How to Buy Wine Glasses in Bulk

Written by paul knorr
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Planning a large event such as a wedding, sweet sixteen, or bar-mitzvah requires many resources. Purchasing your dinnerware, flatware and glassware in bulk can save you time and money. When purchasing wine glasses in bulk some of the factors to consider include the style of the glass, the per-piece cost, and the quantity that will be needed. Large stores such as Target or Wal-Mart can be good options if less than 50 glasses are needed. If more than that are necessary, there are local and online suppliers that can help.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine the kind of glasses that you want to use. Glasses meant for red wine are different from those meant for white wine. Even within the realm of red wine glasses there are variations such as Bordeaux and Burgundy. Red wine glasses are larger in diameter than white so the aroma of wine can be better appreciated. Depending on the budget for the event, each place setting can be set with a white wine and a red wine glass. If the budget is tighter, a white wine glass will serve for both. If champagne is to be served you will need to purchase champagne flutes in addition to the wine glasses.

  2. 2

    Determine how many glasses will be needed. If the event is a sit-down dinner and the glasses will be part of a place setting, plan on 10 per cent more glasses than guests (if there are 100 guests purchase 110 glasses). This will give you spares in case of breakage, chipping, or guest complaints. If the glasses will be for bar service, plan on having 50 per cent more glasses than guests (if there are 100 guests, purchase 150 glasses). This will allow you to give each repeat guest a fresh glass while the dirty glasses are being washed.

  3. 3

    Check local stores. Browse the local Target, Sears, Wal-Mart or other large store that carries glassware, looking for items on sale. Often, if only a small quantity is needed the slightly higher price at the local store still comes out cheaper when shipping charges are factored in. Also consider local discount or dollar stores as well as overstock or closeout stores. These stores will be hit-or-miss. They may not have the style needed or the right amount in stock. At a discount or overstock store, be prepared to make your purchase on the spot because there will likely not be another delivery.

  4. 4

    Check the local restaurant supply store. These are the stores that local bars and restaurants use. Most supply stores carry a large selection of glassware at reasonable prices. For example, Libby brand 8½ oz wine glasses can be found at £58.40 for a case of 72. Purchasing your glassware at a local supply store not only yields a better price, but also allows for the inspection of each case for broken, chipped or cracked glasses. It also eliminates any shipping charges. Be sure to check with a supply store well in advance of the event. The glassware you need may not be in stock and may need to be ordered from the manufacturer.

  5. 5

    Check online: If there is no local supply store you can look online. Large restaurant supply stores will be more than happy to ship cases of glassware to you. Some of the drawbacks to online ordering will be the addition of shipping charges (glassware is heavy) and the inability to inspect for breakage.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to wash every glass before use. Glasses sold in case packs come directly from the manufacturer and can have oil, grease or dirt left over from the manufacturing process.
  • Be careful to inspect every glass for chips and cracks before placing them on the table or behind the bar. A busy bartender or waiter will not have time to inspect each glass during service.

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