Many who are looking to buy lighters try to get them as wholesale lighters. However, the use of the word wholesale is often a misnomer. The term wholesale refers to the selling of goods by wholesalers to retailers, or to industrial, commercial, institutional, or other professional business users.
Wholesale lighters are usually purchased in bulk and then resold at a higher price by the retailer. In the classic sense, a wholesaler was the go between for the manufacturer and the retailer. The local business and the national manufacturer were connected by wholesalers who took care of the transportation and distribution.
The wholesaler would buy from the manufacturer at a low unit price and sell to a retailer or other buyer at a higher unit price to compensate for the cost of transportation and distribution. The idea of cutting out this middleman and allowing the end user or general consumer to take advantage of wholesale prices was made popular by co ops and stores like Sam’s Club and Costco.
However, the very definition of the word wholesale makes it impossible for the general everyday consumer to buy things like wholesale lighters. The term means a sale to anyone who is not the end user or consumer. But in order to make consumers feel like they are getting a good deal, many retailers will advertise their bulk sales as wholesale.
Wholesale lighters are not any lower quality, they are just purchased earlier on in the supply chain than retail cigars are. The discounts on “wholesale lighters” are really just the same as bulk discounts.
Don’t be fooled into feeling like you got a better deal just because the seller said it was a wholesale price. Trust that they are not in the business of charity; they are not selling you lighters at the same price they bought them for from a wholesaler.
If you are a retailer or other commercial purchaser of lighters it is best to contact a wholesaler and to set up a retailer or business account with the wholesaler. Most wholesalers will have a minimum purchase threshold of a couple hundred dollars when it comes to buying wholesale lighters.
Most wholesalers, like any other supplier you deal with, will negotiate with you depending on the size of your order. Modern transportation and communication technology make it easier for manufacturers to skip the wholesaler and distribute directly to retailers in some cases.