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Difference between Agent and Distributor

Difference between Agent and Distributor

What is the difference between an agent and a distributor? An agent represents your products or services to prospective buyers, whereas a distributor buys and resells your products. For most businesses, it’s important to understand the distinction so you can choose the best route for selling your product. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two types of sales professionals.

In order to successfully sell products or services, businesses need to identify which type of salesperson they need: an agent or a distributor. An agent represents your company and its products/services to prospective buyers; a distributor buys and resells your products.

What is an Agent?

In business, an agent is an individual who is authorized to act on behalf of another party, known as the principal. Agents can be used in a variety of contexts, from real estate to entertainment. In general, agents are empowered to enter into contracts and perform other legal acts on behalf of their principals. This relationship is typically governed by a written agreement that outlines the agent’s duties and responsibilities. While agents are typically associated with large businesses or organizations, they can also be individuals who work independently. Due to the nature of their work, agents must be reliable and trustworthy individuals who are able to maintain confidentiality.

What is a Distributor?

A distributor is a type of business that sells products or services to retailers, businesses, or other distributors. Distributors typically buy products or services from manufacturers or producers and then sell them to customers. They may also provide other services, such as warehousing and logistics. Distributors typically have a network of contacts and relationships with customers that allow them to identify customer needs and stock the appropriate products. Distributors play an important role in the supply chain by ensuring that products and services are available when and where they are needed.

Difference between Agent and Distributor

  • In business, the terms ‘agent’ and ‘distributor’ are often used interchangeably, but there are some important differences between the two. An agent is an individual or company that represents a buyer or seller in a transaction. They are typically used by manufacturers to help them find buyers for their products. A distributor, on the other hand, is a company that buys goods from a manufacturer and then resells them to retailers.
  • The main difference between an agent and a distributor is that an agent does not take ownership of the goods they are selling, while a distributor does. This means that an agent’s commission is usually lower than a distributor’s margin. Another difference is that agents are usually paid on a per-transaction basis, while distributors are typically paid on a monthly or quarterly basis.
  • Agents and distributors can both be beneficial to manufacturers. agents can help manufacturers find buyers for their products, while distributors can help to increase sales by making products more widely available. It’s important to choose the right type of partner for your business, based on your needs and goals.


The distinction between an agent and a distributor is an important one to understand when expanding your business internationally. An agent represents your company in a foreign market, while a distributor establishes a presence in that market to sell and distribute your products. When deciding which route to take, it’s important to consider the resources each option requires and how much control you want to maintain over your brand in foreign markets.

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