NAICS Sector 42

Sector 42

NAICS Sector 42: Wholesale Trade

Definition of NAICS Sector 42: The Wholesale Trade sector comprises establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise. The merchandise described in this sector includes the outputs of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and certain information industries, such as publishing.

The wholesaling process is an intermediate step in the distribution of merchandise. Wholesalers are organized to sell or arrange the purchase or sale of (a) goods for resale (i.e., goods sold to other wholesalers or retailers), (b) capital or durable nonconsumer goods, and (c) raw and intermediate materials and supplies used in production.

NAICS 42Wholesalers sell merchandise to other businesses and normally operate from a warehouse or office. These warehouses and offices are characterized by having little or no display of merchandise. In addition, neither the design nor the location of the premises is intended to solicit walk-in traffic. Wholesalers do not normally use advertising directed to the general public. Customers are generally reached initially via telephone, in-person marketing, or by specialized advertising that may include Internet and other electronic means. Follow-up orders are either vendor-initiated or client-initiated, generally based on previous sales, and typically exhibit strong ties between sellers and buyers. In fact, transactions are often conducted between wholesalers and clients that have long-standing business relationships.

This sector comprises two main types of wholesalers: merchant wholesalers that sell goods on their own account and business-to-business electronic markets, agents, and brokers that arrange sales and purchases for others generally for a commission or fee.

  1. Establishments that sell goods on their own account are known as wholesale merchants, distributors, jobbers, drop shippers, and import/export merchants. Also included as wholesale merchants are sales offices and sales branches (but not retail stores) maintained by manufacturing, refining, or mining enterprises apart from their plants or mines for the purpose of marketing their products and group purchasing organizations (e.g., purchasing and selling goods on their own account). Merchant wholesale establishments typically maintain their own warehouse, where they receive and handle goods for their customers. Goods are generally sold without transformation, but may include integral functions, such as sorting, packaging, labeling, and other marketing services.
  2. Establishments arranging for the purchase or sale of goods owned by others or purchasing goods, generally on a commission basis are known as business-to-business electronic markets, agents and brokers, commission merchants, import/export agents and brokers, auction companies, group purchasing organization (e.g., purchasing or arranging for the purchases of goods owned by others), and manufacturers’ representatives. These establishments operate from offices and generally do not own or handle the goods they sell.

Some wholesale establishments may be connected with a single manufacturer and promote and sell the particular manufacturers’ products to a wide range of other wholesalers or retailers. Other wholesalers may be connected to a retail chain, or limited number of retail chains, and only provide a variety of products needed by that particular retail operation(s). These wholesalers may obtain the products from a wide range of manufacturers. Still other wholesalers may not take title to the goods, but act as agents and brokers for a commission.

Although, in general, wholesaling normally denotes sales in large volumes, durable nonconsumer goods may be sold in single units. Sales of capital or durable nonconsumer goods used in the production of goods and services, such as farm machinery, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and industrial machinery, are always included in wholesale trade.

Two Digit Sector 42 Breakdown for the North American Industry Classification System

NAICS codes are broken down by digit. The broadest description starts with the 2 digit sector codes. The 3 digit subsector codes are more specific, then the 4 digit industry group, 5 digit industry, and the most specific is the 6 digit NAICS code. If NAICS Sector 42 does not describe the industry of the business in question, then select the largest applicable code below. From there, follow the progression of smaller digits to the larger digits in order to obtain the most specific 6 digit classification.

  • Sector 42: Wholesale Trade
    • Subsector 423: Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods
      • Industry Group 4231: Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42311: Automobile and Other Motor Vehicle Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423110: Automobile and Other Motor Vehicle Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42312: Motor Vehicle Supplies and New Parts Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423120: Motor Vehicle Supplies and New Parts Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42313: Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423130: Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42314: Motor Vehicle Parts (Used) Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423140: Motor Vehicle Parts (Used) Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4232: Furniture and Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42321: Furniture Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423210: Furniture Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42322: Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423220: Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4233: Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42331: Lumber, Plywood, Millwork, and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423310: Lumber, Plywood, Millwork, and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42332: Brick, Stone, and Related Construction Material Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423320: Brick, Stone, and Related Construction Material Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42333: Roofing, Siding, and Insulation Material Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423330: Roofing, Siding, and Insulation Material Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42339: Other Construction Material Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423390: Other Construction Material Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4234: Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42341: Photographic Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423410: Photographic Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42342: Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423420: Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42343: Computer and Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423430: Computer and Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42344: Other Commercial Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423440: Other Commercial Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42345: Medical, Dental, and Hospital Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423450: Medical, Dental, and Hospital Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42346: Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423460: Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42349: Other Professional Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423490: Other Professional Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4235: Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42351: Metal Service Centers and Other Metal Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423510: Metal Service Centers and Other Metal Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42352: Coal and Other Mineral and Ore Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423520: Coal and Other Mineral and Ore Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4236: Household Appliances and Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42361: Electrical Apparatus and Equipment, Wiring Supplies, and Related Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423610: Electrical Apparatus and Equipment, Wiring Supplies, and Related Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42362: Household Appliances, Electric Housewares, and Consumer Electronics Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423620: Household Appliances, Electric Housewares, and Consumer Electronics Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42369: Other Electronic Parts and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423690: Other Electronic Parts and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4237: Hardware, and Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42371: Hardware Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423710: Hardware Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42372: Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies (Hydronics) Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423720: Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies (Hydronics) Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42373: Warm Air Heating and Air-Conditioning Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423730: Warm Air Heating and Air-Conditioning Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42374: Refrigeration Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423740: Refrigeration Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4238: Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42381: Construction and Mining (except Oil Well) Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423810: Construction and Mining (except Oil Well) Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42382: Farm and Garden Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423820: Farm and Garden Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42383: Industrial Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423830: Industrial Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42384: Industrial Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423840: Industrial Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42385: Service Establishment Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423850: Service Establishment Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42386: Transportation Equipment and Supplies (except Motor Vehicle) Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423860: Transportation Equipment and Supplies (except Motor Vehicle) Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4239: Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42391: Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423910: Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42392: Toy and Hobby Goods and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423920: Toy and Hobby Goods and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42393: Recyclable Material Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423930: Recyclable Material Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42394: Jewelry, Watch, Precious Stone, and Precious Metal Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423940: Jewelry, Watch, Precious Stone, and Precious Metal Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42399: Other Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 423990: Other Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
    • Subsector 424: Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods
      • Industry Group 4241: Paper and Paper Product Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42411: Printing and Writing Paper Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424110: Printing and Writing Paper Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42412: Stationery and Office Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424120: Stationery and Office Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42413: Industrial and Personal Service Paper Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424130: Industrial and Personal Service Paper Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4242: Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42421: Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424210: Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4243: Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42431: Piece Goods, Notions, and Other Dry Goods Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424310: Piece Goods, Notions, and Other Dry Goods Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42432: Men’s and Boys’ Clothing and Furnishings Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424320: Men’s and Boys’ Clothing and Furnishings Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42433: Women’s, Children’s, and Infants’ Clothing and Accessories Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424330: Women’s, Children’s, and Infants’ Clothing and Accessories Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42434: Footwear Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424340: Footwear Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4244: Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42441: General Line Grocery Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424410: General Line Grocery Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42442: Packaged Frozen Food Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424420: Packaged Frozen Food Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42443: Dairy Product (except Dried or Canned) Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424430: Dairy Product (except Dried or Canned) Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42444: Poultry and Poultry Product Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424440: Poultry and Poultry Product Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42445: Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424450: Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42446: Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424460: Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42447: Meat and Meat Product Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424470: Meat and Meat Product Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42448: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424480: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42449: Other Grocery and Related Products Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424490: Other Grocery and Related Products Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4245: Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42451: Grain and Field Bean Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424510: Grain and Field Bean Merchant Wholesalerssalers
        • Industry 42452: Livestock Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424520: Livestock Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42459: Other Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424590: Other Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4246: Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42461: Plastics Materials and Basic Forms and Shapes Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424610: Plastics Materials and Basic Forms and Shapes Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42469: Other Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424690: Other Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4247: Petroleum and Petroleum Products Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42471: Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424710: Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals
        • Industry 42472: Petroleum and Petroleum Products Merchant Wholesalers (except Bulk Stations and Terminals)
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424720: Petroleum and Petroleum Products Merchant Wholesalers (except Bulk Stations and Terminals)
      • Industry Group 4248: Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42481: Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424810: Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42482: Wine and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424820: Wine and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers
      • Industry Group 4249: Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42491: Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424910: Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42492: Book, Periodical, and Newspaper Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424920: Book, Periodical, and Newspaper Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42493: Flower, Nursery Stock, and Florists’ Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424930: Flower, Nursery Stock, and Florists’ Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42494: Tobacco and Tobacco Product Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424940: Tobacco and Tobacco Product Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42495: Paint, Varnish, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424950: Paint, Varnish, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
        • Industry 42499: Other Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 424990: Other Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
    • Subsector 425: Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers
      • Industry Group 4251: Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers
        • Industry 42511: Business to Business Electronic Markets
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 425110: Business to Business Electronic Markets
        • Industry 42512: Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers
          • 6 Digit Code(s) NAICS 425120: Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers

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NAICS Sector 42