A wholesale supplier takes care of the shipment of products that customers buy. On the other hand, affiliate marketing is about product promotion; the marketer earns a commission for every good sold. The wholesale supplier earns the difference between the manufacturer or producer’s price and his or her supply price.
To run a business as a wholesale supplier, you need to create a relationship with a manufacturer, and then set up your shop or website where you will display items for sale. When dealing with customers, you make it seem that you handle everything in the sales process including the shipping. In reality, you only handle orders and then transfer them to the producers who ship directly to the customer. In some arrangements, you can have the manufactures attach a special shipping return address and label that points back to your business.
Affiliate marketing takes care of product promotion. As the affiliate marketer, you find products that you want to promote and then enroll in their affiliate programs. As part of the program, you will get special codes that you put on your web promotional pages. These can be on your websites, on your social sites and anywhere else. The codes and referral links act as your identity and when someone buys a product after being referred by a link that, has your affiliate code, then you earn commissions for that sale. You can choose between affiliate programs done by the product owners or third-party programs that act as a market for producers and marketers to meet.
In the end, both affiliate marketing and wholesale supplier earn from price margins but the former does is not responsible for customer relationships aside from referring the sale. The wholesale supplier has to make shipping arrangements and in some cases follow up to make sure products are delivered.