Traditionally, wholesale has been a B2B kind of thing. Businesses buy everything from office furniture to sellable merchandise to cleaning cloths wholesale. The items bought to sell will be priced a little higher to create a profit and then marketed to consumers, who may assume that the price they pay is the price it cost to make, not realizing the number of markup-bearing steps there have been along the way.
In recent years, warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club have been giving consumers a taste of the wholesale life with discounts for buying in bulk like a business would. Of course, there is a membership fee to pay for the privilege of paying less, but if you’re serious about stocking up with large orders of your everyday needs, you can find big savings in smaller markups.
Consumers may be able to take advantage of wholesale prices online as well. Search for wholesale stores, overstock, or sellouts, and you may find a wealth of opportunities to buy items at meant-for-business low prices. Of course, you may have to buy these inexpensive items in bulk … but maybe that’s a sign you need to be your own retailer and start selling the extras on eBay or Amazon.
More and more, manufacturers are eliminating even the wholesaling middleman and selling direct to consumers. Outlet malls let shoppers stroll through offerings from multiple manufacturers and save all around. It’s also worth doing an online search for terms like factory direct or outlet to see who’s courting consumers online.
You’ll probably still get the best customer-service experience from a retailer, who makes up for the higher price with conscientious service and support. But if the bottom line is all that concerns you, wholesale may be a good way to find a whole lot of savings.