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Manufacturer or wholesaler

What are the benefits of purchasing directly from a manufacturer vs. a wholesaler? I'm trying to understand the pros and cons of each for sourcing quality products at the best prices. Specifically for clothing and handbags. Appreciate any insight from experienced importers!


  • When I started my activewear brand, I didn't know the difference between the roles of manufacturer wholesaler. My mentor Franco was very helpful in explaining the difference. He said that manufacturers create products from scratch, while wholesalers buy products in bulk for resale. Franco connected me to both so I could better understand them. Visits to factories gave me insight into the technical aspects of design, and meetings with wholesalers showed me products ready for shipment. Seeing everything firsthand convinced me that I wanted to control production. Now I work directly with the supplier to create branded leggings and wedges. At the same time, the wholesalers provide an outlet for new customers. Knowing the difference between these roles gives me more flexibility in developing supply chain strategy and expansion plans as my brand grows.

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