For small firms who need to buy in bulk, there are precious few alternatives to wholesalers, especially if you are working to a tight budget.
You could source your stock direct from the manufacturer, as most large companies do, or you could import from overseas. A few UK wholesalers have recently tried to get a slice of the import market by selling on goods from abroad cheaply, but both of these alternatives to wholesaling could still cause you some financial headaches.
“Both of these options would be expensive as it would necessary to buy in far larger quantities than a wholesaler will sell in,” explains Grady. “Also, it may be necessary to deal with several different companies in order to buy all of the stock that could’ve been purchased from one wholesaler.
“True, the cost price will probably be lower as the wholesalers ‘cut’ will have been taken out, but that doesn’t help if the business now has 10,000 widgets to sell and they only really wanted 500.”
Small firms looking for other options than their wholesaler would therefore be best just looking for anothersupplier, rather than adopting the same techniques as larger, wealthier companies.