Complete Guide 2022: How to Buy in Bulk Online?

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how to buy in bulk online

By buying in bulk online, you can get amazing prices on almost any type of product. Buying in bulk offers some great advantages.

On the one hand, you can save money. On the other hand, you can reduce the number of trips you have to make to the store. And you’ll be protecting the environment by using less packaging.

Ready to become a bulk buying expert? This quick guide will explain everything you should know about buying in bulk online.

What Is Buying in Bulk?

buying in bulk

Buying in bulk simply means you buy more items at once instead of a piece to reduce the total cost of each item.

For example, you buy ten boxes of batteries for a fraction of their individual price. Or, you buy an extra-large box of cereal at a lower cost per ounce than a small box of cereal.

It may seem that the goal of buying in bulk is simply to get as much as possible for as little as possible, but the truth is that when you buy in bulk, your main goal should be to minimize your cost per unit. This way, you can make sure you save money.

Why Should I Buy in Bulk Online?

There are many reasons why people choose to buy in bulk online. For B2C buyers, low price is the main reason. But from a B2B perspective, there are many more reasons.

Here are some main reasons to buy in bulk online:

1. Reduce purchasing costs

Buying in bulk can save on purchasing costs. One study found that when buying from grocery stores, a 10 percent larger package resulted in a 5 percent lower unit price.

In addition, buying in bulk often results in better deals, such as discounts if you buy specific weights in ounces, pounds, or kilograms.

2. Resell to make money

Buying in bulk can also be profitable if the purchase is for manufacturing or resale purposes. Buying inputs at wholesale prices can bring you a higher profit margin on your next sale.

3. Offer a large inventory

For buyers who decide to start a trading business or want to engage in direct sales, buying in bulk offers excellent purchasing opportunities.

Remember, buying items at a bargain price does not necessarily mean you have a low-quality product.

Once you find a seller with good products and better prices, you can enjoy a constant supply of quality, low-priced items.

4. Space to expand at will

At last, because of the convenience it promises, bulk buying can be an excellent catalyst for growth.

If your business is in a phase of frequent growth, having a trusted bulk supplier will help you cope with the growing demand.

Top 5 Best Websites for Buying in Bulk Online

Buying in bulk has never been easier, and you can buy anything you want online, anytime, anywhere. Whether you just want to bargain or plan to buy items to resell.

Here are the top 5 best websites for buying in bulk online:

1. Alibaba


Alibaba is known for providing business-to-business (B2B) services and is one of the largest Chinese e-commerce sites on the Internet. On this site, you can find almost any product imaginable.

Alibaba is unique in that most of the sellers are manufacturers, which is why prices are often much lower than anywhere else and explains why there are so many bulk items.

Like many bulk buying sites, many sellers on Alibaba require you to purchase a minimum quantity of their products before doing business with you. The lowest-priced items will usually have a fairly large minimum order.

However, if you are willing to pay a little more, it is possible to purchase a single item or a smaller minimum number of items.

The minimum order quantities on Alibaba tend to be somewhat larger than on other bulk wholesale sites.

You may learn more about Alibaba for details below:
Is Legit? How to Buy from Alibaba?

2. Global Sources


Global Sources is not only a wholesale online shopping site but also a sourcing service provider and trade show facilitator.

As a wholesale marketplace, it allows you to browse products made in China from verified suppliers.

Verified suppliers carry a badge that says they have been verified by the company, which means their licenses and legal documents are in order (in plain English, they are considered trustworthy).  

Global Sources is different in that there is no direct purchase mechanism. To purchase a unit of an item, you must send an inquiry to a wholesaler and then negotiate delivery, payment, shipping, etc.

You can’t add products to your cart and checkout like you can with Alibaba. Instead, the site has a live chat feature that you can use to speed up the buying process.

3. DHgate


DHgate is a Chinese e-commerce marketplace that focuses on B2B and B2C services. Sellers on DHgate are mainly small and medium-sized Chinese companies offering products at wholesale prices.

While the products on DHgate are not as diverse as those on Alibaba, it still has a wide variety of low-priced items available for bulk purchase.

Some of its more popular product categories include clothing, fashion accessories, electronics, and outdoor equipment.

The price of an item depends on the quantity you order, with better prices available for larger orders.

If you’re a consumer, DHgate tends to offer a better experience than other large wholesale sites like Alibaba and Global Sources.

For one thing, the ordering process is more friendly. On Alibaba and Global Sources, you have to place your order directly through the seller.

On DHgate, you can simply order through the website, just like on other popular e-commerce sites like Amazon.

You may learn more about Alibaba Vs. DHgate for details below:
Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Which Is Better for Sourcing Products from China?

4. Made-in-China

made in china

Made-in-China is one of the cheapest online wholesale shopping sites. If you compare its pricing with other sites, you will find that the fees charged by wholesale suppliers on the platform are quite reasonable.

The site audits most wholesalers before allowing them to sell on its platform. The audit verifies their financial status, product capabilities, working environment, product image, quality control, and certifications.

In addition, Made-in-China offers you the opportunity to conduct online or face-to-face meetings. This means you can get to know your suppliers before you do business with them.

You can also sign up for the site’s secure transaction service. This will ensure that the wholesaler receives payment after you have confirmed receipt of the item in the proper condition.

5. Chinavasion


Chinavasion is based in Shenzhen, China, which is a hub for top smartphone brands such as Samsung, Apple, and HTC.

That’s why the wholesalers on the site are able to offer competitive prices on phones, tablets, and accessories.

The site shows you the difference between retail and wholesale prices so you can calculate how much you save on wholesale purchases.

Another clever feature of Chinavasion is its direct purchase mechanism. You can add products to your cart and check out using the payment method you want. Chinavasion supports PayPal as well as all major credit cards.

The company also offers global shipping services and works with several companies to provide products to its customers.

You can even get free shipping if you agree to wait 10 to 30 days for your products.

You may learn more about China Wholesale Websites for details below:
Complete List 2022: Top 30 Best China Wholesale Websites

How to Buy in Bulk Online?

If you already know how to buy in bulk online and have some first-hand experience, it may be worthwhile to give it a try and source products from abroad.

Instead, it is best to source products domestically until you have more knowledge, experience, and money.

The following is the general process for buying in bulk online:

Step 1. Find a wholesaler

Check your local business centers, online wholesaler websites, and B2B marketplaces.

Step 2. Contact a wholesaler

If you are using a B2B marketplace, you can skip or at least simplify this step. Otherwise, contact the wholesaler via email and introduce yourself and your business.

Step 3. Sign an agreement with the wholesaler

Check the terms carefully; if necessary, have an attorney check them out.

Step 4. Place an order with the wholesaler

The wholesaler will let you know how they want you to order, and the B2B wholesaler marketplace will be the most convenient.

Step 5. Remember the minimum order quantity

If you are not ready to place such a large order, ask the wholesaler if you can order samples first.

Step 6. Determine the price you want to pay

Some manufacturers price their merchandise. For example, Apple requires distributors to price their merchandise. Check your agreement for details.

Step 7. Place additional orders as needed

5 Tips for Buying in Bulk Online

tips for buying in bulk online

Buying in bulk online is an art in itself, which means you need to know the right strategies to make the most of the process.

Here are some tips for buying in bulk online:

Tip 1. Contact the manufacturer

First, you need to know that the supplier may not always be the manufacturer. Thousands of companies are listed on Alibaba, including manufacturers, wholesalers, and bulk suppliers.

Sometimes it pays to contact manufacturers directly rather than wholesale distributors. By going through the manufacturer, you are more likely to get the lowest possible price.

If they don’t handle the sale, they will notify you and direct you to a wholesaler who can help.

Tip 2. Don’t be afraid to negotiate

The typical B2B buying process involves a lot of back and forth between buyers and sellers. When you buy thousands of one product, you have enough leverage to ask for what you want.

Suppliers also know you are making a big commitment, so they are willing to bend in areas you didn’t expect.

Tip 3. Get samples first

It is important to be absolutely certain that the product you are considering is a good fit for your business.

Requesting and receiving samples in advance can help you confirm this almost for free. With samples, you can be sure that you are buying the right item with a long shelf life.

Tip 4. Pay close attention to shipping

You can use a variety of shipping methods to get your products to their destination. Standard options include shipping by sea and air.

But depending on the size of the wholesale lot you buy, the option you choose can increase your profit margin or eliminate your revenue.

For wholesaling large quantities of relatively heavy goods, ocean freight is usually cheaper.

However, if you are buying lighter items in bulk, air freight will make more sense. The shipping terms offered by the supplier are also critical.

Shipping can be ex-works (EXW), free on board (FOB), or cost, insurance, and freight (CIF). Evaluate each of these to determine which terms are best for you.

Tip 5. Prepare adequate storage space

At last, buying in bulk means you have a safe place to store your products before you sell or use them.

If you don’t have enough bulk stores, then your inventory is at risk of damage, or you may end up paying more to find the right storage space.

How to Avoid Buying in Bulk Online Pitfalls?

avoid buying in bulk online pitfalls

While buying in bulk online may be a great way to increase your money, that’s not to say it doesn’t have its drawbacks.

Here are 5 tips to help you make the most of buying in bulk online while avoiding potential pitfalls:

Tip 1. Be careful with credit cards

Buying in bulk means you have to have more money upfront, which can be difficult if you’re on a tight budget.

Don’t be tempted to charge purchases to your credit card, as you’ll add interest if you can’t pay it off right away.

Tip 2. Pace yourself and plan ahead

Start by choosing one or two items that your family uses regularly and buy them in bulk rather than converting your entire grocery list to bulk purchases.

Take advantage of coupons, sales, and other special offers to keep costs down.

Tip 3. Share the cost

Splitting purchases with friends or family is another way to reduce upfront costs.

This strategy is also helpful if you are concerned about consuming something before it gets damaged or if you lack sufficient storage space.

Tip 4. Consider storage

It is important to consider where you will store your goods. Before you go out and purchase additional freezers or shelving systems to store extra merchandise, consider non-traditional storage options.

Such as unused closet space or areas in your garage where you don’t need to keep things at a certain temperature.

Tip 5. Exercise restraint

Don’t be tempted to use up what you have simply because it’s there.

For example, if you only have two paper towel rolls in your house, you may be more conservative than if you had 12 in stock. Stick to the way you normally use the item, and don’t overindulge.

Buy in Bulk Online FAQ

1. Is it really cheaper to buy in bulk?

Absolutely true! When you buy a single item, the seller actually has to raise the base price of the product in order to profit from costs such as sending it separately and paying for shipping.

On the other hand, when placing a bulk order, the seller can lower the base price of the item because they only have to pay for shipping once.

Usually, the larger the bulk order you place, the more prices you can negotiate.

2. What products are best to buy in bulk?

Any product that you sell regularly and has a long shelf life can be bought in bulk.

Some bulk products with high-profit margins could be clothes, cell phone accessories, pet items, gadgets, etc.

3. Which bulk marketplace is best for you?

Choosing the best place to buy discounted bulk items depends entirely on your needs.

If you are interested in buying something to supply your online store, Alibaba, DHgate, Global Sources, or even Made-in-China are all good choices.

4. Is Alibaba or AliExpress better for bulk orders?

While AliExpress is usually the platform of choice for newcomers to e-commerce, Alibaba leads the way in terms of volume orders.

This is because Alibaba is a B2B marketplace consisting mainly of manufacturers or wholesalers who sell in bulk.

You may learn more about Alibaba Vs. AliExpress for details below:
Alibaba Vs. AliExpress: Which Is Best for Dropshipping in 2022?

Buy in Bulk Online Conclusion

If you decide to buy in bulk online for your business, there is no better place to start than Yansourcing.

As the best sourcing company in China, we have helped thousands of buyers make their selections, including sourcing directly from manufacturers and licensed wholesalers.

In addition, we don’t require any membership fees. If you have any questions about importing from China, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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