Let’s face it, the most expensive part of almost any creative craft whether it is scrapbooking, knitting, painting, beading or anything else is buying all the raw supplies that go into making something beautiful. To really get good at a craft you have to buy a lot of supplies and repeatedly make mistakes while learning your craft, and that gets expensive. Even after you’ve mastered the art form you’re working with buying the raw materials is still one of the most expensive parts of any hobby.
That’s where buying your craft supplies “wholesale” can really help keep your profits high and your expenses low when you’re first starting to sell your own items out of your home or in a store. Unfortunately buying supplies wholesale is not quite as easy as it seems.
The word “wholesale” is often used as a substitute for “cheap” but that’s not really what wholesale means. Normally when you buy raw materials to make a craft you’re buying them in small quantities from a store. At an earlier time that supply store bought larger quantities from a wholesale vendor of the materials somewhere.
By buying larger quantities the store was able to get a lower price, which they can then mark and sell to you. Selling in a store is sometimes referred to as retail sales. This is how most retail stores work.
Retail stores are simply stores that sell one or two items at a time to people while wholesale companies usually do not deal with the general public, don’t have a showroom and only deal in big quantities of items. When you buy things wholesale you often don’t pay sales tax on the items because it is understood that you will eventually sell the items and collect sales tax instead.
First, you will almost definitely need a wholesale license. A wholesaler’s license basically allows you to buy items from wholesale centers without paying sales tax. Yep, when you buy things wholesale you do not pay sales tax. But when you then sell the items you bought you must collect sales tax and give that tax to your state. Most true wholesale craft stores require that you have a real registered business with your state commerce department as well as a “wholesaler’s license” which can usually also be obtained through your state. Most true wholesale establishments will ask to see your license or see proof of your legal right to buy items wholesale.
Now that you can buy items wholesale you’ll need to find a store to sell you the craft supplies you need and want. You’ll probably have to commit to a large order of items and you may even have to purchase supplies regularly to stay in the wholesaler’s good graces. In some fields wholesale sellers are very picky and may actually not allow you to buy from them until you’ve established yourself.
With a little persistence and some effort put towards your growing craft business, you can really save a lot of money and obtain some great supplies to expand your creativity through wholesale distributors!