Merchant middleman buys and sells goods at a profit. They undertake ownership and possession of goods and deal in their own names. They work for profit and bear the risks of trade.

Merchant middlemen include wholesalers and retailers. In other words, the home trade of a country consists of wholesale trade and retail trade.

Meaning and Definition of whole sale Trade

Wholesale trade means buying and selling goods in relatively large quantities or in bulk. The traders who are engaged in wholesale trade are called wholesalers.


A wholesaler buys goods in bulk directly from manufacturers and sells them in small lots to retailers or industrial users. A wholesaler is the first intermediary and serves as a link between producers and retailers.

Whole­sale trade includes all marketing transactions in which goods are purchased for the purpose of resale. Wholesalers place large orders with producers and supply the small orders of retailers. In this way wholesalers serve both manufacturers and retailers.

“A wholesaler is a business unit which buys and resells to retailers…industrial institutions and commercial users but does not sell in significant amount to ultimate consumers.”

“The wholesaler is one who buys goods on a large scale with the object of selling them at a profit in smaller quantities. He buys from the producers that is the extractor or manufacturer and sells to the retailers and is, therefore, the connecting link between these two”


“All merchants, agents and assemblers who intervene between producers on the one hand and retailers and users on the other are wholesaler traders” Census Bureau of U.S.A.

Wholesaling includes all activities involved in selling goods or services to those who buy for resale or business use. It excludes manufacturers and farmers because they are engaged prima­rily in production, and it excludes retailers.

A wholesaler is a trader who purchases goods in large quantities from manufacturers and sells to retailers in small quantities.