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How to Buy In Bulk and Sell Individually [Easily] In (2023)

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In today’s economy, businesses struggle to stay above water as they need healthy profit margins to be successful and thrive.

That’s why people have turned to one of the most profitable side hustles: buy in bulk and sell individually.

The problem is there’s too much competition, and you need a plan before jumping into the market.

Things like where to buy, what products to choose, how to resell, and issues to look out for are crucial. 

Conveniently, we’ll go through everything you need to be prepared and stay one step ahead. 

Why You Should Consider Buying in Bulk and Selling Individually

Buying in bulk and selling individually is a great side hustle that can become a full-time online business.

Here’s why you should consider it:

  • Large Profit Margins: You can buy bulk items at discount prices and then sell them individually at exponentially higher retail prices. This gives you excellent profit margins. 
  • Scalability: The more you sell, the more wholesale products you can buy and the more diverse your products offering can be. Eventually, you can reach the top of the market in your niche or product category. 
  • Branding Opportunity: When you have large quantities of a product, you can create a unique brand instead of selling generic items. This helps attract even more customers and sales. 
  • Potential Passive Income: As your sales pick up and you gain popularity, you can turn this into a passive income stream. 

Problems With Buying in Bulk and Selling Individually

While buying in bulk and selling individually is a great side hustle, there are a few potential problems you should be aware of.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind: 

  • Ample Storage Space: You’ll need a place to keep your inventory. Before buying large quantities of a product, calculate how much storage space it’ll take. 
  • Upfront Costs: When buying in bulk, you’ll be making a relatively large investment upfront that’ll be repaid slowly over time. Make sure you have enough to invest in the products upfront. 
  • Risk of Slow Sales: There’s always the risk of your products not being sold or not selling fast enough. This can result in time and money losses. 
  • Quality Concerns: With bulk sales, it’s often hard for suppliers to maintain quality across every single product. Ensure you thoroughly inspect your items when you receive them from bulk vendors. 

What You’ll Need to Buy in Bulk and Sell Individually

Buying in bulk and selling individually is relatively easy. You don’t need much to get started.

Here’s the gist: 

  • Capital: An initial investment to purchase products in bulk from wholesalers
  • Storage Space: Somewhere to keep your items, like a storage unit, a garage, or a spare room
  • A Sales Platform: You’ll need to create an account on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, or other sales platforms to reach potential customers
  • Shipping Materials: When reselling your products individually, you might need shipping materials like boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and shipping labels
  • Payment Method: A method of paying vendors and receiving payments from customers. PayPal is the most commonly used method. 

Where to Buy in Bulk and Sell Individually

There are several online marketplaces where you can buy wholesale products in bulk and sell them individually. 

1. Alibaba

screenshot of the Alibaba homepage

Alibaba is the oldest and most popular Chinese e-commerce marketplace for buying wholesale items in bulk.

It allows you to purchase bulk items from China (Hong Kong especially) and other parts of the world at a wholesale price. 

You can then resell them individually either on Alibaba itself or other websites such as Amazon or eBay. 

Most Alibaba sellers require you to buy a minimum quantity of bulk items so they can maintain profit margins at a wholesale price. 

What Makes This Option Great

Alibaba is a great option for business owners because it has a wide range of quality products.

The wholesale marketplace covers things from beauty products to consumer electronics and fashion accessories.

No matter what type of product you want to buy in bulk, chances are you’ll find them at a wholesale price.

They also offer Trade Assurance which guarantees a refund in case the wholesale products are not delivered or are sub-quality. 

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None for buyers, 5-8% for sellers
  • Typical Payment Methods: Credit cards, bank transfers, and PayPal

2. SaleHoo

screenshot of the SaleHoo homepage

SaleHoo is another great marketplace where you can source products for resale. It has over 8,000 verified suppliers and international wholesalers of high-quality products in different niches. 

It’s less popular than Alibaba, but merchant wholesalers on this website usually have a lower minimum order quantity (MOQ).

It’s great if you’re new to the retail business and what to keep your risk to a minimum. 

SaleHoo also offers educational guides and videos for beginners on how to navigate B2B marketplaces and how to resell wholesale items at a retail price. 

What Makes This Option Great

SaleHoo offers analytical research tools to find profitable products based on their sales trends.

This helps you find the right wholesale items to buy and gives you a general idea of wholesale price vs. retail price

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None for buyers, none for sellers
  • Typical Payment Methods: Externally negotiated with the supplier, but usually credit cards and PayPal

3. WholesaleCentral

screenshot of the WholesaleCentral homepage

WholesaleCentral is similar to Alibaba and offers a wide range of products for resale. Product categories include clothing, electronics, grooming products, and more. 

The website has thousands of retail wholesalers offering low prices and excellent-quality wholesale products. 

What Makes This Option Great

WholesaleCentral offers tools for comparing different types of products and analyzing product sales. You can use these tools to find the best wholesale price to make a nice profit selling individually. 

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None for buyers, none for sellers
  • Typical Payment Methods: Externally negotiated with the supplier, but usually credit cards and PayPal

How To Buy in Bulk and Sell Individually: Step-By-Step Instructions

Buying in bulk and selling individually is as easy as following these six simple steps: 

Step 1: Do Your Research 

The first step is to research different products and niches. You want to look for items with high consumer demand, low bulk pricing, and a high retail price.

This is the ideal scenario where you make large profit margins, and your online business thrives.

You can use keyword research tools like Google Trends, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to find out just how popular the products are. 

Clothing and accessories are common options in the reselling business. Here’s a guide on how to start a clothing business by buying wholesale.

Step 2: Contact Wholesale Vendors and Purchase the Products

You need to find merchant wholesalers and buy wholesale products. You can use websites like Alibaba, SaleHoo, and WholesaleCentral to find suppliers. 

Look for wholesale vendors with good reputations or ratings, reasonable discount prices, and quality products. 

When negotiating a deal, cover things like pricing, minimum order quantity, payment methods, shipping costs, delivery times, and any potential fees.

Step 3: Inspect the Products

Once you receive the products, inspect the quality and make sure it’s up to standard. And verify that you received the correct quantities because errors are common with bulk quantities. 

Step 4: Set a Retail Price and List the Products on Different Websites

Once you’ve decided on a retail price that gives you a competitive edge, you’ll need to start listing your products on different platforms. 

You can sell through your own website or use marketplaces with large audiences like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Social media platforms are another great option, as they can increase your reach and drive sales.

Related: How to Sell on the Facebook Marketplace, How to Sell on Instagram, How to Sell on Amazon, How to Sell on eBay, How to Sell on Etsy

Step 5: Market Your Products

It’s not enough to list your products and wait for customers to buy them. You need to market them to create a thriving business and increase your sales. 

Some of the best ways to market a small business is by utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Use ads and offer promotional discounts to help get your product out there. You can even collaborate with influencers and offer affiliate commissions. 

The better your market your products, the more sales you’ll eventually make. 

Step 6: Track and Manage Your Inventory

Make sure to keep track of your inventory and replenish your stores regularly. And keep an eye out for areas of potential expansion.

For example, if you notice your resistance bands are selling exceptionally well, you might also consider selling yoga mats or fitness trackers. Cleverly diversifying your products can increase your profits

Things to Consider When Buying in Bulk and Selling Individually

Here are a few things you should consider if you want to turn this into a successful side hustle:

1. Competition

Lots of people buy in bulk and sell individually as a side hustle. For some, it’s even a full-time lucrative business.

That means you’re going to have competition. And you need to stand out and always be one step ahead. 

Be prepared to slightly lower your profit margins to attract more customers. Also, focus on products that are popular and have a loyal customer base. 

2. Suppliers Credibility  

Choose suppliers that have a good track record. Check their reviews and rating and stick to premium vendors that are verified by online marketplaces. 

The best suppliers are reliable when it comes to product quality and delivery times. 

3. Shipping and Storage Costs

Keep in mind the shipping and storage costs associated when making your business plan and setting a retail price. If you’re renting a storage space, this can slowly eat into your profit margins before your sales can pick up. 

4. Customer Service

The secret to recurring sales is excellent customer service. You should address any inquiries or issues your customers have. 

This helps you gain a loyal customer base and builds your reputation as a trustworthy seller. 

5. Branding Potential

You can eventually create your own brand with a unique selling proposition.

Instead of selling generic products that you receive from wholesalers, you can customize them to fit your brand and customers’ needs. 

A brand separates you from the competition, increases your sales, and builds a strong connection with your customers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Products for Bulk Resale?

The best items are ones that have low bulk pricing, a decent retail price, and high market demand. 

Some of the most common items include jewelry, electronics, clothing, skincare products, and fitness equipment. 

How Much Bulk Product Should I Get?

It depends on the type of item, your budget or capital, and how much storage space you have.

If it’s your first time buying in bulk and selling individually, start small. Once you’ve decided on a product type, try to stick to the minimum order quantity your supplier allows before scaling. 

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

While buying in bulk and selling individually is an excellent business, there are many other side hustles you can try:

Wrapping Up

Buying in bulk and selling individually is a great side gig with large profit margins. All it takes is some research, inventory management, and a little marketing to sell your products. 

With the steps in this article, you can stay ahead of the competition, and your business can hit the ground running. 

Let us know what you think in the comments, and if you liked the article, share it so others can benefit as well!

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