What's the difference between a retailer, dealer and trader?


What's the difference between a retailer, dealer and trader? Do they all mean the same thing?

Are they all buying goods from distributors and selling them to consumers, and therefore at the end of the supply chain?

Sales Definitions

asked Jan 26 '11 at 03:08
101 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


Dealer deals with such goods which requires large area to be covered and distribution of goods to different areas,places of the country on a fixed price marked on the products by the manufacturer where goods passes through different stages and sales process i.e. from first stage of manufacturer and finally reaches to the end consumer for example all generally home provisions/ consumable items.

whereas Trader deals with such goods which are raw-materials or materials in nature procured from the manufacturer and sold in the market by the trader on profit basis .

answered Sep 24 '12 at 02:32
Ms Baig
21 points


In my experience in the U.S. hand tools, automotive aftermarket, and hardware industries, a retailer is anybody who sells directly to the consumer from a fixed location. A dealer is somebody who sells to the consumer, and buys from a distributor. I've never heard of a trader as someone who sells to a consumer.

Here are a few places that would sell automotive tools like oil filter wrenches:

  • Sears buys hand tools directly from manufacturers, so it's a retailer, but it's not a dealer because it doesn't buy from a distributor.
  • Snap-On truck drivers have a franchise, and buy from Snap-On corporate, which in turn buys from the manufacturers. So the truck drivers/franchisees are dealers but not retailers.
  • Your local brick-and-mortar NAPA Auto Parts Store is a locally-owned business that buys from NAPA, who buys from the manufacturers. So they're both dealers and retailers.
answered Jan 26 '11 at 16:35
Bob Murphy
2,614 points


Retailers generally sell to the end user. eg. a Amazon is a retailer in that it sells directly to end users.

A dealer is usually an intermediary between manufacturers and retailers (or buyers and sellers). eg. car sales, real estate agencies.

Trader is used in two ways. The first is as an entity that buys and sells products for profit (and generally only holds them for a relatively short period of time). Think stockbroker, wholesale importer, etc.

Trader can also be used as another word for retailer (at least here.) For example, the local trader's association is the association that represents all the retailers in the local high street (or mall).

answered Jan 26 '11 at 21:19
Susan Jones
4,128 points


Our view of it is a dealer or trader primarily interacts with the wholesale side of distribution. Perhaps the trader manages import/export of said products from the manufacturer. The retailer usually is the one selling to John Q Public and collecting sales tax. However I do not think this is a standard and can be viewed in many different ways.

answered Feb 2 '11 at 23:35
Xs Direct
275 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Sales Definitions