Buying and Selling products in Lots: The Pros and Cons

Online sellers have debated for years about the pros and cons of selling and buying in bulk/lots versus singular items. Search on eBay and you’ll undoubtedly see them everywhere: “lot of Nintendo games,” “lot of chapstick A++++ variety,” etc. But is there a clear winner on this debate or is it a case of 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other?


The big draw of buying and selling in bulk or “lots” is the price. When you buy a bunch of something it’s typically to get a better rate. You don’t necessarily need 40 cases of Kleenex and your customer doesn’t necessarily need 50 sheets of floral pattern wallpaper – you both just know you’ll eventually use it and it’s cheaper this way.

However, that’s not the only benefit. Buying in bulk is also a convenience issue. If you need to blow your nose and find you’re out of Kleenex, you have to go to the store and buy some. If you have thirty more boxes of it lying around, you’re no longer inconvenienced. The same goes for selling in lots – the customer wants a lot of stuff (either a variety or all the same).

Lots and bulks can also give you some nice ideas when it comes to promotion. There are plenty of coupon opportunities you can use bulk items for, especially when you show your customers how much they save on shipping.


Naturally the big risk with buying in bulk is you won’t use all the stuff you just purchased. You can buy 40 cases of Kleenex, but if you don’t get sick enough, what good are all those boxes? They’re just sitting around for nothing and going to waste.

Selling in bulk or lots has the same risk. You may think throwing a bunch of cool stuff together is the way to go, but if it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t sell. If you have too many pieces of wallpaper together and that one seller who needs that many never comes along, you’re stuck with a zillion pieces of wallpaper in your warehouse.

Another big drawback? Bundling everything together means less variety for your customers. If they want, say, three out of six of the things in your lot, that’s not enough incentive for them to grab the entire box. Bundling may lower the possibility of a sale.

Bundling things together in lots or bulks can really can go either way. Having the option to bundle may push some customers into buying when they normally wouldn’t, though. As with all things in your online business, it’s up to you whether your purchase lots for resale. If you’re ready to get started, start with a site like Top Ten Wholesale or ask around for referrals. Until then, “lots” of luck!

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