What Is the Difference Between Wholesale Price & Retail Price? What Is the Difference Between Margin and Markup? In the distribution system, wholesale is the process of moving goods from manufacturing to distribution, while retail involves acquiring goods and reselling them to consumers. Wholesale prices are rates charged by producers or distributors to retailers, and retail prices are those charged by retailers to consumers. TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) The wholesale price is the rate charged by the manufacturer or distributor for an item, while the retail price is the higher rate you charge consumers for the same product.