Guide to Bulk and Wholesale Buying

Guide to Bulk and Wholesale Buying


Bulk and wholesale supplies, all in one place, to help you save money and time for your business.

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The process for getting products to consumers can often involve multiple sources and a sometimes complex web of touchpoints known as a supply chain. Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers play important roles in this process. Like other businesses involved in supply chains, end goal is to move product from one point to another.


A common question we get is, “What is the difference between wholesale and bulk?” They are actually quite different but tend to be confused. Let’s dive in and review the differences. 


What is wholesale?

The term wholesale refers to a type of business that purchases large quantities of product directly from a manufacturer and/or distributor, stores the product in their own warehouse, then sells the product in smaller quantities to retailers or consumers. A wholesaler’s ability to store large quantities of product is key to securing discounted rates from a manufacturer. It is cost prohibitive for manufacturers to produce small quantities of product because the cost to start up their machines is the same for 100 units or 200,000. Wholesalers have the ability to meet demand from multiple customers at a time, making a profit on each sale. 


Let’s consider an example:

A retailer orders 1,000 widgets and the manufacturer charges $15 per widget. A wholesaler orders 100,000 widgets and the manufacturer charges $5 per widget. The Wholesaler then sells the retailer 1,000 widgets for $10 per widget.


In the end the manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer make a profit on each phase of the supply chain. 


What is bulk buying?

Bulk buying refers to the purchase of multiple quantities of product in exchange for a lower price per unit. Retailers or consumers, based on their need, can make this type of purchase. Amazon and Amazon Business are examples of where you can buy in bulk. 


Benefits of buying from a wholesaler or in bulk

There are multiple benefits for you to consider when purchasing larger quantities: 


Buying Efficiencies: When businesses find wholesalers that provide reliable inventory and sharp pricing, they cut out the need to interact with manufacturers who typically have  no available inventory on hand and often have long lead times for production. 


Cheaper Pricing: Because wholesalers are buying large quantities at discounted rates, they are able to pass savings to retailers. In the example above, the retailer is saving $5 per unit by buying from a wholesaler versus going direct to the manufacturer with their small quantity order. 


Smaller Orders: Retailers are able to purchase smaller quantities from wholesalers allowing them to effectively meet demand, manage inventory levels, and reduce storage costs.


Guide to buying in bulk with Amazon Business

Buying in bulk is easy with the tools Amazon Business customers have access to and the thousands of supplies available for purchase in bulk quantities. Here’s how bulk buying works. 


Amazon Business tools for bulk buying on eligible orders/products.


Quantity Discounts: Save even more when you buy multiple units at once. We make it easy for our selling partners to list up to five pricing tiers for their products. For even larger quantities, customers can request pricing from all selling partners who offer a specific product. Paper towels


Progressive Discounts: You don't need to buy everything at once to realize savings. Progressive Discounts allow organizations to unlock deeper discounts on repeat purchases over time. The more purchases over a 12-month period, the more savings organizations receive. 


Subscribe & Save: Choose from lots of eligible items, then select "Subscribe & Save' on the product detail page to take advantage of great discounts.


Large Pack Products: Discounted large quantities of some products are available which are shipped as a single unit.


Save time and money by accessing tens of thousands of bulk and wholesale supplies, all in one place with Amazon Business Canada. See thousands of products across these categories: 

  • Office Supplies
  • IT Products
  • Breakroom Supplies
  • Janitorial Supplies
  • Industrial & MRO Supplies
  • Restaurant supplies
  • Medical Supplies
  • Beauty Supplies

Buy in bulk for resale

Are you looking to buy in bulk for the purposes of reselling? If so, we can help. Every week we work with over 2,500 resellers across brick-and-mortar and authorized resellers.


The needs of these resellers are similar to those of end users; broad selection, competitive pricing, and fast delivery. The typical process for resellers today involves repeating cycles of ordering supplies from distributors when the reseller is low or out of stock. Often times this process and the subsequent delivery of supplies can take a week or more.


With Amazon Business, resellers can streamline their process by simplifying the buying procedure and consolidating supplies and gaining access to the tools we’ve described above, like Quantity Discounts. These features help resellers save time and money.

For support with bulk purchases please contact your customer advisor @