We say client list or customers for people we offer our goods or services, but what word should I use for the company I buy the goods from?

Is that also a client?


I guess 'vendor' defined by google as

A person or company offering something for sale, esp. a trader in the street: "an Italian ice cream vendor".

Definition of vendor from oxforddictionaries.com

noun a person or company offering something for sale, especially a trader in the street: an Italian ice-cream vendor /also ˈvɛndɔː/ Law the seller in a sale, especially of property.

  • Can we call company - a vendor?' – Acidic Cloud Feb 7 '13 at 21:15
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    I think so! I have heard lot of people use those terms especially in the job market. I have heard sentences like "The consultancy company is going to setup my interviews with vendors" – camelbrush Feb 7 '13 at 21:18
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    I disagree with this answer. In the context of a company, it doesn't normally buy from "vendors". If the company has vendors, it actually "sells" to them. – FumbleFingers Feb 8 '13 at 1:05
  • how about a company trying to employ contractors/part-time workers from a placement agency? won't one play the role of a vendor and the other the role of a buyer? even though both are companies. – camelbrush Feb 11 '13 at 15:32
  • @camelbrush: Obviously every commercial company has "customers" they sell to, and almost every company buys stuff. I'm simply saying that in practice, if someone speaking from the company's perspective refers to "our vendors", that will almost always mean our authorised distributors, who sell our products/services to customers we don't deal with directly. – FumbleFingers Feb 17 '13 at 20:49

As @GEdgar says if you buy goods in order to sell them on (regardless of whether you do anything to enhance them or not), you get them from your suppliers.

You'd only normally refer to your company's vendors if you don't actually sell direct to end-users. Check a few instances of our vendors have in Google Books, where they're invariably referring to people who buy our product in [large] wholesale quantities, and sell it on [in smaller amounts] to many more people.

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