Do I Need a Wholesale Licence to Buy Wholesale?

Man using forklift

Buying wholesale is easier and more cost-effective than buying from standard retailers. It cuts out the ‘middle man’, allowing you to make the most of the greater buying power you get from buying in bulk.

The question, however, is whether you can buy wholesale? Many businesses worry that they’re not allowed to buy from wholesalers, whether that’s because their orders aren’t big enough or that they don’t have a ‘wholesale licence’. Read on as we clear things up when it comes to wholesalers and wholesale licences.

What is a wholesale licence?

Despite sounding like it’s obligatory for customers, a wholesale licence is actually a very specific requirement. According to, a wholesale licence is required “to sell or supply medicines to anyone other than the patient using the medicine”. Essentially, it’s irrelevant when it comes to buying wholesale unless that includes medical products.

Can I buy wholesale?

Despite this, some wholesale companies do have their own requirements. One of the most common is ‘for trade only’. A lot of wholesalers use this to distinguish themselves from high street retailers, but it often puts off smaller businesses who think they’re not big enough to buy from them.

Essentially, ‘trade only’ applies to anyone who is buying products to sell them on or use commercially – rather than for personal use. So, any business or even sole trader can use wholesalers to save money.

What about trade cards?

Another thing you might come across with wholesale is a trade card. These are used by some wholesalers as a means of membership for their store. Rather than being exclusively for large companies, they are simply a way of encouraging brand loyalty, with some trade cards providing extra discounts or loyalty rewards.

In most cases, you’ll find trade cards are free, but require a few pieces of information or ID to sign up.

Making wholesale easy

At Homefords, we don’t ask customers to sign up for any trade cards or licences. Our minimum order is a low £100, making wholesale accessible to everyone from huge retailers to small, family run businesses.

So, whether it’s curtains or our vast range of bedding, dining or bathroom furnishings, you can get the best price and boost your bottom line.

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