If you have a large family, or own a small business, or otherwise need access to a lot of things all at once, you’re no doubt familiar with wholesale shopping. Because wholesalers are cutting out the middleman of the retailer, they are able to sell you products at a much reduced price without compromising on quality. However, the problem is that in order to make wholesaling profitable, it’s necessary to sell in large quantities. That is, after all, why the manufacturers sell large quantities of goods to retailers at the wholesale price, even though retailers have no problems moving product at the higher retail price. Retailers charge more per unit because this permits to sell people the items in units small enough for them to use. While it might be a great deal to purchase peas for a dollar a pound, that price may be unprofitable unless say one was selling a thousand pounds of peas, which the average consumer would be unable to use, much less need. This is why retailers break large wholesale orders up into small units, and then charge more per unit, even though this invariably drives up the cost to the end consumer.
So why do this? Well, most manufacturers do not have access to the marketing, infrastructure and resources necessary to bring their products to consumers. It is very expensive to break products up into small quantities and parcel them out to individual consumers. Complex logistics are needed to move the product around, and large amounts of floor space are necessary to display the products. Additionally, consumers will not generally travel great distances to separate stores for each item they need, and so it is necessary to stock many items in a single store. Since most manufacturers only make a few different things, this means that they would be unable to stock a store such that it would have all the products consumers need.
The invention of the internet and modern telecommunications, however, have opened the door to what is known as “no minimum wholesale shopping.” To do this, manufacturers sell their goods online, direct to the consumer. By eliminating the need for stores and the logistics/floor space inherent in stores, they are able to sell their goods at the wholesale price to the end consumer. As such, no minimum wholesale shopping is often a great way to save money on big-ticket items. While the nature of shipping and handling makes no minimum wholesale shopping uneconomical when it comes to things such as groceries, big ticket items such as consumer electronics or seasonal items such as Christmas decorations are ideally suited to no minimum wholesale shopping. These items tend to already be expensive, already be prepared to be transported individually, and tend to have a very high markup when they reach the end retailer as they are expensive and/or seasonal and thus do not sell quickly most of the time.
Many manufacturers now offer no minimum wholesale shopping, and if you are purchasing a large, expensive or exotic product, you may be able to save a lot by simply finding the manufacturer’s website and placing an order. While not suitable for perishable, inexpensive products, the retailer markup on items such as flat screen TVs or personal computers may be as high as 50%, making no minimum wholesale shopping a real money-saver on such big ticket items.