Wholesale vs. Retail: What Is The Difference and Which One Should You Choose?

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Without a doubt, many people are looking to start a business and become an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you may already have a product that you wish to sell. However, you might not know which business models suit you – should it be wholesale or retail?

In this article, we will discuss the significant differences between wholesale and retail as well as answer the question; which business models best suit you?

The Retail Business

A “retail” business model is what most of us are familiar with. It is a business where a company or brand sells products directly to the customer to make a profit. The retailer might be acquiring their goods from the distributor or wholesaler at a lower price, before marking up the price and selling to the general public.

The Wholesale Business

As we have mentioned in our previous articles, the “wholesale” business is where a company sells its goods in a mass volume to various retailers either directly or through intermediaries. However, the price per unit is considerably lower when compared to retail prices. 

Most wholesalers play an important role in the supply chain by connecting manufacturers and retailers together and acting as the middleman between the two parties. This provides manufacturers with the opportunity to create profits and gives many retailers access to products that they may not be able to acquire on their own.

Simplifying The Difference

If you are not getting the picture, we have summarized the difference between wholesale and retail here:

  • Wholesale sells products in bulk to retailers, while retails deal directly with general customers.
  • Wholesale prices are significantly lower but sell in larger quantities, in contrast, retail prices are higher.
  • Wholesale businesses require huge capital investment to buy and store the goods, while retail businesses need less investment to launch the business.
  • Retail businesses have the need for marketing and advertising efforts to attract customers, while wholesale businesses only need connections with manufacturers and retailers.
  • There are more retail stores online when compared to wholesale online, especially on e-commerce platforms. That means there is a lot more competition in the retail businesses. 

Would You Choose Retail Business? 

Starting a retail business allows you to have complete control over your product lines. You may need to establish and maintain relationships with your customers, and follow the ever-changing trends and demands, as well as respond to them quickly. If you enjoy providing goods and services to end consumers, retail is the business for you.

There are also other perspectives to bear in mind:

  • Selecting the right channel – being a retailer, you ought to carefully consider the marketing channels and strategies that are relevant to your product and able to reach potential customers.
  • Establishing brand identity – as mentioned above, the retail business is highly competitive, which is why you need to create a brand identity that separates you from the competition.
  • Control over price and profit margin – a retail business has its own unique advantage because you can decide the selling price and control your profit margin. For example, you could mark up the price from 100 THB to 160 THB, 200 THB, or even 390 THB as you’d like, considering that customers are willing to pay at those prices. Moreover, You need to stay on top of all of these to ensure your profit growth. 

Would You Prefer Wholesale Business?

Wholesale is a growing industry, and it is a crucial part that contributes to the GDP of most countries, including wholesale market Thailand. A wholesaler may need to have a great amount of capital investment in order to acquire products from manufacturers and build a warehouse space for those goods. Therefore, even though the price per unit is low, you can gain more profit and grow your business faster by selling in large quantities.  

Furthermore, there is little need for marketing since wholesaling is mainly a B2B business, but for those planning to expand to B2B2C, there might be small marketing efforts involved.

Here are some other points to consider before starting wholesale

  • Business Expansion – by selling wholesale products, it is much faster to expand into foreign markets and find a new customer base, attracting small retail businesses, as well as doing exports. However, you must ensure that your goods are up to standards and have the proper certifications.
  • Brand Awareness – if you are connected with various retailers, distributors, and SMEs businesses, you can potentially expand the awareness of your product to many segments in the market.
  • Wholesale Online opportunity – Many businesses are moving toward online platforms such as wholesale e-commerce websites and applications. If you can promote your business via the right online channel and have a good function and feature supported, you will gain access to new opportunities, business partnerships, and even be able to reach the general customers as well as retailers.

That concludes the difference between wholesale and retail. Which businesses are you looking forward to creating? 


For entrepreneurs who are particularly interested in the wholesale business in Thailand, AEC TRADE CENTER – PANTIP WHOLESALE DESTINATION is the place to start exploring. 

We are the largest and most comprehensive wholesale center in the Southeast Asia region, conveniently located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Wholesalers can meet with new business partners including government and private business alliances, while also gaining more insight into the industry through marketing activities.

AEC TRADE CENTER also offers the Solution Service Center (SSC) as well as the integration with PhenixBox, the first and only B2B/B2B2C omni channel wholesale platform via website and application that supports seamless O2O trading. It comes fully equipped with one-of-a-kind features such as Group Purchase, Seller Store, E-Catalog, and more to deliver convenience, safety, and 24-hour trading. This is the best place to start a wholesale business.

Free Register for Online Sellers:


For more information, please visit


💻 Website: https://aectradecenter-th.com/ 

💻 PhenixBox: https://www.phenixbox.com/ 

👥 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aecpantip 

📩 Inbox: https://www.facebook.com/messages/t/aectradecenter.th  

💬 Line: @aecpantip

📞 : 061-416-6790, 065-950-5986

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