There are many different types of wholesalers. Some are independent; others are part of a vertical marketing system. Some provide a full range of services; others offer very specialized services. Different wants and needs on the part of both buyers and producers have led to a wide variety of modern wholesalers. Table 10.1 provides a summary of general types. Wholesaling activities cannot be eliminated, but they can be assumed by manufacturers and retailers. Those merchant wholesalers who have remained viable have done so by providing improved service to suppliers and buyers. To do this at low cost, modern technologies must be increasingly integrated into the wholesale operation.
|Full-service merchandise wholesaler||Take title to the merchandise and assume the risk involved in an independent operation; buy and resell products; offer a complete range of services.||
|Limited-service merchant wholesalers||Take title to the merchandise and assume the risk involved in an independent operation; buy and resell products; offer a limited range of services.||
|Agents and brokers||Do not take title to the merchandise; bring buyers and sellers together and negotiate the terms of the transaction: agents merchants represent either the buyer or seller, usually on a permanent basis; brokers bring parties together on a temporary basis.||
|Manufacturer's sales||Owned directly by the manufacturers; performs wholesaling functions for the manufacturer.|
|Facilitator||Perform some specialized functions such as finance or warehousing; to facilitate the wholesale transactions; may be independent or owned by producer or buyer.||