How to Become a Wholesale Distributor Online

Dec 03, 2019

Wholesale distribution is the process by which distributors purchase products from manufacturers to sell to the consumer. Find out more information about a career in wholesale distribution, as well as steps you can take to prepare for a career in this industry online.

Information on the Wholesale Distributor Career

Wholesale distributors purchase products, usually in bulk, from manufacturers. They then sell those products to various retailers at a profit, where they will finally be sold to individual shoppers. Wholesale distribution can involve sales tactics, market study, and building relationships with certain retailers, and even the transportation and delivery of products. Qualifying for a career in wholesale depends largely on the products and manufacturers a given distribution company will be dealing with, and what needs and qualifications these companies have based on those factors. Becoming a wholesale distributor online is relatively easy but there are elements that require in-person training.

Required Skills Sales Skills, Communication Skills, Customer Service Skills
Job Growth 2% for 2018-2028*
Median Salary (2018) $61,660*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Steps to Prepare for a Career in Wholesale Distribution

Working in wholesale distribution can require a range of skills based on the differing needs of distributors. Some distributors might only request that you have a high school diploma, while those dealing in more technical fields such as science and medicine, might require that you have some sort of postsecondary education in a field related to the respective subject. The following steps can be completed with the use of online resources, except for any internships or training you might need.

Step 1: Determine What Type of Wholesale Distributor You Wish to Become

Since qualifying for a career in wholesale distribution is largely dependent on the type of wholesale distributor you would like to be, taking the time to understand the differences in career requirements and preparation methods is important. Looking up job ads online can give you a sense of what the local demand for wholesale distributors is, and how the job and preparation requirements can vary from position to position. For example, an independent route wholesale distributor may have few educational or technical requirements, but the role might require you to handle the process of distribution yourself, thereby requiring you to have your own transportation.

Other positions might be more sales-focused. If you work with a larger company that has a dedicated delivery crew, for example, your time might be spent contacting suppliers and retailers, making sales, and scheduling deliveries.

If you're interested in being a self-employed wholesale distributor, you will need to generate your own leads, establish relationships with suppliers and retailers, and handle the pickup and delivery on your own. You will also need to have your own transportation and equipment for handling the products.

Step 2: Consider a Postsecondary Education

Post-secondary education can be a helpful step for anyone considering a career in wholesale distribution. Those looking to land a position that involves medical equipment, medicine, or medical diagnostics devices might need to have some sort of educational background in health sciences. If you know you want to work as a wholesale distributor in this specific industry, then earning a health sciences degree online can help to qualify you for such a position.

Even if you don't need industry-specific education to qualify for a given wholesale distributor position, a degree in business can help you understand the dynamics of sales. And, for those looking to start their own wholesale distribution business, a business or marketing degree can offer insight into business as a whole.

Step 3: Complete an Internship or Training

Gaining hands-on, career-specific training and experience can be required before you begin working as a wholesale distributor. There are internships that will offer you training in sales, marketing, management, and other concept areas required to work in wholesale distribution. Internships such as these can be a valuable option for students looking to gain this sort of practical experience and training before entering the job market.

Wholesale companies also tend to have on-the-job training for new hires. These training programs can last up to a year, and will similarly give you the sort of hands-on and industry-specific technical training you will need to begin working in wholesale.

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