A wholesaler is a business or individual that purchases products from manufacturers and sells the same to the retailers. A wholesaler typically has retailers as clients, selling its products in bulk for a lower price per unit.

The retailer then acts as a middleman, bringing the products closer to the consumer, providing the convenience and service of a brick-and-mortar retail store or an e-commerce webshop.

With the wholesaler definition out of the way, here’s how to actually become one.

Becoming a wholesaler

To become a successful wholesaler, implement the following strategies:

  • Choose an industry. Once you’ve established your preferred model, carefully vet the various industries that interest you. For instance, if you’re looking into the toys wholesale business, you’ll want to narrow it down to specifics such as the age of your target market, type of toys, nature of the material, origin, and more. In choosing your industry, critically consider personal factors such as interest and passion, while also picturing the sector’s future.
  • Set up an online, offline, or hybrid business model. You’ll need to find a name for your business and register it to start trading as a legal entity. Whether it will be entirely online or not, remain vigilant on shop location. Offline, find a suitable location, preferably close to your target market or transport sources. Similarly, online, you’ll need to identify a suitable wholesale eCommerce tool for your wholesale business. Remember, not all eCommerce platforms suit wholesalers, so you may want to find one that’s actually built for B2B companies.
  • Obtain the required certifications. Depending on the industry you choose and the requirements in your location, you’ll be required to apply for certain certifications, including business licenses and work permits. Don’t be carried away and push the certifications aside for later because these could land you and your new venture into serious trouble with the authorities. While at it, make sure that your distributor is fully certified and legally permitted to trade.
  • Locate a distributor. The person, manufacturer or brand supplying you with merchandise is a distributor. Make sure that you identify a distributor that will offer you products at a distributor’s price to enable you to sell to the retailers at profit.
  • Find buyers/retailers. The last thing and perhaps the most important stage of this journey are finding customers for your wholesale business. Literally, every other process above is almost easy to see through. Even so, unless you do your research and start attracting business, your products could soon be rendered redundant, leading to losses. Ideally, your wholesale eCommerce tool of choice should do the heavy lifting in exposing your products to your target market, leaving you with a smaller marketing segment to worry about.

The wholesale business concept is quite expansive, but we’ve captured everything there is to know about it in our guide right here.

All in all, as a wholesaler, don’t just aspire to sell products to your retail clients, do more than that and show them that you genuinely care about them. Some wholesalers will break down merchandise into smaller units to enable the smaller retailers to afford the minimum quantities. Others will also assemble products as part of the wholesale venture, just so they can make life easier for their retail counterparts. In short, to survive in the wholesale space, consider finding the right distributor, and wholesaling tool, and always go out of your way for your retail clients. Becoming a wholesaler comes with registrations and some documentation that you can read more about here.