If you’re excited to start your own business selling your crafts on Etsy or another platform, you’ll need to source good wholesale craft supplies to turn a profit. Crafting is a fun business if you’re passionate about your work. But the profit margins can be a bit slim when you start selling your work. That’s why it’s crucial to get the best deal you can on the supplies and materials you use.
And it’s not just crafters who can benefit by finding a wholesale craft company, either. Teachers, scout leaders, and youth group organizers can all save money if they can find the right wholesaler for their craft projects.
Party and wedding planners can save a lot of money by buying wholesale craft supplies for decoration. Whether you’re a party pro or an enthusiastic amateur with big ambitions for planning your wedding or even starting a planning service, you’ll need to make the most of your money when creating decorations.
Decide What You’ll Do with Your Crafting Supplies
You can find a wholesaler that carries craft supplies for nearly every project. First, determine what kinds of crafts you do the most often. Are you a dedicated soap maker? Or do you like a variety of projects, like sewing, needlework, and even a little wood-burning?
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s essential to determine your priorities. You may need to make a significant investment to buy wholesale. Many wholesalers will require that you purchase a gross (144) of any single item to get the discount price. So, make sure you can use up that many before investing. And make sure you can sell that many before purchasing. Be prepared to make a large number of that single item to make the most of the discount. If you think you’ll get bored after making 10 units, you may want to reconsider whether sourcing a wholesaler for crafting supplies is a good bargain for you.
The Pros and Cons of Buying Wholesale Craft Supplies
That leads us to our next concern. There are advantages and disadvantages to buying wholesale. Every crafter has their own plans for future projects. So, whether you should find a wholesale craft company or not depends on your situation.
The whole reason for purchasing wholesale is to save money. By buying your craft supplies in large quantities at once, you’ll save a significant amount of money on each unit.
The quality of the supplies you purchase from your local craft store can vary wildly. One week, you may find an excellent quality paper that disappears the next week. There’s also the issue of color matching to make sure that color is consistent, it’s helpful to purchase many wholesale craft supplies of the same batch. This is particularly true of yarn, where a few factors often change the depth of the color.
There’s nothing as frustrating as being in the middle of crafting project and running out of the fabric or wire you need to finish the job. By purchasing wholesale, you’ll have a ready stock of materials to work with.
So many people, young and old, enjoy crafting, and one of the pros of purchasing wholesale crafts supplies is the potential for resale. For example, imagine you’re making 50 centerpieces for a wedding, but the best price requires you to buy 75 candle holders minimum. Recover your investment by selling the remaining to another crafter on eBay or Etsy who only needs 25 of them for the Christmas party they’re planning.
If your crafting career is more of a hobby, you may not want to invest so much of your budget into purchasing in bulk. Especially if you like to mix things up, you’ll find that buying in bulk means there’s no money left for another type of project.
Some wholesalers sell to the public, but many of them won’t unless you have a business license proving that you plan to sell your completed projects. You may need to apply for a sales tax license or permit in your state to qualify for wholesale pricing. That also means you’ll have to collect and pay sales tax on every item you sell in that state. For many crafters, the hassle isn’t worth it for the extra paperwork every quarter or every month.
Wholesale buying can save you money long term. However, if you’re just planning to make and sell crafts during the big, gift-giving holidays, it may take quite a while to see a return on your investment.
Buying Wholesale Craft Supplies Online
Once you’ve decided that buying your supplies from a wholesaler is the next best move you can make, you’ll find many of them online. Best of all, you’ll find suppliers for a wide range of crafting materials.
Do note, however, that some “wholesalers” aren’t really wholesalers. Some online stores will call themselves a wholesaler, so they sound like a bargain. But in fact, they just have deeply discounted in Add inventory. This is a double-edged sword, however, because often they will provide the products you need for a substantially lower price. The discount may not be as significant as a real wholesaler, but in many cases, the buying minimum is a lot smaller than true wholesale. These can actually work in your favor if you don’t need 100 or more units for your project. And you’ll usually pay less than the local craft store, as well.
Registering for an account
Most wholesalers will require that you open an account with them before ordering. This is when you may need to present your sales tax information. You may also need to provide your credit card information as well. Established craft supply wholesalers may offer credit to established businesses. So, if your crafting business is long-standing and has a good sales history, this might be an excellent opportunity to stock up.
Once you establish your account, you’ll find it easy to order and pay for your supplies online.
Popular Craft Supply Wholesalers
Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find the craft supplies you need. Many wholesalers have set up shop online, and many even sell to the general public. As long as the public orders enough units, they’re happy to deliver. Here are a few of the most popular craft material suppliers online:
This wholesale craft supplies company is one of the handiest for crafters just getting started in their business. Warehouse Craft Supplies focuses on fabrics, lace, trim, floral pieces, and even lights. They also offer small minimum orders, which is just right for those who don’t have a lot of money to invest in materials. And if you do want to order in significant quantities, they’ll offer an additional discount based on the total in your shopping care. By ordering over $600 worth of materials, you’ll receive a 62.5 percent discount on your total order.
Oriental Trading Company is known for selling a lot of cute novelty items that are great for kids parties, carnivals, and fairs. They also offer crafting supplies, focusing on craft kits for kids and adults alike. They’re a fabulous go-to for teachers, moms, and youth group leaders who can buy everything they need to keep little hands busy. Oriental Trading offers supplies for religious crafts, holiday decorations, and jewelry making. Although they’re not strictly a wholesaler, their prices for kids craft items are super low, and they may carry items you won’t see elsewhere.
Factory Direct offers a vast range of supplies for the serious crafter. You’ll find products for paper crafts, kids crafts, candle making, doll making, floral design, soap making, and even wood crafts. Their comprehensive inventory is nothing less than impressive, and they sell to the general public. However, if you want to purchase wholesale craft supplies, you can apply for an account. Factory Direct Craft requires a Tax ID, business license, or non-profit exemption certificate to provide wholesale pricing. You’ll also need to order a minimum of $250 to receive the 20 percent wholesale discount.
Darice also sells to the general public, and their biggest point of difference is that they also offer art supplies. They’re a great store for teachers, and the company makes it clear that they cater to small businesses and schools. Another benefit is that they own the manufacturing process, which means they can offer a steeper discount than a distributor. Their minimum order is only $75. Located in China, Darice uses a "freight-included" pricing system for small businesses to help reduce shipping costs. They require a Tax ID for a wholesale account but also sell to the public through their Consumer Crafts website.
Kole Imports offers true wholesale pricing with small minimum orders. Minimums can be as low as 12 items or as high as 144. You can also purchase by the case, but you’ll find that small orders get the same amazing discounts. They frequently offer closeout deals on craft supplies, and we’re talking some fabulously low prices. For example, grab a set of 36 wooden bird cage kits for $0.25 a piece. Add some tulle and silk flowers, and you'll have adorable wedding centerpieces for every table at the reception. You’ll find wholesale craft supplies like jewelry parts, craft kits, stencils, rhinestones, sequins, and more. If you join their mailing list, they'll notify you of their exclusive members-only sales. They also offer a drop-ship program.
Other Places to Find Cheap Craft Supplies
Wholesale suppliers may not be the best choice for you if you’re not ready to invest a large portion of your budget at the onset. In this case, you may want to look at other sources for supplies. You can often find lots of craft supplies on websites like Amazon or eBay. Lots are multiples of an item in one sale. These lot sellers often break up their own large wholesale orders and resell them. You may not get the same steep discount as purchasing wholesale craft supplies, but you’re sure to get your materials at a lower cost than you would at your local retailers.
Direct from the manufacturer
For even steeper savings, consider ordering right from the manufacturer. The plethora of goods manufacturing across the developing world is no real secret. However, if you’ve been intimidated at the idea of ordering wholesale craft supplies from foreign countries because of the language barriers and differing currency, check out the following websites:
Alibaba is the eBay of business-to-business shopping across the world. The best part is that it provides access to a considerable number of manufacturers and distributors in plain English. The site is more of a directory of suppliers than a platform for buying products. Each manufacturer has their own minimums and pricing structure. Once you’ve identified a product you like, you can see what else they make. You can contact them and then negotiate your purchase through the Alibaba platform. The point of difference for creative crafters is that many manufacturers can customize your products. For example, if you want to create your own private label, many of these manufacturers can set you up with a branded product using your specified colors or logos.
DH Gate is another business-to-business directory that matches manufacturers up with buyers across the world. The platform functions in several different languages, and best of all, they offer buyer protection. Sometimes, sending off to China for a large purchase can seem a bit frightening. You may feel unsure that you’ll get what you ordered, and you’re worried that returns might be impossible. DH Gate takes the guesswork out of sourcing wholesale craft supplies from Chinese factories.
Here are a few other excellent places to check out for wholesale pricing:
Are Wholesale Craft Supplies Right for You?
As we’ve covered, there are both pros and cons to sourcing your materials from a wholesaler. On the one hand, you’ll save a bundle by purchasing in bulk. On the other, you could find yourself with lots of leftovers you’ll need to store. And of course, there’s no good reason to blow your whole budget on any given item if you don’t need them right away.
The good news is that the options are there, and there are probably more of them than you thought. You don’t necessarily need to buy hundreds or thousands of any one item. You can still get a bargain on smaller batches. And if you do have leftovers, you’ll have extra supplies on hand for future projects.
Have you found a great wholesale deal on craft supplies online? If you have a favorite supplier, feel free to give them a shout-out in the comments.