How to Buy in Bulk to Resell on Alibaba.com: An Ultimate Guide

Alibaba.com AUGUST 09, 202312 MIN READ
How to Buy in Bulk to Resell on Alibaba.com: An Ultimate Guide

To resell or flip products profitably, it’s important to be able to source items cheaper than you plan to sell them. Buying in bulk provides an excellent way to achieve this.

At bulk prices, you can gain valuable concessions on price in exchange for purchasing large quantities of an item. This helps drive your costs into the ground and ensures better profit margins on resale.

In this article you’ll learn how to find cheap wholesale products for resale and key tips to make the most out of your purchases. In addition, we’ll share a list of profitable wholesale goods that you can resell on Alibaba.com.

Introduction to Buying in Bulk to Resell

Bulk buying or wholesale purchasing is a practice where businesses or individuals purchase large quantities of a product at wholesale prices. The idea with bulk buying is to take advantage of scale economies to reduce the cost of each product bought.

People buy in bulk for various reasons. For B2C buyers, the goal is typically to identify great deals on household supplies like groceries or stock their pantry with low-priced staples.

However, when it comes to B2B buyers, the goals for bulk buying are more business-focused. These goals include saving costs, stretching available liquidity over a longer period, finding ways to sustainably source inventory, and ensuring a larger profit margin on resale.

Retailers, and some wholesalers, are the usual businesses that participate in bulk buying. They typically purchase from other wholesalers like large distributors and even from the manufacturers themselves.

The Benefits of Buying in Bulk

There are several benefits of bulk buying, including the opportunity it presents for great profit margins, lower selling costs, and a wider product range.

  • Opportunity for decent profit: Wholesale purchasing offers a great opportunity to earn attractive profit margins upon resale. By purchasing large quantities directly from manufacturers it’s possible to enjoy margins from 10% to as high as 30% on individual products.
  • Lower selling costs: You’ll find that, at wholesale, most products can be purchased for significantly lower prices. That can be up to 50% on some products, which can be a big boost to your business profits.1 On Alibaba.com for instance, you can find items as cheap as 90 cents per product along with savings on shipping.
  • Wider product selection: By purchasing directly from large wholesalers or manufacturers, you can also gain access to a wider variety of products at potentially higher quality.

Key Aspects to Consider

While bulk buying offers numerous advantages, there are key considerations to keep in mind. For instance, you won’t unlock the benefits of wholesale purchases if you’re buying from suppliers who propose sale/shipping arrangements that cost you as much as retail prices.

As a result, it’s important to consider your choice of supplier, where you source the products from, and the type of products you’re buying.

  • Choice of supplier: Your choice of wholesale supplier determines, to a large extent, how profitable your business will be. Factors like the quality of products the supplier provides, their reliable supply of products, and the terms they offer will be vital.
  • Product sourcing location: It’s also key to consider where you source your products from. Unfavorable sourcing locations can negatively impact your bottom line through elevated costs of shipping and fulfillment.
  • Product category: Another key consideration is the type of products you offer. Bulk buying for resale only works well for items that you can flip profitably. Products that have a thin margin or relatively fixed prices may be much harder to resell at profit.

How to Buy in Bulk to Resell Through Alibaba.com

Now that you have a firm understanding of how bulk-buying works, and the key aspects to consider, let’s discuss how to buy in bulk on Alibaba.com.

Create a Seller Account on Alibaba.com

As one of the world’s largest B2B marketplaces, there’s no better place to source bulk products than Alibaba.com. The platform has a directory of thousands of sellers across all product / manufacturing niches so you’ll find all you need here.

To begin your wholesale journey, start by opening a seller account. Don’t be concerned that it’s termed a seller account. With an Alibaba.com account, you can buy and sell on the platform.

You’ll need to follow a few easy steps, provide some details about your business, and verify your account. The purpose of the verification process is to build trust between you and those you’ll be transacting with on Alibaba.com.

Define Your Niche and Product Criteria

Next, identify what products you’d like to sell or buy through Alibaba.com and the specific requirements you have around these products.

Those requirements will determine what kind of suppliers you’ll be looking to buy from and your plans around reselling the products. It’s also important to define your market base and where you would like to sell your products.

Conduct Product Research

After thinking about the products you want to sell and your preferred niche, validate your ideas by conducting comprehensive product research. Good product research should consider several factors, including the following:

  • The range of selling prices at which the product is available
  • List of suppliers who produce / sell the product
  • A range of locations from which you might source the product profitably
  • The demand for the product and locations where buyers come from, etc.

With a firm grasp of these factors, you’ll have the context and data you need to clearly consider and select a product to buy and sell.

Find Suppliers (Look for Verified Suppliers)

As mentioned above, working with high-quality suppliers is key to unlocking the benefits of bulk buying. You have too much riding on this, from the quality and price of your products to how profitably you can resell. So it’s important to get this right.

To locate suppliers on Alibaba.com, start by using the search bar at the top of each product page. Type out the product you want and use filters to adjust your requirements such as price, supplier location, and product category.

Be sure to search out only suppliers that are verified. A Verified Supplier will have a label showing their verified status on their supplier profile. In addition, screen each supplier according to their track record so you’re sure that the supplier has a history of meeting sourcing needs.

niche market

Contact Suppliers

After your supplier search, you should have a list of potential suppliers that you are looking to work with. Ideally, you should have about two times more suppliers than you need on your list.

As you contact the suppliers on your list, you will streamline your list further based on your communication with each option and the terms they are able to offer you. Some of the factors you should consider in shortening your supplier list include:

  • Supplier performance (including reviews) and track record
  • Range of products and prices they are able to offer
  • Willingness to send you sample products
  • Payment terms, such as how much they require you to pay upfront and any Buy Now Pay Later terms they can offer
  • Shipping terms, including any fulfillment options they can provide

List Products for Reselling

You’ve done most of the work already. Now, it’s time to begin wrapping up your efforts. You already know the products you’d like to sell and you’ve identified what suppliers you want to work with.

Next, create a spreadsheet with all of the products you want to sell and put the suppliers alongside them. Ideally, you should have a main supplier and a backup supplier for each product. This way, you’ll have a ready backup in case something goes wrong.

Also include the agreed price ranges and target profit margins for each product so you can keep your resale goals in view.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

And that’s it. You’re all done! All that’s left is to start selling your products to customers who are hopefully looking for exactly what you have to offer.

Alibaba.com stands out as a top option for sellers because of how it supports sellers to achieve success. You’ll receive support with setting up your store, optimizing product listings, locating and communicating with buyers, and product fulfillment after each successful sale.

Do your part by promising and delivering excellent customer service and satisfactory products to all buyers. This way, you can steadily grow your business and establish a brand that is known for quality.

Tips for Making the Most out of Buying in Bulk to Resell

The following tips will help you maximize your bulk buying process and extract the maximum value on product resales.

Ensure You Have Sufficient Storage

Unless you have a finely-tuned strategy to order supplies from manufacturers and ship them immediately to buyers, it’s hard to avoid spending on storage. A just-in-time strategy would work well if you have that alignment between bulk purchasing and sales.

However, if you don’t have such a strategy, it’s important to make the investment in storage space. Limited storage space will likely limit the amount of products you can buy in each time period, so think carefully about what your optimal inventory level is and plan accordingly.

Always Order Samples First

Samples give you excellent insight into the price and quality of the products you plan to purchase (and hopefully resell) from each supplier. So it’s important to always request samples before placing a bulk order.

With samples, you can also sidestep avoidable situations such as misalignment over the specific features/requirements of the products.

Clarify the Trade Terms Early

Trade terms are the terms on which the supplier will agree to ship the goods to you. Gaining clarity and early agreement on these trade terms can save you a lot of headache and confusion on what responsibilities fall on the supplier and which ones fall to you.

Make it a point to bring up the trade terms such as minimum order quantities, product returns, Delivered at Place terms, and insurance early on in your conversation with the supplier and come to an agreement on a shared understanding before you proceed with the order.

Explore Longer Payment Terms

Certain suppliers offer longer payment terms as a way to encourage more orders from buyers. But sometimes you need to specifically request if any concessions are available in order to activate those conversations.

If you can delay payment until you have resold the products you bought, it helps to stretch your liquidity and gives you more cash to run your business.

5 Profitable Products to Buy in Bulk for Reselling on Alibaba.com

As mentioned above, certain products may be a better fit for bulk buying due to the healthy profit margins they promise and the demand for these items. Here’s a list of five wholesale products to sell on Alibaba.com that fall into this category.

Groceries

You can purchase non-perishable groceries at relatively low prices and turn them over for a decent profit. These items are particularly inexpensive when purchased in bulk as they don’t cost a lot to produce.

Grocery items you may consider for resale include:

  • Spices like paprika, cumin and turmeric
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Specialty foods like instant noodles and keto snacks

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals have especially constant demand. The products can also be resold at varying profit margins, particularly for name brand medication. This makes them a good product to consider for resale.

Items falling within this category include:

  • Vitamins
  • Cough drops
  • Razors, such as pre-hydrated and multi-use blades
  • First aid kits

Fashion Items

While they are typically known for in-store purchases, there has been a significant rise in preference for ecommerce fashion purchases amongst buyers. The ability to try on and buy fashion items from home is a big draw in this category.

Some fashion items that are suitable for bulk purchasing include:

  • Jewelry
  • Fashion accessories like hats, hair clips, headbands and hairclips
  • White label clothing
  • Kids clothing

Pet Supplies

Spending on pets is higher than ever, with expenditure in the market reaching $126 billion in 2021. Pet owners are always keen to shower love on their beloved pets and this is translating to demand for items like pet clothing, beds, and other accessories.

Here’s a list of some products you can consider here:

    • Leashes
    • Pet harnesses
    • Pet clothing
    • Pet food and supplements

niche market

Phone Accessories

Phone accessories always enjoy lots of demand. This is representative of the strength of the market which was valued at $228.5 billion in 2021.2

Another reason why phone accessories make a great bulk resale product is their relatively low production costs and high profit margins. Some items you can sell here include:

  • Mobile phone cases
  • Screen protectors or privacy screens
  • Wired and wireless earphones
  • Car phone holders
  • Magnetic phone chargers

Start Buying in Bulk for Reselling on Alibaba.com

Bulk buying can be a successful strategy if well implemented. Getting it right depends on locating the right suppliers and securing a steady supply of high quality goods at affordable prices.

With the tips we’ve shared here, you know the key factors you need to consider when buying in bulk and exactly how to go about your sourcing on Alibaba.com. Take the next step by registering on the platform to reach the suppliers and buyers you need. Start your reselling business on Alibaba.com today.

References
1. https://wholesalesuiteplugin.com/typical-wholesale-discount-reference-guide/#
2. https://www.nextmsc.com/report/mobile-phone-accessories-market

Welcome to Alibaba seller central, what can I do for you?