How do I Become a Retailer Wholesaler?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Retailer wholesalers sell products to retail stores. The retail stores then sell these products to consumers for a higher price than they originally paid for them. A person who wants to become a retailer wholesaler usually needs business and sales skills, products to sell, and a business license. Some wholesalers buy large quantities of products to offer to retailers and need a location in which to store their products. Others may sign on with companies that offer to dropship for them, eliminating the need for a storage space.

Retail wholesalers may be independently owned.
Retail wholesalers may be independently owned.

A person who wants to become a retailer wholesaler may earn a degree in business or take a couple of business courses at a community college. Others may gain sales experience by working in sales-related positions before becoming wholesalers. Education and experience are not requirements, however. Some people learn about running a business and selling from books and websites. Others may rely on natural business and sales talent.

Retail wholesalers might sell items at steep discounts.
Retail wholesalers might sell items at steep discounts.

In most places, a person who wants to become a retailer wholesaler needs a business license. Requirements for licensing vary from place to place, but often include some sort of application and fee. An individual may check with the business licensing agency in his area or his city hall in order to get licensing details. In some places, a person who starts a wholesale business also needs a tax ID number to purchase directly from manufacturers and producers. He may need a business bank account as well.

Retail wholesalers need to understand the needs of the type of customer they wish to attract.
Retail wholesalers need to understand the needs of the type of customer they wish to attract.

There are countless products a person may decide to sell to retailers; they range from health and beauty supplies to entertainment products, clothing, and furniture. A person may find products to sell by attending trade shows or by searching for manufacturers on the Internet. Many manufacturers even have catalogs they’re willing to send to prospective wholesalers. A person who wants to become a retailer wholesaler may have to negotiate with manufacturers or producers to sell their products, and many require minimum purchases. Buying in bulk, however, may allow a wholesaler to buy more products at lower prices, earning more of a profit.

Retail wholesalers sell products to retail stores.
Retail wholesalers sell products to retail stores.

Whether or not a person needs a physical location depends on the products he plans to wholesale. A person who intends to have a small or part-time wholesaling business, selling items that do not take up much space, may store products in his basement or garage. He will usually need to check the business and zoning codes in his jurisdiction before doing so to make sure opening a home-based wholesaling business will be legal. If he plans to stock a large number of products or large items like furniture, he may need a warehouse instead.

Once a person has set up his retail wholesaling business, he’ll need customers. He may contact retail establishments that sell similar items and attempt to interest them in his products. Some wholesalers create catalogs and price lists to sell their products. Others may create websites and offer online ordering.

A wholesaler will likely have a large warehouse that's used for storage.
A wholesaler will likely have a large warehouse that's used for storage.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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