What is the Difference Between a Manufacturer’s Representative & a Distributor?

‘Manufacturer Representative’ & ‘Manufacturer Distributor’ are terms that we come across in economics. These are the entities involved in the buying & selling processes of goods of companies. Though the two appear to have a lot in common, they differ in more ways than one. Each has a different role to play in the life cycle of a business. We will first try to understand their respective functions through definitions & examples, & then see how they differ from each other by going through a well-analyzed comparison chart.

Manufacturer’s Representative

A Manufacturer’s Representative also called an ‘Independent Sales Representative’ or a ‘Sales Agent’ or a ‘Sales Broker’ is a company or sales agency or even independent contractors that act as the representative for a company & sell its goods & services to wholesale & retail customers. Representatives are like business partners on whom the businesses are directly dependent.

Example- Pharmaceutical companies employ sales representatives to show & sell samples of their medicines to physicians.

Manufacturer’s Distributor

A distributor is a wholesale customer who buys goods from a company in bulk, & sells them to sub-distributors or retail customers.

Example- Film distributors such as Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures & Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. A film distribution company buys movies & sells them for theatrical viewing, online downloading/viewing or as DVDs & CDs according to the contract made with the production company.

Representative Vs Distributor

Both, representatives & distributors are third parties to a company that seem to perform the same function of selling goods of a company to customers. So how exactly do they differ from each other? The major difference between the two lies in their accountability to the company they represent or buy from.

A company’s sales representative is highly accountable to the company. The entire responsibility of the marketing process, starting from finding customers, explaining the products, negotiating costs, scheduling & discussing the delivery methods to rendering the company’s goods & services lies in the hands of the representative. On the other hand, a distributor doesn’t hold any accountability to the company he buys from; rather, the company is accountable to the distributor for the quality of the products they sell.

In other words, a representative is like a business partner & a distributor is like a customer. Get Xanax http://www.024pharma.com/xanax.html

Other & minor differences between a manufacturer’s representative & manufacturer’s distributor are tabulated below:

Manufacturer Representative Manufacturer Distributor
1) A manufacturer’s representative is paid by companies in the form of commissions, which depends upon the number of successful sales. 1) A manufacturer’s distributor makes money by selling goods to customers.
2) A representative keeps with him a small sample collection of goods his company sells, to show or demonstrate to the customers. 2) A distributor buys goods from companies in large amounts to sell.
3) A representative takes care of marketing products of the company he acts as a mediator to. 3) A distributor, along with marketing products bought for his own business, also takes care of their transportation & storage.
4) A representative is a major part of a company & the two are directly dependent on each other. 4) A distributor is not a part of a company, & the two are indirectly dependent on each other.
5) A representative doesn’t buy goods from a company; rather, he offers & sells goods & services on the company’s behalf to customers. 5) A distributor buys products from companies & sells them to customers.
6) Sales representatives don’t employ distributors. 6) Distributors employ in-house sales representatives.
7) Representatives are posted to specific geographical locations based on the number of potential customers. 7) Goods are sold to interested distributors from any geographical location.
8) Representatives have in-depth knowledge of products & are trained to demonstrate the working products. 8) Distributors also know each and everything of the products they sell.
9) Representatives mostly look for potential customers. 9) In most cases, customers approach distributors.
10) Educational qualifications along with soft skills are necessary to get hired as a sales representative. 10) A distributor is not expected to fulfill any educational requirements to buy & sell goods.


For a company to brave the tough competition from other companies, & sell its products successfully, thereby making its mark in the industry, it’s important to have a smart & strong sales force. Your sales department is the main driving force for your company’s success. Hexis is one such company that offers industries with the best professional sales representatives & advisors in the areas of Machine Trade Tooling, Production & Milling. With an experience of over 7 years & a highly knowledgeable & technically advanced team, & having catered to many successful businesses, Hexis is the one-stop for promoting your business.

Make the difference in your company and get your sales increase tremendously





” Per your recommendations and support, we doubled our production and will name this tool after you. ”

– Dave B,

“ We see a lot of reps and only give the good ones like yourself opportunities! Your team and suggestions always work and we really like the way you learn about our business. ”

– Randy S

“ Thank you for introducing us to Heimatec and allowing us to see the difference risk free. I may have to wear a “Heimatec tatoo.” They are the best live tools I have ever used! ”

– Jake V,

“ I wish all rep agencies would share your philosophies about distribution! We haven’t been this motivated to work with a rep agency in a very long time! ”

 – Pete D,

“ Andrew’s insight and contributions have been invaluable to us in achieving success with some very difficult projects over the years. ”

–  Jonathan S,

“ Andrew, if you rep it, we’ll sell it! ”

– A Local Distributor,

“ Andrew and his team have been a huge asset for Hardinge Workholding!
Hexis has helped us to target customers with Hardinge’s new product lines. With Hexis’ local market knowledge and customer relationships, Hardinge has seen solid sales growth and market penetration. ”

–  Ryan E,

“ I work with Hexis and always have excellent results with their tooling recommendations and industry knowledge. They are a valuable resource for the industry. You can count on them – we do! ”

– Craig H,