How to Become a Candy Distributor

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Many  candy distributors carry various types of hard candy.
Many candy distributors carry various types of hard candy. (Image: candy image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)

There are many stores and businesses across the country that specialize in the sale of candy. Most candy retailers get their inventory from wholesale candy distributors at a discounted price, and then sell the candy to their customers at a marked up price. Becoming a candy distributor can be a fun, enjoyable venture, as well as a profitable one.

Choose a niche for your candy distribution business -- this will help distinguish you from your competitors and give you a target market to focus on. For instance, you can stock chocolates, nostalgic candies, organic or sugar-free candies.

Secure the permits needed in your state to start a retail business -- this varies depending on where you live. You may need an assumed name certificate, employer identification number (EIN), sales and use tax permit or resale permit.

Rent a food-grade warehouse to store your inventory. The facility you choose needs to be temperature controlled, especially if you will be stocking chocolate, taffy or gum, which tend to melt easily.

Establish wholesale policies. As a distributor, you will selling candy to other businesses, not the public. For example, you may determine that all orders must meet a $250 minimum, or that retailers must show documentation of being in business to set up an account with you.

Set appropriate wholesale prices for your candy -- you should be giving retailers a discount of 40 percent to 60 percent off retail price. For example, if a pound of taffy can retail for $7, you could sell it for $3.50 per pound.

Provide incentives for retailers to choose you over other candy distributors. You can offer discounted shipping, a newsletter with business tips, friendly and speedy service, or low order minimums.

Promote your candy distribution business by setting up a website or promotional blog, sending a flier or catalog to local candy stores, joining a wholesale retailers association such as the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, advertising on business websites and forums, and listing your company in wholesale directories.

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