What is an automotive wholesaler?

An automotive wholesaler is a company that sells either whole cars or car parts wholesale. Wholesale means that the sale of goods is usually reserved for other commercial consumers or other wholesalers. In general, wholesale items are not usually sold to the end user, but to another business entity that sells them to the end user.

The automotive wholesale trade in particular usually deals in parts. So if your mechanic or bodyworker needs a part for your vehicle that is no longer manufactured or available or is otherwise undesirable, they can contact a wholesaler to supply the part, or they can get it through one dealer who buys it from a wholesaler.

The chain of command has become a little more opaque as people use the internet to search and find purchases more and more. Many wholesalers now offer direct sales and direct shipping to end consumers and car repair shops.

Wholesalers are usually exempt from collecting sales tax because later in the buying process the product is sold to a consumer who pays the sales tax. However, if you don’t have a state sales tax ID, you probably still have to pay sales tax to buy direct from a wholesaler.

A car wholesaler usually specializes in something. Whether rims, tires, wiper blades, truck bed mats or oil filters, most car wholesalers have a speciality. Wholesalers are often also the manufacturers of the products. So they make them and then sell them in bulk to standard retailers at a discounted price, giving the person buying the parts some wiggle room to make a profit on the sale.

There is another class of car wholesalers who deal in complete cars. These cars are sold at a significantly lower price than retail to dealers and other used car companies, only to then turn them around and sell them to consumers. Many times wholesale cars are sold at auction and require you to have a dealer license to come in and view and bid on the available wholesale vehicles.

If you’re in the market looking to buy parts in bulk or try to get a significant discount, it can be a good idea to find a wholesaler, although it’s usually much quicker and more convenient for the end user to buy from a retailer or Car dealer.

The same goes for car auctions, although you can save a lot of money by either getting a dealer license or finding someone with a dealer license to invite you. Just like with spare parts, it is much faster and more convenient to deal with a local dealer.