A business intermediary is someone who helps companies connect with consumers and sell their products and services in various industries. You may wonder what they do and how they influence the market, or you may want to pursue a career as one. In this article, we will explore the role of a business intermediary, the situations where you need one and some common examples of business intermediaries.
Who is an Intermediary in Business
Business intermediaries are professionals. They help buyers and sellers of goods or services. In summary, they are middlemen who connect supply and demand. They also provide value-added services. These include market research, negotiation, financing, distribution and quality control. They work in many industries. For example, real estate, manufacturing, retail, finance and technology. Some business intermediaries are brokers, agents, wholesalers, distributors, franchisors, consultants and online platforms.
When do you need a business intermediary?
Business intermediaries are needed when a company wants to avoid direct contact with customers. However, they help products reach consumers for manufacturing companies. Sometimes, business intermediaries own or buy the product they sell. So, this allows companies to make a profit before the final sale. Smaller manufacturers and companies unfamiliar with the consumer side can benefit from this.
Examples of business intermediaries
Business intermediaries are common in the consumer industry. Most brands and companies use them. Here are some examples of professionals and types of companies:
1. Independent Sales Representative
- They sell BWBMart services to Buyers and Sellers. On BWBMart, we refer to our sellers as Vendors. Our Vendors are either manufacturers, designers, producers or suppliers and we want them to sign up on the platform. By signing up, they automatically create a custom storefront where they can list their products and all its attributes to attract a buyer and close a sale. Our buyers are large scale distributors, wholesalers and multi-chain national retailers. Our ISRs earn a commission for selling our services to our customers.
- If you want to become an Independent Sales Representative, visit BWBMart Jobs for more information.
2. Real estate agent/brokers
- They sell houses and land for owners, meet buyers and help them buy. The property is not theirs. They get a commission fee. The fee is a percentage of the sale.
3. Entertainment agents
- They represent entertainment professionals. And work with many clients. They help them find roles, opportunities and recognition. Entertainment professionals hire agents. Agents help them get better or bigger opportunities. They have contacts that help their clients.
4. Literary agents
- They pitch literary work to publishers. Many publishers do not talk to authors directly. Literary agents help authors get published. Authors send query letters to agents. The letters describe their manuscripts. Agents contact authors if they are interested. They ask for more details or a sample. This can lead to a business partnership.
5. Investment bankers
- They are experts in finance and investments. The economy and stock market are studied by them. Also, they look for patterns or practices that can help their clients. Advice on financial decisions is offered by them to individuals and companies. They have a special license to buy, sell and trade securities. Clients need them as an intermediary for large financial and investment transactions.
6. Car salespeople
- They work at car dealerships and sell cars. They do not own the cars they sell and often get commissions. Car salespeople and dealerships help car manufacturers. They do not have to deal with customers or sell the cars. Customers may need guidance for buying a car. They may feel more comfortable with a salesperson.
7. Grocery stores
- They are retail intermediaries. They buy produce and other products from farmers and suppliers. They stock them in their stores. This is convenient for food suppliers and customers. Grocery stores vary in size and products. Some specialize in a certain type of cuisine. Others have a general array of products. Larger grocery stores serve as intermediaries for multiple production companies. They offer different brands for customers.
8. Department stores
- They are retail intermediaries that sell various products. They have sections based on the products they stock. They can offer food, clothing, media, home supplies and other goods. They act as intermediaries for multiple companies from different industries. This is convenient for consumers. They can visit one store for their needs.
9. Shopping malls
- They have several businesses on the same property. They benefit consumers by having a variety of stores and restaurants nearby. They act as intermediaries in different ways. First, they work with retailers and restaurants to offer them a convenient and high-traffic area. The mall companies are not responsible for selling products. But they profit from the rent that retailers and restaurants pay. Second, the retailers in shopping malls sell products they bought from manufacturers. Third, the restaurants in shopping malls use wholesale intermediaries and farmers for their food supply.
10. Thrift stores
- They are a unique form of a business intermediary. Consumers mainly supply their products. Sometimes, thrift stores pay customers for their second-hand items. Other thrift stores only accept donations. Thrift stores help consumers find uses for their extra items. They also offer an alternative to fast-fashion stores. The store itself is the intermediary between the suppliers and the buyers of the products.
11. Online selling platforms
- They connect individual sellers to consumers online. These platforms are popular among artists and crafters. The platform can help with marketing and shipping. Often, an online selling platform has a theme of products, such as handmade items. Consumers can browse the products that sellers offer on the site. The online selling platforms profit by charging sellers to list an item and by taking a commission from each sale.
12. Food wholesalers
- They are part of a chain store that sells items in bulk. These stores are popular with produce and other food items. They cater to large parties or local restaurants. Food wholesalers are intermediaries between manufacturers and consumers. They can buy products in bulk from manufacturers at a discount price. Then they may offer bulk items at a discount to consumers too.