As we discussed in the Retailing Tutorial, it is more the rule than the exception that marketers are not able to handle all distribution activities on their own. Instead, to get products into the hands of customers often requires the assistance of third-party service firms. In addition to retailers, marketers should be aware of other resellers whose expertise in certain facets of distribution can prove quite beneficial. Additionally, other activities associated with moving products must also be well understood and often requires the help of others.
In this section of the Principles of Marketing Tutorials, we examine another reselling group – wholesalers – and see how they come into play when a marketer attempts to reach the final customer. We will show that wholesalers exist in many formats, affect a wide range of industries, and offer different sets of features and benefits depending on the markets they serve. We will conclude our discussion of wholesaling with a summary chart that makes it easy to compare various types of wholesaling formats.