Adding ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets to your product offerings can be a lucrative way to grow your home improvement or construction business. Wholesaling RTA cabinets allows you to provide quality cabinetry to your customers without the high cost and long lead times associated with custom cabinetry. With some research and planning, you can establish relationships with wholesale distributors and manufacturers to buy RTA cabinets at a discount for resale to contractors, remodelers, homeowners and landlords. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the key steps for successfully wholesale sourcing and selling RTA cabinets.

Understanding the RTA Cabinet Market

RTA cabinets provide a cost-effective alternative to site-built custom cabinetry. RTA cabinets come disassembled in flat boxes for easy transportation and require simple assembly. They are constructed offsite, typically using materials like particle board, MDF, melamine and thermally fused laminate (TFL) finishes. Kitchen cabinet companies manufacture the cabinet boxes, doors, drawers and hardware and package them ready for assembly.

There are several benefits that make RTA cabinets an attractive option:

  • Cost savings – Prefabricated RTA cabinets are more affordable than custom cabinets built onsite. Manufacturing efficiencies and materials used reduce costs by up to 50%.
  • Convenient installation – Flat-pack cabinets make deliveries easier. Customers can assemble cabinets themselves or hire an installer. Minimal tools are needed.
  • Quick lead times – RTA cabinets ship within days from distributors’ warehouses compared to weeks or months for site-built custom cabinets.
  • Product variety – RTA catalogues include a wide range of styles and configurations. Options include different door styles, finishes, storage solutions and accessories.
  • Quality materials – Top RTA brands use durable finishes and hardware comparable to custom cabinetry at lower price points.

The RTA cabinet market has grown steadily along with the rising popularity of ready-to-assemble furniture. More homeowners and contractors are utilizing RTA cabinets in kitchen and bath remodels, new construction builds, rental properties and flipping projects. As demand increases, there are more opportunities to wholesale RTA cabinets profitably.

Steps to Start Wholesaling RTA Cabinets

Selling RTA kitchen cabinets wholesale requires careful planning and preparation. Follow these key steps to launch and grow a successful RTA cabinet wholesale business:

Research cabinet distributors and pricing

  • Identify reputable RTA cabinet suppliers and manufacturers to evaluate their products, services and prices.
  • Good options include leading national brands like, Barker Cabinets, Cabinet Joint and Ready2Assemble. Check for any local or regional distributors as well.
  • Analyze product catalogues, quality and lead times. Compare pricing across brands to determine best values.
  • Look for suppliers that work with trade customers, offer discounts and have minimal order requirements.

Determine target customers

  • Identify the types of customers you want to sell to – contractors, remodelers, builders, landlords, homeowners, etc.
  • Evaluate their potential cabinet needs for new construction, renovations, flipping or rental properties.
  • Research competitors selling cabinets to your target audience. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Clearly define how you will differentiate and add value. Ways to stand out include better pricing, customer service, lead times etc.

Calculate pricing and costs

  • Obtain wholesale cabinet pricing from distributors to capture adequate profit margins.
  • Factor in additional costs – delivery fees, packaging, warehouse storage if needed.
  • Determine appropriate markups over distributor pricing for your customers based on market rates. Typical margins are 30% to 50%.
  • Offer tiered pricing – higher discounts for larger contractors placing big orders versus smaller one-time customers.

Set up store or website

  • Create an online storefront so customers can view cabinet catalogue, get quotes and place orders.
  • Or establish a small local showroom if your target geography allows. This gives customers the ability to see product quality.
  • Invest in attractive marketing materials – catalogue, brochures, product samples, door displays etc.

Market your services

  • Promote your RTA cabinet offerings to potential customer groups through websites, social media, trade publications.
  • Attend B2B trade shows and home builder conventions to connect with prospects.
  • Network with contractors, remodelers, property investors to generate referrals. Offer preferential pricing for trade partners.
  • Leverage search marketing on Google and Bing to advertise to customers looking for RTA cabinets online.
  • Highlight advantages of buying from you – competitive pricing, knowledgeable support, quick delivery etc.

Key Tips for Wholesaling RTA Cabinets Successfully

Follow these important tips for maximizing success and profits when wholesaling RTA kitchen and bathroom cabinets:

Offer extensive catalogue options

Carrying a wide range of RTA cabinet lines allows you to be a one-stop shop. Make sure to include:

  • Diverse door styles – slab, shaker, inset, recessed panel, thermofoil etc.
  • Variety of colors and finishes – wood stains, paints, whites, blacks, grays etc.
  • Assorted storage and accessory options – drawers, rollouts, wine racks, lazy susans etc.
  • Sizes to fit any space – standard, oversized, angled, tall cabinets etc.

Provide exceptional customer service

Knowledgeable support is vital when selling cabinets wholesale:

  • Patiently assist customers in selecting the best cabinetry for their needs and budget.
  • Educate them on RTA products and installation to build confidence.
  • Share design ideas and recommendations to streamline the buying process.
  • Follow-up post-sale to resolve any issues and ensure satisfaction.

Cultivate supplier relationships

Work closely with manufacturers and distributors:

  • Make contacts with sales reps to negotiate best discounts.
  • Plan purchases to meet volume requirements for higher trade pricing.
  • Confirm lead times before selling to manage customer expectations.
  • Resolve any shipping damages or defects promptly.
  • Give feedback on new products and trends shaping demand.

Offer warehousing and delivery

Make ordering and delivery seamless for customers:

  • Maintain sufficient cabinet inventory to fulfill orders quickly.
  • Arrange outgoing shipments and last-mile delivery.
  • Provide experienced installers customers can hire.
  • Offer managed warehouse services for larger contractor orders.

Start small and grow

When starting out, it’s fine to:

  • Work out of a small warehouse or garage to minimize overhead.
  • Start with core cabinet offering and expand over time.
  • Only buy inventory to meet short-term demand until sales volume increases.
  • Own delivery vehicles and hire installers later to control costs initially.

Market to rentals and flips

Promote your RTA cabinet supply services to:

  • Real estate investors flipping houses who need inexpensive cabinet upgrades.
  • Landlords and property managers renovating vacant units between tenants.
  • Airbnb and short-term rental hosts furnishing units on a budget.

The RTA cabinet category will continue experiencing strong growth long-term due to greater customer acceptance, expanding style and configuration options, competitive pricing versus custom cabinetry and the large home renovation market. Wholesaling RTA cabinets offers entrepreneurs an exciting avenue to profit from this demand while providing value to both distributor partners and customers. Just be sure to follow the steps outlined for researching products, establishing supply channels, marketing effectively and delivering excellent service.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of RTA cabinets?

The main types of RTA cabinet construction include:

  • Particle board – Made from wood fragments pressed together into sheets. Provides a budget-friendly option.
  • MDF (medium density fiberboard) – Made from wood fibers and resin glues. More stable than particle board with smoother finish.
  • Melamine – Particle board or MDF with a plastic coating for moisture resistance and easy cleaning.
  • Solid wood – All cabinet parts made from hardwoods like oak, maple, hickory etc. Most expensive option.
  • Thermally fused laminate (TFL) – MDF or particle board covered with decorative laminate thermally fused for a seamless wood-like look. Durability between melamine and solid wood.

What qualifications do I need to wholesale RTA cabinets?

No special licensing is required. Key qualifications include:

  • Construction, carpentry, design or relevant industry experience
  • Strong customer service orientation
  • Organizational and time management abilities
  • Comfort learning production processes
  • Retail sales knowledge for showrooms
  • Marketing skills for promotion

What should I charge for delivery and installation?

Factor in all costs, then add your desired profit margin. Typical charges:

  • Delivery – Minimum $50-$100 plus $2-$5 per mile over 15 miles
  • Installation – Average $50 per cabinet. Varies based on local rates.
  • Provide discounts for large wholesale orders to win business.

How much warehouse space will I need?

Allow for:

  • Receiving and shipping area
  • Inventory storage – Estimate 200 cu ft per 500 cabinets to allow access. Can be double stacked.
  • Staging area for preparing orders
  • Forklift accessible aisles – At least 8 feet wide
  • Easy semi-truck access for 18-wheel deliveries
  • Electrical power as needed
  • Climate controlled space ideal

What software helps manage RTA cabinet orders?

  • CRM for managing customer sales and contacts
  • Inventory management for tracking stock
  • Order management and processing
  • Accounting for invoicing and managing cash flow
  • FEMS (Furniture Ecommerce Management System) provides an all-in-one solution


The market opportunities for RTA cabinet wholesalers are significant given the growth in home remodels and new construction. With some upfront research and planning, wholesaling RTA cabinets can become a prosperous business model. Success comes down to sourcing quality discount inventory, marketing effectively to customers, providing excellent service and leveraging efficiencies. Use the steps and tips provided to minimize risks and maximize rewards. Partner with experienced kitchen cabinet distributors and manufacturers to leverage their expertise as well. RTA cabinets offer an easier and more affordable solution versus site-built custom cabinetry. Adding them to your product mix can attract many new customers and projects. Use this guide to turn the expanding RTA cabinet market into your next business growth engine.