Difference between Retailer and Dealer

Key difference: In a trade, the retailer’s and dealer’s function are different, that is a retailer sells the product to the end-user, and a dealer buys and then sells the product to the consumer.

Retailers are sellers, who sell the goods to the consumers. They may be defined as ‘a business or person that sells goods to the consumer, as opposed to a wholesaler or supplier, who normally sell their goods to another business’.          

Retailers are basically at the end position of any business management system, due to which they are the direct representative of the customers. They help the manufacturers to know about the needs and requirements of the customer. They purchase the products at a competitive price from the suppliers and market them according to their benefits. Generally, they buy small quantities of items from a distributor or a wholesaler in order to gain profit, which would coincide with their business objectives. An example of the common retailer in the society is the general shopkeeper, who sells the goods and/or products to respective consumers.

Dealers in trade cycle are the one who set the deals of respective goods, products, services and properties. They are basically defined as ‘individual or firm that buys goods from a producer or distributor for wholesaling and/or retail reselling’. They deal with such goods which require large areas to be covered. Distribution of these goods takes place in different areas, places of a country, etc. The manufacturers fix the prices on the goods. Afterwards, these goods pass through different stages and sale processes, from the first stage of manufacturer level till the final stage of the end consumer level. Example: all general home provisions/ consumable items.

They perform both the activities of buying and selling. In the market, they are generally known by their product names such as the antique dealer, car dealer, arms dealer, art dealer, property dealer, etc. Companies mostly prefer the dealers to sell their products in order to avoid the competition, hence it’s the dealer’s responsibility to sell the company products. They also resell the product or property after a specific time interval.

A dealer is the one who does the work with a motive of profit, which is he generally receives after the transaction of the product or property. Dealers make it easy to sell and purchase the products. They sometimes also act as middlemen between the manufacturer and the consumer.

Comparison between Retailer and Dealer:




Who are they

A person or business who sells the products or services directly to end customers.

A person or business that sets a deal (buys and sells) the products.


They only sell products, goods and services.

They buy and sell the products, goods, services and properties.

Commonly identified as

They are not known by the name of the product transaction.

They are known by the name of their product transaction, example antique dealer, car dealer, arms dealer, art dealer, property dealer, etc.  .

Intermediary between

They are intermediary between the distributor and consumer.

They are intermediary between the manufacturers and retailer.

Receive products from

They basically receive the products from the distributors.

They can receive the products from any individual, who wants to buy or sell their products.


A retailer sells the products from a fixed location.

A dealer’s position is not fixed; it may change according to the need.

Commission fixation

Generally, the commission of the retailer is always fixed.

Here the commission is not fixed.

Image Courtesy: impinj.com, newunicarehealthsolutions.com

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