturers and deliver them to their customers. Wholesalers keep the products in warehouses.

All these factors make both the businesses easy to run and hard to manage altogether. Therefore, we cannot comprehend which business is easy to deal with. No matter what you are doing your strategies and planning help you flourish, not the business style.

Where to Get an Audience?

Distributors and wholesalers usually use the online wholesale marketplace to find their targeted audiences. Many online wholesale platforms offer their traffic to use for business purposes. They connect wholesalers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers directly. Businesses find it the easiest way to flourish.


Based on the differences, you can see both distribution and wholesaling are distinct entities. In case you are looking for a business opportunity, this blog will help you understand the field of work for the businesses. Evaluate your business goals before deciding. Select the one that works for you.