How To Calculate Wholesale Price? [2024]

How To Calculate Wholesale Price? Calculating the wholesale price is an important part of running any business that sells products to retailers or other distributors. The wholesale price is the price you charge those wholesale customers for your products, allowing them to then mark up the products and sell to consumers at a retail price.

Setting the right wholesale price is crucial – too low and you erode your profit margins, too high and retailers won’t be interested in carrying your products. There are several factors to take into account when determining an appropriate wholesale price. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the wholesale pricing process step-by-step.

Determine Your Costs

The first step in calculating a wholesale price is understanding your costs of producing or procuring the product. Consider the following costs:

  • Direct material/ingredient costs: What raw materials or ingredients are needed to manufacture the item? Add up all costs.
  • Direct labor costs: For manufactured goods, what labor costs go into making each item? Consider time and hourly wages.
  • Manufacturing overhead costs: These are costs related to manufacturing but not directly tied to production, like rent, utilities, equipment maintenance, and supervisor salaries. Allocate a portion of these costs to each item produced.
  • Shipping costs: What you pay to transport products from your manufacturing facility to your warehouse or fulfillment center. Include inbound shipping containers, pallets, freight, etc.
  • Storage & handling costs: Any costs for storing inventory or getting it shelf/pick & pack ready for orders. May include warehouse rent, staff, equipment etc.
  • Packaging costs: Boxes, bags, tags, wrapping materials, labels and anything used to package the product for shipment.
  • Payment processing fees: Credit card, PayPal or other online payment processing costs. The transaction percentage rate plus any per transaction fees.

Add up all of these direct and indirect costs involved in sourcing and selling your product, then divide by your total units sold to get your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) per unit. This forms the base of your wholesale pricing calculation.

Set Your Profit Margin Goal

The next step is deciding what profit margin you want to achieve. Your profit margin goal can vary greatly depending on factors like:

  • Industry averages: Research wholesale profit margins typical for your product category and business model. Use this as a starting benchmark.
  • Business goals: If you are prioritizing rapid growth, you may opt for lower margins initially to attract resellers and gain market share. More established businesses may aim for higher margins.
  • Product uniqueness: If your product is very differentiated with few direct substitutes, you can likely command higher wholesale margins compared to a very commoditized product.
  • Competitor pricing: Understand where your wholesale pricing fits compared to competitors to ensure you are competitive. You may choose to match or undercut pricing.

A 30-50% margin between your costs and wholesale prices is fairly typical for wholesale consumer goods. This allows the reseller to then double the wholesale price when selling to consumers (a standard 100% retail markup).

Calculate Your Wholesale Price

With your COGS per unit and desired margin percentage established, you can now easily calculate your wholesale price using this formula:

Wholesale Price = Unit COGS / (1 – Margin Percentage)

So for example, if your COGS is $5 per unit and you want a 40% gross margin, your wholesale price would be:

Wholesale Price = $5 / (1 – 0.4) = $5 / 0.6 = $8.33

Round up or down accordingly. This $8.33 wholesale price would deliver a 40% margin if the item costs you $5.

Set Minimum Order Quantities

Along with your pricing, it’s important to establish order minimums for your different types of wholesale customers. Minimum order quantities help ensure wholesale orders are profitable for you after packing and shipping costs. Typical minimums are:

  • Retail stores: 24-36 units
  • Small boutiques: 12 units
  • Online stores: 36-50 units
  • Distributors: 100+ units

Have pricing minimums as well. If an order falls below $100-$200, the profit margin may get too compressed after fulfillment costs.

Communicate Your Pricing

The final key step is clearly communicating your wholesale pricing to resellers through your:

  • Wholesale website: Have a dedicated “Wholesale” portal listing your minimums, pricing tiers, and policies.
  • Wholesale catalog: A product catalog withDescriptions focused on resellers (pack sizes, margins etc.)
  • Trade shows: If exhibiting at industry trade shows, make pricing sheets available.

Be responsive to wholesale inquiries and provide quotes quickly. Avoid publicly listing pricing to prevent “showrooming”. Qualify new accounts to protect brand integrity.

Adjusting Wholesale Prices

Wholesale pricing should be continually monitored and adjusted when necessary. Common reasons are:

  • Increased production costs: If your input material expenses go up significantly, raise wholesale prices accordingly to maintain your desired margin.
  • Currency fluctuations: If sourcing products internationally, currency swings directly impact your COGS. Adapt pricing to negate the effects.
  • Market demand changes: If a product becomes “hot” leading to runaway demand, take advantage by increasing wholesale pricing.
  • Inventory gluts: Excess stock that is not selling may require wholesale price reductions to boost reseller orders. Consider promotions.
  • Competitor moves: If competitor wholesales prices change significantly, react accordingly with pricing adjustments to remain positioned as intended.

Following this comprehensive guide, you can effectively set, communicate and adjust your wholesale pricing over time. Proper pricing is what enables profitable resale of your products to business customers.


Calculating an optimal wholesale price is a critically important process for wholesalers and manufacturers selling products to retailers, online stores and other business buyers for resale. It requires an understanding of your internal costs and desired profit margins plus analysis of wider industry factors like comps and market demand.

With COGS per unit and margin percentage goals established first, you can utilize simple formulas to set a wholesale price point that achieves financial objectives. This wholesale price, accompanying minimum order quantities, terms and other details should be clearly communicated via channel-appropriate means.

Wholesale pricing also requires ongoing monitoring and strategic adjustments when underlying cost dynamics or competitive environments inevitability shift. Following the step-by-step guide above provides a solid basis for structuring and adapting your wholesale pricing for success. The price you set ultimately enables win-win value exchange between you, resellers and end consumers.

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What is the first step in calculating wholesale price?

The first step is to fully understand your cost of goods sold (COGS). Add up all direct and indirect costs involved in manufacturing, procuring, storing, and shipping your products. Then divide by total units to get COGS per unit.

How do I set my profit margin goal?

Research your industry averages and what profit margins are typical. Also factor in your broader business goals, how unique your product offering is, and your current competitive landscape. Common wholesale margins are 30-50% between costs and wholesale prices.

When should I adjust my wholesale pricing?

Common reasons to review and adjust pricing include increased production costs, currency fluctuations affecting imported goods, changes in market demand, having excess inventory, and competitor pricing moves.

How do I communicate pricing to prospective wholesale partners?

Dedicate a “Wholesale” section on your website with minimums, pricing tiers etc. Create a wholesale-focused catalog. Have pricing sheets to share at relevant trade shows. Be responsive with quotes.

Does wholesale pricing have to match MSRP?

No, the wholesale price does not have to match the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Wholesale pricing should be set based on your internal costs and margin goals. Retailers then apply their own preferred markup.

Should different wholesalers get different pricing?

It depends. Tiered pricing levels can be provided based on order volumes if desired. However, be cautious with heavy product discounting. In some cases unified pricing may be advisable. Weigh your options carefully.

How much below MSRP should my wholesale price be?

Wholesale pricing does not have to align to MSRP, but is typically 30-50% lower than MSRP to allow the retailer to mark up 100%. For example, an MSRP of $50 would involve a wholesale price around $25 or less.

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