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You may be asking yourself what is the difference between buying directly from a wholesaler, or getting your products from a retail store. The two, while similar at their core, offer different incentives based on what you’re looking for. Let’s break it down. 

At a Glance: Wholesale vs. Retail


  • Offers products in bulk 
    • Larger orders are often discounted
  • B2B relationships
    • Customization/branding
  • Control over shipping
  • Less competition


  • Sells individual products more than bulk orders
    • Bulk orders, while possible, take time to fulfill
  • Set their prices based on what they spent from their wholesalers
  • Less customization opportunities
    • Products often sold “as is”
  • Many storefronts/online platforms to compete with

What is Wholesale? 

Wholesale sells the products to businesses or outlets who are not the end user. Wholesalers typically sell in large quantities at a discount price — bulk orders are often discounted based on the size of the order. In other words, the more you purchase, the less you pay per product. 

Some wholesalers also offer a variety of other services, such as customizing the product to match your branding. They thrive in business to business (B2B) relationships and work with you to ensure the product is exactly what you want. 

For example, let’s say you’re a start-up business who is looking for premium products that display your brand. Some stores, such as DC Alchemy, are able to do that for you. DC Alchemy sells premium vape and CCELL cartridges wholesale products and they are able to customize vape cartridges, CCELLs, batteries, and syringes with laser-etched branding, as well as assist with logo development and MMJ packaging. 

A wholesaler also has more control over shipping than a retailer.

A wholesaler can also be a retailer and a manufacturer.

Wholesale Case Study

Let’s refer back to DC Alchemy for this case study. The company advertises the following: 

  • Provides premium CCELL cartridges wholesale at non-premium prices
  • Provides CCell products to local and national distributors
  • Laboratory tested and quality assured
  • Same day shipping

When it comes to premium products, DC Alchemy CCELL products sleek design reduces leakage and improves flow. 

Price-wise, DC Alchemy is one of the less expensive wholesale options available. We compared their CCELL TH 205 (.5 ml) with a black ceramic tip to three competing wholesalers (Marijauna Packaging, Solis Supply, Cartridge Supply) and found their price of $1.20/unit was anywhere between 30 cents to $2 less than the same product sold by other wholesalers.

When it comes to testing, DC Alchemy is partnered with Cannasafe, which is the first accredited lab in the industry to test vaping products. 

In a study conducted on Dec. 6, 2019, Cannasafe looked into two CCELL samples provided by DC Alchemy. The product was tested for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. DC Alchemy’s CCELL hardware contained 0.337 micrograms/gram, which is below the 0.5 microgram/gram limit, therefore the hardware was approved. 

Being a wholesaler, DC Alchemy has more control over when and where they are available to ship their products, hence their ability to distribute their products nationally and provide same day shipping. 

What is a Retailer?

A retailer is a department store, online store, discount store, or any brick-and-mortar store that sells the final product to the consumer in an “as-is” condition. The products are typically sold in lesser quantities, though larger orders can be placed. 

The downside of placing larger orders in a retail establishment is that it will generally take longer to fill the order, as they will need to get more supply from their wholesaler. 

Some retailers do offer customization of their products, but it is typically not in bulk. If it is in bulk, again, the process will take some time. 

Retailers also set their own prices in a highly competitive market, as they are looking to make a profit on what they paid for from wholesalers. 

Retailers also have a high level of competition, thus making a case study on one company nearly impossible. For example, the number of retailers in the Phoenix metro area who advertise the sale of vape products is in the hundreds

DC Alchemy is also a retailer and can provide small-scale orders to individuals or small business owners.

So, Which is Better?

Both of them are useful in various scenarios. There is no clear winner or loser: it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re a consumer, then you’re going to use retail to provide you with what you need. 

If you’re a business owner, you have options.If you need a couple of one item, then a retailer may be the best bet. But if you’re looking to customize a larger bulk order, wholesalers are going to be your best option. 

Do your research and make sure the company you’re ordering from is the one that best fits your needs. And if you’re in the market for premium next-gen vaping tech, DC Alchemy has you covered. Contact them today