Wholesale – Is It Worth the Cost?
If you’re reading the title of this article and wondering if it’s a misprint, it is not. Wholesale many times comes at a cost that people don’t realize or don’t think about until it’s too late. This article will try to shed some light on some of the pitfalls of buying wholesale.
There is an old saying that goes, “You don’t get anything for nothing” and that is so true with buying wholesale. Let’s take a look at a few real life examples and you’ll understand the problems you face.
For starters, you just can’t buy wholesale if you’re a regular Joe off the street. Meaning, you can’t walk into a wholesale store, walk up to an aisle, pick up a bar of soap, walk to the checkout and expect to pay wholesale for it. You’d better be prepared to go back to that aisle and gather up a few cases of soap. Then you have a shot. Before that though, you need to have a membership.
Most wholesalers require that you pay a yearly fee for this privilege of being able to walk out of their store with 10 cases of Ivory Soap, which will probably take you 25 years to use unless you own a hotel.
Therein lies the rub in buying wholesale. Each outlet is different, but the amount of product you will need to buy in order to walk out with your purchase is at times beyond what would be reasonable for any rational human being unless they indeed did own a large business of some kind that uses these products.
A perfect example is wholesale distributors for recording media like tapes and CDs. There is usually a minimum of about 10 to 20 pieces required in order to get these items even close to wholesale. The more pieces you buy, the lower the cost per piece. But unless you own a recording studio or plan to tape every rock album from 1970 to the present, the number of pieces you will need to purchase in order to get them wholesale is a number that is closer to the speed of light than the number of golf balls you can hold in two hands.
Then of course there are those yearly fees for belonging to all these wholesale clubs. They’re not cheap. Some can be as much as $50 to $100 a year. Sure, if you’re a restaurant owner who uses lots of dishwasher liquid in a year it’s more than worth it. But what does the mom do who goes through a bottle of dishwashing liquid maybe every 3 months? When you’re buying, what in some cases can be as many as, 10 cases of dishwasher liquid with 10 bottles in each case, you’re looking at 100 bottles of dishwasher liquid. At a consumption of maybe 4 bottles a year you’re looking at 25 years until you use the stuff up, if it lasts that long. Certainly these things have to have a shelf life.
The reason these companies can sell wholesale is ONLY because they sell in volume. And they’re still selling these items at a profit. In case you aren’t aware of this, wholesale is not the same thing as cost.
So if you’re planning on buying wholesale you’d first better figure out if it’s something you need a zillion of and also if it’s something that is going to last 25 years if you don’t.
Yes, even wholesale comes at a price.