Is Amazon A Wholesaler Or A Retailer? (Here Is the Answer)

Tina Miles

Amazon’s sales volume makes it the largest retailer in the e-commerce market. With such a high sales volume, you may wonder if Amazon does wholesale. If you are curious about Amazon’s retail and wholesale operations, you are in the right place.

When thinking of a convenient place to shop, Amazon constantly comes to mind. Customers can purchase anything from batteries to diapers with just a few clicks. If you are a business owner, you may be wondering if you can exploit the convenience of Amazon to buy products in bulk. We were wondering the same; the following is what we uncovered.

Table Of Contents

Is Amazon A Wholesaler Or A Retailer?

So far, Amazon is technically a retailer, not a wholesaler. In fact, from $386.06 billion in 2020, Amazon's net sales increased by 22% to $469.82 in 2021. Amazon’s sales volume makes it the largest retailer in the e-commerce market. As you will find out, Amazon is primarily a retailer and does not follow the traditional wholesale model. So, customers can buy wholesale products through Amazon Business.

Can I Buy Products In Wholesale On Amazon?

Amazon is more of a retailer than a wholesaler. At Amazon, you will find products mainly aimed at the average consumer. You’ll find items such as gaming consoles, home appliances, and electrical accessories. The website is designed with the average user in mind, making it easy for users to buy only the quantity they need.

However, even with the site being designed for the average consumer, you will find certain items being offered wholesale. For instance, you can easily find a wholesale listing for batteries. Just search for “wholesale batteries,” and you will be presented with a long list of options to choose from. Most sellers offering bulk items on Amazon are in the marketplace.

The marketplace is a great place to look for items in bulk, as many competing third-party sellers exist. You will therefore be able to items for a lower competitive price. To search for wholesale products on Amazon, simply add the word "wholesale" to your search. You might have to look around, but you'll almost certainly come across a listing.

If you are a retailer yourself and looking for wholesale products for your business, you may find the wholesale listings on quite underwhelming. Don’t fret! Amazon has a solution just for you—Amazon Business; let’s delve deeper into it.

What Is Amazon Business?

Amazon Business is a marketplace similar to Amazon, with a few tailor-made features to meet business needs. If you need to buy products in wholesale, this is the place for you. You get benefits such as multi-user accounts, pricing reserved solely for businesses, and more. Everything you need to know about Amazon Business is provided below. Amazon Business looks and works just like Amazon. The platform boasts a comprehensive wide range of products from millions of sellers.

Amazon launched the marketplace in early 2015, and since then, it has experienced tremendous growth and adoption. The platform comes with lots of features that are tailor-made to solve business problems. One of the great features you get is the ability to have a multi-user account.

The multi-user account enables people from your team to buy items using the same account. As a result, designating different roles for different people becomes an easy task. Customers also get price and quantity discounts whenever they buy products in bulk. Like Amazon, Amazon Business offers a prime membership called Amazon Business Prime.

For a yearly fee, your business gets added benefits such as free shipping for everyone on your business account. Therefore if you are a business owner looking to buy various items in wholesale from a single marketplace but with the capacity to control spending, keep track of purchases, and access price discounts, Amazon Business is the right place for you.

Why Doesn’t Prioritize Wholesale?

So, why doesn’t prioritize wholesale? This is primarily because Amazon generates most of its revenue from the average consumer. These are people who buy everyday items in low quantities. Wholesale, on the other hand, is aimed more at businesses. Amazon is, however, constantly growing and diversifying its income streams.

This has led to the giant acquiring multiple companies and starting new ventures such as Amazon Business. Amazon is able to keep functioning as a typical retail site while providing wholesale services to businesses that require them, thanks to Amazon Business.

Amazon Business Vs. Other Wholesalers

How does Amazon Business compare to other large wholesalers in the United States? Let's find out. Amazon Business is a significant player in the wholesale market. Amazon reported that the company had achieved $10 billion in yearly sales just three years after it was founded in 2015. Later in 2021, Amazon Business surpassed $25 billion in international annual sales.

Amazon also announced that more than 5 million sellers were on the platform, most of them being third-party sellers. Even with these numbers, Amazon Business still lags behind rivals like Sysco. Sysco has over 60,000 clients and reported a revenue of $68.63 billion in 2022. The company engages in the wholesale distribution of food products. In addition to hotels and restaurants, the distributor stocks hospitals, schools, and even Amazon itself.

Other significant wholesalers in the United States include Sam’s Club, Costo, and Michael’s. In most of these stores, items can be bought online or in person. Even with the massive competition that Amazon faces, Amazon has the added advantage of having an enormous user base and being a household name. Therefore, it is highly likely that Amazon's Wholesale operations will experience significant growth in the future.

Bottom Line

Amazon, as an e-commerce giant, has prioritized retail over wholesale. That said, the company has created a different marketplace, Amazon Business, where businesses can buy items in bulk and receive special discounts. Even though Amazon Business is relatively new to the wholesale industry, it has gained traction, attracting over 5 million sellers.

The company has also seen tremendous growth over the years due to the gradual adoption of the site. If you are a business owner looking for a suitable marketplace to buy items for your business in bulk, we recommend using Amazon Business.

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