Tips for bulk shopping online: Why, where and how to bulk shop

Panna Kemenes

Buying in bulk online is a popular strategy in business for cutting costs.

This is especially true when you have to maintain stocks for your inventory due to repeat purchases of certain products.

Bulk shopping online can make sense if the demand is there. If your market research shows you that it is, then bulk purchases can be a viable strategy for boosting revenue.

Pay for international bulk shopping
online with Wise Business

In this article:

Reasons to do bulk shopping online

There are many reasons why a business might benefit from buying bulk items online.

Here are some of the most popular reasons for buying in bulk online:

Lower product costs

One of the most obvious reasons to buy in bulk online is for lower product costs. Online wholesaler Alibaba’s bulk deals can be a good place to start.

Higher profit margin

It follows that with lower product costs, you stand to gain a higher profit margin. This isn’t always black and white, but if you know how to flip products, it can be a lucrative model to follow.

Restocking inventory

If you sell a type of product that your customers keep returning for, or you anticipate great demand for it, buying in bulk is a good idea.

Bulk buying puts you at less risk of running out of stock and missing out on sales.

Access to a wide range of products

Online shopping opens up the opportunity to browse a huge range of products. You would never have time to view as many products in person. Having this selection of goods allows you to choose the best ones for your business to sell.

Opportunity to scale with the right supplier

When you scale your business, you need a supplier you can trust to deliver goods consistently, and in large volumes. As such, finding that supplier early on can develop into a successful and profitable long-term partnership.

Having a trusted supplier also means repeat bulk orders are easier, since you won’t need to discuss payment terms again.

Where can you buy in bulk online?

You can buy in bulk from local wholesalers or bulk buying websites, such as the following:


Alibaba is an international eCommerce platform where buyers can interact with suppliers, and negotiate wholesale deals.


Tundra is a local US online wholesaler that stocks products from US and Canadian brands.


Faire is a local US online wholesaler that supports artisan creators, and stocks boutique products.


AliExpress is an online dropshipping wholesaler that allows buyers to purchase products, and have them shipped to their customers.

Costco Business Center

Many know of Costco for buying groceries and office supplies in bulk, but the wholesale chain also caters to businesses.

The Costco Business Center offers packaged products that you can buy and resell.

🔍 Read the guide to best wholesale websites to learn more about these options

How can I buy wholesale items?

Here’s how to buy in bulk in four simple steps:

  1. Choose a bulk buying online site and begin searching for products
  2. Select the products you wish to buy
  3. Finalize the sale with the supplier, sorting out details such as product quantity and customization.
  4. Agree on payment terms with the supplier
    💡 Buying in bulk is often cost-effective from overseas suppliers, such as from China.
    When you pay for your items and shipping, you can save money by using a Wise Business account. Traditional banks can charge hidden fees, and won’t always give the best rate.
    With Wise Business, you can pay for your bulk goods from overseas at the real mid-market rate, with no hassle. Simply sign up and start saving.

Tips for bulk shopping online

If you want to get the most out of your money when buying in bulk, here are some tips to consider:

📞 Contact your supplier

There are several reasons to contact your bulk shopping supplier before making a purchase. First, it’s an opportunity to confirm everything is correct with the order.

But it can also be useful to reach out directly to the manufacturer, bypassing the wholesaler, when possible. You can usually find an email address or website through which you can contact the manufacturer.

Doing business with the manufacturer can work out cheaper, though it might be more complicated to organize logistically.

🎁 Ask for product samples

In almost every case, it’s worth asking for a product sample before you buy a large volume of products. That way, you’ll know exactly what the product is like, and whether it meets your and your customer’s expectations of quality.

Some online wholesalers will facilitate this process, which can make it easy to make risk-free purchases.

💰 Negotiate pricing

If you’re buying a high volume of products, there’s often room for negotiation with the wholesale price. It isn’t unusual for companies to negotiate a cheaper price for ordering a certain amount of the product.

🚢 Check costs

It’s easy to get caught out with extra costs, so pay attention to every fee involved.

For example, there may be hefty shipping and freight fees if you’re buying from an overseas wholesaler.

On the other hand, some suppliers offer free shipping, this can be a deciding factor when looking at who to buy from. It’s worth carefully checking the shipping rates of each supplier.

There can also be a minimum order amount which you have to stick to. The item unit price may be low, but you may not want to spend as much as the minimum order requires.

⚠️ Don't forget to check any US import duty and taxes that may occur also.

💸 Pay for international bulk shopping with a multi-currency account

When buying products from overseas, you want the best exchange rate possible to cut costs.

Traditional banks may not always offer the best rates, and can charge additional fees for international transactions.

The Wise Business account lets you pay suppliers at the real mid-market rate with no hidden fees. This means you can maximize your profit margin by paying no more than you should when bulk shopping online.

Get a Wise Business account today

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This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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