inventory management

How to buy your craft supplies in bulk

We show you how to save on your material costs by buying in bulk and thus increase your profit margins.

As a handmade seller, one of your biggest costs is your materials. Having costly materials leads to decreased profit margins for your products - it’s important to be as cost-effective as possible with your material purchasing as this is the key to handmade business growth.

One of the biggest ways you can save on production costs without sacrificing quality is to buy your materials in bulk.

Buying in bulk often allows you to negotiate a better price per unit with the seller. This is because the seller knows that you are committed to purchasing a large quantity of their product and they may be more willing to give you a better price in order to secure your business.

This is also because sellers want to encourage buyers to purchase a larger quantity of their product at one time since it saves them the hassle and expense of packing and shipping smaller amounts.

As your shipping costs should always be factored into your material costs when calculating your profit margins, it’s important to keep these costs well under control - buying your materials in bulk is usually much cheaper than purchasing smaller amounts.

In addition, buying in bulk can also help you avoid the hassle of having to restock your supplies frequently. By buying larger quantities of materials, you can craft for longer periods of time without having to worry about running out of supplies. You’ll also make your customers happier by being able to make and send products quickly (a hugely important metric if you are aiming for becoming an Etsy Star Seller)

In order to understand how much is enough, and how much is too much, you’ll want to ensure that you are using some sort of system to track and manage your inventory levels. Craftybase is an online solution designed specifically for handmade sellers that automatically tracks your material and product inventory for you.

Lastly, another great benefit of buying in bulk is that it allows you to try new crafting techniques without breaking the bank. When you buy small quantities of supplies, you may be hesitant to experiment with new techniques in case you don’t like the results as it can be an expensive mistake. However, if you can reduce your material unit costs to a more manageable level for the base test items you need, you can afford to be more adventurous with your R&D activities.

How can I buy my craft materials in bulk?

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of buying in bulk, let’s talk about how to do it effectively. One of the best ways to buy in bulk is to find a wholesale supplier that you trust. There are many online retailers that sell craft supplies at wholesale prices which can be a great source of low cost materials.

If your current suppliers don’t immediately appear to have bulk discounts available, it’s always worth asking them for their bulk rates - you may need to give them a ballpark idea of the amounts you would like to purchase so that they can calculate this for you.

Another great tip for buying in bulk is to take advantage of sales and promotions - when they come up, always be ready to buy the materials you know you need.

Nicole Pascoe Nicole Pascoe - Profile

Written by Nicole Pascoe

Nicole is the co-founder of Craftybase, an inventory and bookkeeping software product designed specifically for handmade sellers. She has been working with, and writing articles for, Etsy sellers for the last 12 years. Her passion is to help handmade sellers to become more successful with their online endeavors by empowering them with the knowledge they need to take their business to the next level.

Want to learn more about handmade inventory management?

It's a fact: inventory tracking improves both your business and your bottom line. Our eBook introduces online craft sellers to the absolute basics of inventory in an easy to understand way, giving you the knowledge you need to finally get your inventory, costs and taxes under control.

Inventory Management for Handmade Sellers eBook cover