How Do I Get Jewelry Supplies Wholesale?

by Regina.
(Vermont, USA)

I have been wondering how to get supplies wholesale. Most research I have done showed that you need a tax ID number.

How easy is it to find wholesale suppliers once you have a Tax ID number?

Regina

FREE - Get 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks

Get Rena's 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks, plus the Jewelry Making Journal Newsletter - all for FREE.

We Respect Your Email Privacy

  • Kate says:

    The tax ID number is required for states that have sales tax. It’s to make sure everybody’s square on taxes.

    My state has no sales tax, although I still have a federal tax number for other purposes and occasionally am asked by local suppliers to provide it to get a wholesale rate. Wholesaling is easy enough. You can look for large supply companies that offer bulk discounts, or check with local art and bead shops to see if they do wholesale options. You can even check small vendors online and negotiate a wholesale price for a bulk order (lots of people do this on Etsy, for example).

  • Kate says:

    Another option, one that may not even require the tax ID, is to go into your locally owned jewelry supply store and ask whether they have an “artist discount.” Many do. You might be asked to provide a business card or bring in your portfolio, or you might be able to simply identify yourself and ask for it, just depends on their individual policy.

  • Lynda says:

    The online whole sale sites I’ve dealt with all require you to have a copy of your business license or tax ID number on file with them. Another perk of having a permit is that many bead stores won’t charge sales tax on your purchases (you pay state sales tax on what you sell here in CA). The stores that sell my jewelry also require the permit on file. You’ll have to weigh the benefits depending on how large your business is and the legal requirements to sell in your state. I pay sales tax, state and federal taxes.

  • Rain says:

    In California, you must have a Seller’s Permit to buy wholesale. Any business I buy wholesale from – whether online or in person – has required a copy of my permit. Sometimes you have to jump through some hoops to get a wholesale account, but the prices are worth it.

  • Millie says:

    Another way to get discounts is volume purchases. The more you buy the deeper the discounts.

  • Barbara says:

    To find the businesses, just type in “wholesale jewelry supplies”. Retail websites often have a section called “wholesale” and/or you can look in their FAQs and you will see a note about their wholesale policy, but to qualify for that you will definitely need a business licence/tax number.

    Many businesses I deal with on and offline only require you to buy a certain minimum quantity to get 40% to 50% off, no licence required — but that minimum can still be hefty. $250 to $300 is quite common. Some places who sell higher value stuff require $500 minimums. The true wholesale prices from the manufacturers runs into the thousands of dollars worth. Then there are online businesses (like Fire Mountain) which have a sliding discount scale available to anyone: the more you buy the deeper the discount. Buy when they are having a sale and you can save a lot. Or there could be free shipping once your order is over a certain value. Depending on the weight of what you’ve bought, shipping alone could easily add 20% to 30% to the cost of your order.

    My local bead store knows that I sell my jewellery and so I get a 20% discount there, but it took a year or so of steady buying before they offered it to me.

    At the big rock and gem bead shows, I will make a discrete inquiry if the vendor I’m interested in has a wholesale rate and the minimum. These guys are all on a circuit and several times a year I buy wholesale from them, but I did have to give them my tax number which goes on the invoice.

    Sometimes a business will require a high minimum on the first buy and then after that a low or even no minimum. If you’re at a show, please be sensitive to the fact that they will be extremely busy and it’s hard to provide the extra service involved to deal with wholesale customers, so go early when it’s quieter. What I do now with one vendor is pick out all my stuff the first day, they fill out the invoice at night at their hotel and then I go pick it up in the morning when the show opens.

    Many wholesalers require you to fill out a form and register your tax number (this can take several days) not only to see their prices on their websites but also to get in the door of their bricks and mortar stores.

    Every business is different, but the key is that they won’t offer the discount if you’re only buying $10 or $20 at time. To get your minimum, you might want to form a buying club with a few jewellery pals or contact your local bead society to find people. I do this a lot with a jewellery pal. We go halfsies on unusual or expensive strings where neither of us wants an entire string, and that really helps save some money.

    I already have a business/tax licence because of my “real” job, and have always had to collect and remit sales tax. This now allows me to buy wholesale beads, also packaging materials, displays, etc., and I can claim back the sales tax that I have to pay on goods. Keeping track of receipts and filing my return every quarter is more than worth the money I save.

  • Shari says:

    I’m not certain about other states, but here in MI, as long as you have a social security number, you can use it as your tax id number. You can also get a DBA (Doing Business AS) by using your SS#. If you’re a one person business or very small, this may be a better option when you’re first starting out, since it doesn’t cost very much and you can include your DBA as part of your regular yearly taxes, even if you file single.

  • Moneca says:

    Try Jet Beads (google). You can purchase anything from Fire Mountain at the 200 item price, there is a 10% handling fee. This as close as you can get to true wholesale pricing without having to have a tax id etc.

  • Sherry says:

    I’ve been wondering how this works for Canadian small businesses. I find it very confusing. I can get a business license from the city, but that doesn’t appear to be what many wholesalers are looking for. I suppose I could just contact one of them and ask…

  • Christine Keating-Ingelse says:

    I’m in VT, too, and there aren’t many bead stores around anymore! I buy my supplies online from FireMountain.com. They offer all-assortable pricing and everything ships for $5.00 (no, I don’t work for them- I’ve just been ordering from them for YEARS!).

  • Barbara says:

    Hi, Sherry — Please look up above where I wrote a big long answer re wholesale. You will need to apply to the CRA for a number, but first read this to see if you qualify:
    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bn/

    As I said above, you are still going to run into minimums anyway, even with a tax number. It’s not a magic sesame where you can walk in somewhere and buy $10 worth of findings and pay wholesale. My minimums with various vendors are anywhere from $150 to $250 before any discounts take effect.

    Also note that there is ongoing paperwork involved any time you’re dealing with the government and in particular the tax department.

    Check with your local bead stores. Often they will give a courtesy 10% or 20% off to customers they know are making jewellery to sell, versus hobbyists — all you have to do is ask, all they’ll say is yes or no. But be prepared to buy a decent quantity to make it worth their while. Also keep an eye on Michael’s — when they have a half-price sale, jump on it. I find lots of goodies in with the not-very-interesting (to me) stuff.

  • Cat Slavin says:

    The beading club I belong to has been buying from Fire Mountain Gems for years and gets the lowest price, and they order bulk each week. (I can order for friends as well as it helps keep the volume up and the prices down.)

    I get a some supplies from FMG but there are also a lot of things I chose to find elsewhere. And it does hurt the pocketbook to pay full retail.

    I have often thought it would be great to start a supply ‘coop’ of sorts.

  • Ani says:

    Regina, I find my best deals on gemstone strands, focals, findings, rock & mineral specimens, etc. at Gem and Mineral Shows. I live in NY State and am required to have a tax #. I take that and am permitted to enter the wholesale section at the shows. You will save so much but will have a good time buying, so have a list. Try rockngem.com/showdates ; East Coast Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show.

  • Diana Morgan says:

    If you are looking for small amounts of beads try dollarbead.com . They carry beads, findings, wire and some already made jewelry. Everything is $1.00 or less.

  • Cheri says:

    Las Vegas Rhinestones is an online wholesale jewelry supplier that so far does not require a tax id or bulk orders. Their prices on the site are straight out wholesale prices. lasvegasrhinestones.com.

  • >