How to start my own business and buy in bulk

Updated February 21, 2017

Many entrepreneurs purchase supplies in bulk for resale to the public. If you are knowledgeable about the product, you can develop a customer following over time. For example, a stay-at-home mom may know a lot about which cloth diapers are best, and may start a small business selling them to other families. Someone with an art background may know which art supplies are good for specific projects. Armed with the appropriate licenses, you can start a small business, buy wholesale in bulk and resell to the public.

Obtain a business license from your local town or city offices. Be prepared to explain what type of business you are starting, fill out forms and pay a license fee. Licenses must be renewed periodically, usually on an annual basis, for as long as you remain in business.

Obtain a resale license from the state where you reside and plan to do business. You must present your business license in order to receive a resale license. A resale license allows you to do two things: purchase supplies in bulk without paying sales tax, and sell your wares to the public.

Contact wholesale suppliers of items you wish to purchase in bulk. For example, let's say you want to purchase shoes in bulk at wholesale prices and sell them to public on an online auction site. Call or write a wholesale shoe distributor. Give them your resale license number and place your order.

Figure out your prices by adding up all of the costs of obtaining the bulk items. Again using shoes as an example, these costs will include not only the price of the shoes, but shipping costs, long distance phone calls to the distributor, warehousing and storage, and other costs associated with running a business. Some small business owners also like to figure in a small sum for their time at this point. Double these costs to arrive at a price tag for the shoes. Look at your competition's prices. Ask yourself if you can afford to set your prices lower than the competition.


Whatever supplies you are buying in bulk to resell, do some research first to see what sells well and at what prices.

Things You'll Need

  • Business license
  • Resale license
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About the Author

Samantha Hanly is an organic vegetable gardener, greenhouse gardener and home canner. She grows a substantial portion of her family's food every year. After receiving her bachelor's degree, Hanly embarked on a career teaching dramatic arts, arts and crafts, and languages. She became a professional writer in 2000, writing curricula for use in classrooms and libraries.