Defining the Players in the Wholesale Business

When you’re in business, you can’t just consider yourself a retailer; you have to be a marketer too. eBay enables sellers in the United States to market across a massive geographic area. You’ve heard of advertising being targeted to the lucrative 18-to-49 age demographic, but what about all the other age groups? Who are they? If you learn about your customers, you’ll know how to sell to them.

Decide who buys what you want to sell — or, better yet, decide with whom you want to deal. If you don’t want to deal with e-mails from teenage gamers, for example, perhaps you shouldn’t be selling items that Gen N (defined in a moment) is gonna want.

Marketers often provide blanket definitions about the population based on their stages in life, what they’re expected to buy, and in which activities they participate. Generational cohorts are formed less by biological dates than by life experiences and influences. Outside influences make a big difference in how buyers look at things.

With this knowledge, you can better decide just how many people are potential shoppers for your products in the future. The 2010 census pegged the country at a total population of 308,745,538, and a median age of 37.2 years old.

Age Range Population Change from 2000 to 2010*
20–24 21,585,999 13.8%
25–34 41,063,948 2.9%
35–44 41,070,606 –9%
45–54 45,006,716 19.5%
55–59 19,664,805 46%
60–64 16,817,924 55.6%
65–74 21,713,42918,390,986 18.1%
75–84 13,061,122 5.7%
85-100 5,440,069 28.3%

* The United States Census is taken every ten years. The next census will occur in 2020.

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