Wholesalers can be distinguished by the number and depth of services they provide to their customers.
- Full-Service – Wholesalers in this category mainly sell to the retail industry and, in most cases, require a strong, long-term retailer-wholesaler relationship. In addition to basic distribution services, such as providing access to an assortment of products and furnishing delivery, these wholesalers also offer customers additional services that aid retail store operations. These services include offering assistance with: in-store merchandising, retail site location decisions (e.g., find best geographic location for a new store), store design and construction, back-end operations (e.g., payroll services), financial support, and many more.
- Limited Service – Compared to full-service wholesalers, buyers dealing with limited service firms receive far fewer services. Most offer basic services, such as shipping and allow credit purchasing, but few offer the number of service options found with full-service wholesalers.
- No Service – Some wholesalers follow a business model whose only service is to make products available for sale and only on a cash basis. In these instances, the buyer handles their own transportation of the product.