Online Wholesale Directory vs Online Wholesale Marketplace | Which is Best for Your Business?

wholesale marketplace

The terminology ‘wholesale’ means bulk quantities when referring to selling or purchasing. Nowadays there are multiple ways to contact wholesale business. In this article, we will discuss two different types of wholesale platforms i.e. online wholesale directory and online wholesale marketplace.

Wholesale Marketplace

A wholesale marketplace is a platform used for selling different products to different stores. A wholesaler, in other words, gets huge quantities of items from a producer and distributes them to retailers, who then sell them to customers. Because the wholesaler buys a huge amount of goods in comparison to a single store, it is usually able to negotiate a cheaper rate from the producer. This, in principle, allows the merchant to sell the product at a lower price to the customer.

A wholesale marketplace is where many wholesalers list their products with information such as quality of the product, minimum quantity that can be purchased and the price at which they are selling the products. This gives buyers the choice of buying the product from the seller they like and whose terms are suitable for them. The prices set in the wholesale market is based on the competition among different vendors and also the level of supply and demand of the products being sold. The contribution of wholesale marketplace can help reduced the cost per unit of marketing for the selling because the quantity being sold is usually in bulk.

Online wholesale marketplace platforms do have their own set of requirements. Some of these requirements could included:

  • Specific product images e.g. images must have white background. Platform like Amazon has this requirement.
  • Displaying goods according to standards such as standardization of weights, measurements, and quality of products allow them to function much more efficiently.
  • Establishing a prices that are in balance and competitive with other brands.
  • Shipping options and payment methods that are accepted by the wholesale marketplace

Wholesale Directory

For eCommerce businesses and the most profitable online merchants, the wholesale Directory has become a valuable tool. The wholesale directory is an online catalogue of wholesale suppliers, as well as a site where you may locate wholesale suppliers’ contact information and perhaps contact them if their conditions are acceptable to you.

Importance of Wholesale Directory

The major goal of a wholesale directory is to make things easier for retailers to locate suitable wholesale suppliers with whom to do business with.

A wholesale directory includes a complete overview of wholesale suppliers, distributors, and producers who deal with a wide range of products. Some directories include suppliers who virtually offer all items in a certain specialty, while others contain more broad listings of a wide range of products. If you want access to a variety of wholesale suppliers with a variety of items and commodities to sell for retail, you’ll need to find a decent wholesale directory. Wholesale directories may also be used to categorise and monitor all of the providers you now use or intend to explore.


There are several advantages to using online wholesale directories, particularly when you utilise trustworthy directories. Here are a few of the advantages:

  • Risk is minimal (the wholesale suppliers are verified by the wholesale directory company). This means that there is a minimal possibility of fraud. Some merchants even have to prove their credentials before getting access to the directory.
  • The advantage of being able to attempt new niches or diversify the products and choices.
  • Possibility of being able to locate drop shipping suppliers.
  • The possibility of assembling a supply network in order to help you with your eCommerce business.
  • Catalogue of various suppliers in the one place
  • Retailers can get a good glimpse of supplier offerings.

The Right Choice for a Business

The wholesale marketplace is a platform where businesses can actually sell their products to the retailers, on the other hand, a directory provides information about the wholesale suppliers, makers and manufacturers from where the consumers can contact them.

If you have started a business, choosing the right wholesale marketplace or wholesale directory can be a difficult task. Historically, directories have been a conventional listing platform with user and sector filtering features. A basic listing might include the title of the business, its type, and contact number. 

The business owner enters the business information, and the directory platform will display the business listing accordingly. Good wholesale directories will most likely charge a listing fee or if the business wishes to include a web address, images, or even other marketing materials.

Free directories are great and can be very appealing, however, you will need to determine if the directory will suit your business and brand image, and whether the directory is being actively maintained. Almost all free directories operate as affiliates and is used as ad space to generate income for the directory owner. This can be extremely off-putting for potential retailers and site visitors as they are constantly being bombarded by distracting content. This can have extreme negative impact on the businesses listed as potential retailers are lured to click on ads and be navigated to other websites.

Marketplaces are distinct in various respects, not only since they are typically associated with products rather than services. When you publish your company on marketplaces, you have the flexibility to alter the listing. Enabling you to stay current and relevant with your products. The company owner is responsible for keeping a marketplace profile and products up to date.

Wholesale marketplaces provide the business with the ability to promote its items. This could be putting their items online, enabling people to buy the product from the seller, or making a conversation easier. Now with the added leverage of selling on a marketplace lies the additional stress of maintaining your listings up to date. The majority of the time, selling on a marketplace is not a totally passive route.

Customer contact and proactive marketing are more likely with a listing on a marketplace. What a businesses might not realise is that while the marketplace advertises itself, it is also directing potential customers to their company. The number of consumers that a business can get increases with the increase in the number of people who visit the marketplace. Directories are a viable substitute for a company that likes to develop its brand without putting in a lot of work or time. Marketplaces are good for boosting engagement and sales. It’s a good idea to mix up the advertising on the wholesale marketplace and wholesale directory for the greatest outcomes.

Factors Affecting the Decision

Based on all the above discussion, the decision of whether a business should list on a wholesale marketplace or a wholesale directory depends on many factors.

  • Resources

If a business has a variety of resources that can be spent on marketing, it is suitable to list itself on a marketplace platform. While the business that lacks resources might find it difficult to list on the marketplace and continuously manage it. Therefore, it depends on the resources a company has to make this decision.

  • Cost

Setting up a business on a wholesale marketplace is quite costly as compared to a directory. If a business has the cash to spend on listing on a marketplace, it is a good option as it promotes the products. The marketplace already has customers visiting for other products; therefore, it could be more probable for a business to get the traffic. However, keep in mind that marketplace platforms will also charge commission on each sale a business makes through their platform.

On the other hand, listing a business on a directory is often free, and sometimes only requires a small fee. Businesses that are unable to spend much on the listing will find wholesale directories to be a more viable option. In addition, directories don’t charge commission.

  • Time

A business that can afford to spend more time on listing products can opt for wholesale marketplace. It requires a constant effort from the side of the business for updating product listings. However, a business that does not have much time to spend on the listing will find that wholesale directories are a much better option.


Customers or retailers can quickly locate a business listed on a wholesale directory or a wholesale marketplace. It gives access to, yet another piece of an online business platform dedicated to the company. Increasing the number of channels by which the customers can reach the business makes it more accessible.

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