How To Get A Booker Card Without A Business

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Wholesale warehouses are extremely convenient when it comes to purchasing goods. From their stores, you can buy items in bulk and save yourself some money!

However, wholesalers are pretty strict when it comes to who can purchase goods, reserving that privilege to business owners and charities only. 

How To Get A Booker Card Without A Business

There is a simple reason for this; stopping people from shopping from wholesalers like Bookers, Makro, or Costco, etc. helps both big chains such as Asda, Tesco, Morrison’s, etc. and local businesses when it comes to competing for customers. 

However, many people are often left wondering if you can have a Booker card without owning a business, and how you can obtain one. Luckily for you, we have all the answers here!

What Is Booker Cash & Carry?

Booker is a cash-and-carry wholesaler. It supplies food to around 120,000 retailers across the nation.

Booker has 172 depots, as well as 30 under Makro across the UK. Booker also owns the brands Premier, Budgens, and Londis

Additionally, small business owners and charities are able to buy their goods in bulk through Booker, provided they have a Booker card. 

What Is A Booker Cash & Carry Initiative? 

The Booker cash & carry card is simply a wholesaler card that is given to an account holder within a charity or business.

The card acts similarly to a membership, the invoice data and status of a business, and identification. With this card, you can buy goods at a wholesale or warehouse price. 

How Does the Booker Cash & Carry Card Work?

You simply walk into a wholesale warehouse with the authorised card and shop for your goods. When you’re finished, simply scan the card and leave.

At some point in the same day or week, the account holder will receive an electronic receipt. They will receive an invoice detailing the price of the goods and the timeframe in which they have to pay. 

If you do not have a credit account but you do have a membership, you can pay on the day at the store. 

The History of Booker Cash & Carry Cards

It is not fully known where the concept of a cash and carry card was popularised. 

In 1937, Beckman and Engle outlined the concept for a cash & carry card in their textbook Wholesaling Principles and Practice. In the book, they discussed the change in the way goods were sourced in 1920, which resulted in the need for wholesale.

From there, the cash and carry card was introduced as a way for businesses to source goods and pay through net returns at a later date. 

In 1957, a small warehouse called Wiseway opened in Ramsgate. This restaurant followed the principles of a cash and carry wholesaler. 

However, in 1958, L. Batley and Co. a warehouse and cash & carry centre in Huddersfield was opened. Therefore, the concept of a cash and carry card is often credited to a man called Lawrence Bailey, despite the book’s, and Wiseway’s existence. 

Can You Get a Booker Card Without a Business? 

Technically no. Technically yes. It’s a little complicated. While you do need to own a charity or business to open a Booker account, you can still be assigned a Booker cash & carry card if you only work for a charity or business.

However, you will only be able to use the card for business use. Personal use of the Booker cash & carry card is strictly prohibited. 

If this is the case, then you will be considered the ‘name card holder’ only. The transaction costs for the goods you buy will still be sent as an invoice to the account holder.

If you are a business or charity owner and have lost your cash & carry card, then the answer is a little different, and you are able to work around the rules.

If you have a business account, charity account, or are the named cardholder, then you will be able to use Makro online to shop without needing the card details at the checkout. This is provided you have signed in with your account. 

Are You Able To Get a Day Pass for Booker Cash & Carry?

Again, the answer to this is both yes and no. 

The day pass initiative permits both businesses and traders to test out the wholesale retailer before committing to a cash & carry card.

So, if you are a business owner or a trader, then you can do this without issue. Unfortunately, you will not be able to obtain a day pass if you are not a business owner or other relevant person. 

Can You Use Another Person’s Booker Card?

You could try, but you wouldn’t get very far. When you sign up for a Booker card, you must provide details that prove you are the owner of a charity or business.

After this, a card will be issued with your name and a picture of you. So, unless you look exactly like the account holder, then you will not be able to use someone else’s card. 

However, this is possible if you are the assigned cardholder for a business! 

Can You Get a Booker Cash & Carry Card if You Are Self-Employed?

In short, yes! Even if you are self-employed and do not have anything like a logo or website, you can still request and be eligible for a Booker card, as well as a card for other wholesale retailers. 

As a general rule, you must ensure you are working under a brand name and perform your own tax and expenses each year via HMRC. By doing this, you are considered to be a self-employed individual, a sole trader, or a business. 

Final Thoughts 

Unfortunately, there are not many situations that allow you to obtain a cash & carry card if you are not a business owner.

However, you are able to get a card if you are a charity, or self-employed, provided you work under a brand name and perform your own tax and expenses. 

You can also use a cash & carry card if you are a cardholder on behalf of a business! However, you must only use the card for purchases on behalf of the business. 


About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.