Costco, Sam’s Club and their competitors often imply that they are selling at “wholesale” prices.
In reality they are retailers, using their huge size to purchase products at lower costs than smaller competitors and then selling those products at lower profit margins than many of their competitors.
These large discounters could be wholesalers if they sold bulk quantities to large purchasers at lower prices than what is offered to the general public. But that is not their primary business model.
True wholesalers do not sell small quantities to the general public. They do sell to several other customer categories :
- Businesses for their own use.
- Professional offices that purchase in bulk.
- Public or private institutions for internal use.