Wholesale trade consists of purchasingand selling goods, generally to retailers, professional (industrial or commercial) users or authorities, or to other wholesalers or intermediaries, regardless of the quantities sold.
Wholesale trade intermediaries put buyers and vendors into contact (or perform commercial operations for a third party), without being owners of the goods (these are commission agents, brokers, sales agents, self-employed representatives, etc.). Trading groups, other trade intermediaries, may be the owners of goods, which they sell to their members and their affiliates for a very low trade margin.
Almost all goods may give rise to wholesale trade but only some of them are sold in retail (retail trade).
In the french activity nomenclature (NAF rev. 2), wholesale is mainly described in division 46, "Wholesale excluding automobiles and motorcycles".