Top 8 Difference Between Dealer and Distributor: Definition, examples

In the complex network of business and commerce, two main threads connect manufacturers to end consumers: dealers and distributors. Even though these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, it is very important for companies that want to streamline their supply chain to know what each one means.

This blog post will talk about the main differences between dealers and distributors, as well as their jobs, how they work together, and how they affect business in general.

Definition of Dealer:

A dealer is a person or business that sells things directly to end users over the counter. Dealers are the link between producers or wholesalers and the people who buy the goods. They usually work on a neighbourhood level, catering to certain areas or markets. From buying goods from manufacturers or distributors to selling them straight to customers, dealers are involved in the whole sales process. They usually focus on certain types of products or brands and offer services like customer service and product care after the sale.

Definition of distributor:

A distributor, on the other hand, is a company that buys things in bulk from manufacturers and then sells them to stores, dealers, or other businesses. At a higher level in the supply chain, distributors make it easier for goods to get from the manufacturer to different places of sale. A lot of the time, they deal with a wide range of goods and may serve bigger areas. Distributors need to keep track of inventory, handle logistics, and make sure that things move easily through the distribution network. They might also offer extra services, like storage and transportation.

Lets take a example of dealer and distributor

Automotive Industry:

  • Dealer: A car dealership that sells vehicles directly to consumers. For example, ABC Motors selling various car brands.
  • Distributor: Distributor that supply spare parts and accessories to multiple car dealerships.

Dealers and distributors are both involved in the distribution of commodities, although they serve distinct roles in the supply chain. Here are the main difference between dealer and distributor:

Role within the Supply Chain:

A dealer is often a retailer or middleman who buys items from a distributor or directly from the manufacturer before selling them to end users. Dealers work in the final stage of the distribution system, interacting directly with clients.

A distributor, on the other hand, works at an earlier stage of the supply chain. Distributors buy goods in bulk from producers and then sell them to dealers or retailers. They serve as mediators between producers and merchants.

Customer Interaction:

Dealers connect directly with end customers. They serve as a point of purchase for customers, give after-sales services, and may also provide extra services such as product demonstrations or technical support.

Distributors primarily deal with businesses rather than individual consumers. They sell products in bulk to retailers, dealers, and other enterprises.

Product Range:

Dealers frequently specialize in particular product categories or brands. They may provide a smaller selection of products, but they may be more knowledgeable about the ones they sell.


Distributors often work with a greater selection of items. They may distribute products from different manufacturers to reach a larger market.

Order size:

Dealers typically submit smaller purchases since they buy things to sell directly to consumers.
Distributors place larger purchases since they buy in bulk from manufacturers and resell to various dealers or retailers.

Geographical Coverage:

Dealers are typically localized and may operate in certain locations or markets. They meet the immediate demands of consumers in their area.


Distributors can cover greater geographical areas, covering various regions or even nations. They focus on distributing things to a larger market.

Relationship to Manufacturers:

Dealers can purchase products directly from producers or through distributors.


Distributors have direct ties with manufacturers and serve as an important link between producers and diverse dealers.

Dealer vs Distributor

Difference Between Dealer and Distributor

In this section we can see what is the Difference Between Dealer and Distributor in more precise way.

In conclusion, the difference between dealer and distributor is key to making sure that products get to the right people in a wide range of businesses. As sellers, dealers are very important because they connect directly with customers and make the buying process more personal. Distributors, on the other hand, make sure that goods get from manufacturers to a network of dealers or retailers without any problems.