In response to John and others - a wholesale distributor does sells
to those who then resell the product, either as is or after using it
to create a “finished” product. Some wholesalers are also retailers,
in otherwords they will sell to genuine retailer at a wholesale
price, or to retail customers at a retail price. This prevents them
from undermining their business accounts. Some only do wholesale.
That said, the next difference is between large wholesale accounts
(which John’s is), and small wholesale accounts (which I am). All
businesses, even when they are legitimate businesses with correct
licenses and tax forms filed, etc., do not do the same volume of
business, nor do they do the same volume in the same items.
I have had a retail license for 20+years, but I have been a small
business all that time, and anticipate that I will be a small
business for as long as I choose to stay in business. I do not WANT
to be a big business! That does NOT make me any less a genuine
wholesale customer than the big business customer. It SHOULD mean
that I pay more, since I am buying in smaller quantities. The bigger
businesses SHOULD get price breaks for quantity.
An additional way many wholesalers deal with this is by minimum
order amounts. If they simply don’t want to deal with legitimate,
but small, businesses they put their minimum order high enough to
remove those businesses from their market. Another way is to charge
an additional handling fee for orders under a minimum amount. As a
small business, I prefer it when wholesalers do this, as sometimes I
really need what a specific wholesaler carries, but don’t need enough
of it to qualify for a high minimum. In that case it is worth it to
me to pay the added handling fee, and get the amount of product I
need, instead of buying enough product to last me for years, that I
then must store and carry the cost for years!
I haven’t tried doing business with Stuller, but I don’t understand
how a wholesaler can allow some wholesale customers to buy certain
items, and not other wholesale customers, which is what I am
understanding to have been the case. I also don’t see how they can
require a certain volume of purchase. They would be better served to
go with the minimum order requirement, which is also much easier for
the custormer to understand and plan for.
Best wishes to all.
Beth in SC