An automotive wholesaler is a company that either sells full automobiles or automobile parts wholesale. Wholesale means that the sale of goods is usually restricted to other professional business users or to other wholesalers. In general, wholesale items are not usually sold to the end user but to another business entity who will sell them to the end consumer.
Automotive Wholesalers in particular usually deal in parts. So if your mechanic or auto body technician needs a part for your vehicle that is no longer made or unavailable or undesirable for another reason they could turn to a wholesaler to provide the part to them or they get them through a distributor who buys them from a wholesaler.
The chain of command has become a little more muddied since the internet started being used more often for search and find shopping. Many wholesalers now offer direct sales and drop shipping to end users and auto shops.
Wholesalers are usually exempt from charging sales tax because the product is going to be sold to a consumer later on in the buying process that will pay sales tax. However if you don’t have a state sale tax ID you will likely still have to pay sales tax to make a purchase directly through a wholesaler.
An automotive wholesaler usually specializes in something. Whether it be rims, tires, wiper blades, bed liners or oil filters most automotive wholesalers have a specialty of some kind. Many times wholesalers are also the manufacturers of the products. So they manufacture them and then sell them in bulk at a discounted price to standard retail leaving the person buying the parts some room to make a profit when they sell it.
There is another class of automotive wholesalers who deal in complete cars. These cars and sold at significantly less than retail to dealerships and other used car companies to then turn around and sell to consumers. Many times wholesale cars are sold at auctions and require you to have a dealers license to come in and view and bid on the wholesale vehicles available.
If you are in the market to buy parts in bulk or to try to get a significant discount trying to find a wholesaler may be a good idea for you although for the end consumer it’s usually going to be much quicker and convenient to buy from a retailer or auto shop.
The same is true with car auctions although you can save significant money you will have to either get a dealers license or get someone with a dealer’s license to get you in. So the same as with parts it’s much quicker and convenient to deal with a local dealer.