How to Become a Product Distributor

Product distributors make a profit by bridging the gap between manufacturers and customers.
Product distributors make a profit by bridging the gap between manufacturers and customers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Many product-based industries operate on a three-tier distribution system, in which manufacturers sell to wholesalers, who in turn sell to retailers. Some distributors, especially in direct-selling models, eliminate the retailer and find customers directly. While distributors used to require large amounts of storage space to handle product inventory, technological advances have made it possible to become a product distributor from your own home. Learning how to become a product distributor opens up a range of flexible career opportunities.

Determine what type of product you want to distribute. Stick with your strengths if you are already familiar with an industry or type of product.

Research manufacturers of products you would like to distribute. Search the manufacturer online to see whether they have a direct-selling model or are represented by a traditional wholesaler.

Contact the manufacturer by phone if a web search doesn’t provide the necessary information. Mention your interest in distributing the product and ask how to sign up as a new distributor. If necessary, call additional manufacturers until you find one that will work with you.

Read the terms of your distribution agreement carefully. Make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities, what the pricing agreement is, when inventory must be paid for, and any other clauses. If you feel comfortable with the terms of the contract, sign on the dotted line and begin distributing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't give up! This is a viable work from home business idea. Many don't understand the product life cycle chain and you can profit from that.
  • Get great deals, and offer your price to your family and friends. Get them to spread the word about your business. Word of mouth is great advertising, and best of all it is free!

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