Published : August 23, 2023 , Updated : July 16, 2024

What Is a Vendor? Definition, Types, and Example

What Is a Vendor? Definition, Types, and Example

In the landscape of the buying and selling of goods and services, vendors play a very important role in the flow of goods and services. In the simplest words, a vendor is a term for anyone who sells goods and services. These businesses and individuals work in different roles to cater to the demands of multiple players within the supply chain.

This article is an attempt to make our readers, especially those who wish to opt for vendor financing for their business finances, aware of the term “vendor” in the supply chain and highlight its importance in the market landscape.

Key Takeaways!

A vendor is an important part of the buying and selling landscape. It’s like an entity that sells goods and services to cater to various players within the supply chain.
Vendors come in various forms, such as manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and service providers.
Vendors take multiple roles to serve as a seller of goods and services and ensure a smooth flow.
Today, many states are making it necessary for vendors to be licensed.

What is a Vendor?

The term “vendor” typically refers to an entity that is paid for goods and services in the supply chain rather than the manufacturer itself. But a vendor can take on the roles of both the seller of the goods and the manufacturer.

Fact Time: Now, States have made it requisite for the vendors to be licensed. If you’re thinking of becoming a vendor or using one, ensure you check with your state licensing office to learn about the requirements.

Example of a Vendor

Amazon – a renowned name in the online store landscape, also works as a web service provider. It offers web hosting, database storage, and other essential services, catering to businesses’ needs. These services can be difficult for small businesses to afford and handle on their own due to costs and operations.

What Are The Different Types Of Vendors?

Though there are so many types of vendors, most fall into the category of one or two mentioned below:

Manufacturer: Manufacturers transform raw materials into final goods, which they sell to wholesalers and retailers.
Retailers: Retailers are businesses that buy goods from suppliers and sell them to consumers.
Wholesaler: Wholesalers are businesses that buy goods in bulk and sell them to retailers. Some of the wholesalers also deal with customers directly , known as wholesaler-retailers.
Service Provider: They are B2B or B2C service providers.

How Does a Vendor Work?

A vendor or supplier is someone who sells goods and services by finding customers in need of what they sell. After getting the required raw materials, the vendor advertises and sells its goods by choosing a method that best suits it.


Some of the retailers in the market like Walmart have a curation of vendors who supply goods at wholesale prices. These vendors are required to manage larger operations to meet the store’s retail demands.


Vendors often work with other businesses in a model called business-to-business (B2B). They give parts to help make the final product for those businesses. Small companies use different vendors to gather parts and put together their products, like building blocks.


Vendors offer services like shipping, security, etc. They become vendors when contracted to provide particular services, like transforming event spaces or catering for gatherings.

Vendors and Trade Credit: Smart Business Arrangements

Vendors and Trade Credit are related in the financing landscape. Vendor refers to a company that sells goods to another company. Trade credit is when a vendor allows extended payment terms to their customers. This credit arrangement is very crucial for a company to best manage their cash flow.

Is The Vendor and The Supplier The Same?

Suppliers have the role of supplying raw materials and parts to the manufacturing unit. Vendors, on the other hand, sell them to consumers.

To Conclude

Vendors play a very important role in the commerce landscape by connecting manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and service providers. Their flexibility and adaptability led to the smooth flow of goods and services in the entire supply chain process.

Learn More about: Vendor financing

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