Wholesale Decoded: The Key Terminology Every Brand Should Know

Wholesale Decoded: The Key Terminology Every Brand Should Know

In the dynamic world of wholesale retail, a shared language is essential for successful collaborations between brands, suppliers, and retailers. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just stepping into the wholesale landscape, understanding the essential terminology is vital for effective communication and informed decision-making.

The Connect Wholesale Glossary is your go-to resource for unlocking the language of wholesale, providing clarity on fundamental terms that every brand and retailer should master. By decoding these key concepts, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities of the wholesale retail world, fostering stronger partnerships and driving business growth. Below are 20 of the key terms that every industry player should know.



This is the term for a seller’s line and the variety of products they offer to retailers, which gives buyers a wide range of product types, sizes, colors, or prices. This term can also mean a retailer’s assortment, which refers to all the types of products they offer.

Business-to-business (B2B)

These are transactions and interactions that occur between businesses, such as a manufacturer selling products to a retailer.


This is a printed or digital list of a business‘s products or offerings, providing detailed information about each item, including descriptions and prices.


The complete list of a business's available products, including their quantities and locations, which is crucial for stock management and order fulfillment.


This is a detailed document provided by the seller to the buyer, specifying the products or services purchased, their prices, and the terms of payment. It serves as a formal record of the transaction.

Lead time

The period between placing an order and receiving the products from the supplier, often influenced by manufacturing and shipping times.

Line sheet

A document that provides an overview of a wholesale business’s product line. Customers can use the line sheet to create a purchase order by listing the quantity of each item they want.


The difference between the wholesale price and the actual cost of producing an item, which determines the profits. Retailer margin is the profit percentage a retailer earns when selling a product at the retail price.

Market appointment

A scheduled meeting or appointment at a trade show, market, or showroom where retailers, buyers, or suppliers can explore and discuss new products and business opportunities.


An online platform or physical space where multiple sellers offer their products to a wide range of buyers, creating a diverse and competitive marketplace.


The amount (or percentage difference) that is added to the wholesale price to set the retail price.

Minimum order quantity (MOQ)

This is the lowest quantity of products that a supplier is willing to sell to a retailer in a single order. In wholesale retail, MOQ represents the minimum number of units, items, or products that a retailer must purchase from a brand.

Net payment terms

A type of payment plan involving retailers paying for items after a specific time frame since the delivery of ordered goods. For instance, a retailer may request invoice payment terms of 30, 60, or 90 days. This is usually referred to as net 30, net 60, or net 90.

Pro forma invoice

A preliminary or “draft” invoice sent to buyers before the shipment or delivery of ordered goods. Typically, a pro forma invoice includes a description of the goods and the total payable amount, but buyers are not legally required to pay the amount on it.

Purchase order (PO)

A document that details the products, currency, and quantity a retailer has bought from a wholesale seller. Once a retailer places an order, the PO is usually the document the final invoice is based on (together with the wholesale payment terms).


A small quantity or prototype of a product used for testing, demonstration, or showcasing to potential buyers or customers, to help them become familiar with your work before placing an order.

Stock-keeping unit (SKU)

A unique code (or series of numbers) assigned to each product in your line. SKUs are most often used when a seller has a large inventory to manage. The code usually appears on purchase orders and pick lists.

Trade show

An event or exhibition where businesses in the same industry showcase their products to potential buyers, and learn about business trends.


This is a single item or product, often used as a standard measure for pricing, ordering, and selling products.


The sale of products in large quantities at a lower price, typically to retailers or other businesses for resale or use in their operations. A wholesaler is a business or person that sells products in bulk to retailers or other businesses, acting as an intermediary between manufacturers and retailers.


Discover the Wholesale Glossary here




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