When you sell crafts at fairs, it’s important to be sure you are finding the best possible deals on your supplies. Larger operations need a business ID to get wholesale pricing, but most small handmade businesses can still source items inexpensively if you know where to look.
Below is a list of several places where you can find bulk craft supplies inexpensive or “cheap”, but without sacrificing quality. Some require a bit of research on your part, but most are online sources where you can order direct.
Where to Find Bulk Craft Supplies
Craft Supply Exchanges: These are a great way to meet and coordinate with other crafters in your area. You can also take items you are overstocked on or don’t need anymore and find others to trade with. Bartering is a great way to cut down on costs and make some new friends in the process. You can find them in your area by doing a search on Facebook for craft supply exchanges in your area. Sites like Crafster.org offer free sign-ups and community posts that can help you locate local swaps as well.
Ebay: Ebay can be a great place to find bulk craft supplies either locally or overseas. You can customize searches with “buy it now” options. If you want to order heavier items that could be potentially heavy to ship, you can search local sellers also. Ebay has lost some of its sparkle over the years, but it’s still a really solid source for some materials. I get recycled silk scraps there and some beads for my own projects.
Amazon: Amazon doesn’t always feature the best prices for craft supplies, but they are still much less expensive than most craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby. You can also find just about anything on Amazon craft related or not. We live in a rural area and have a Prime membership. This means we get free 2-day shipping on everything we purchase. For us, a Prime membership saves us money because we don’t have to travel all over to find what we need. The prices are always comparable and often better than store prices anyway, not only on my craft supplies but in general. If you are buying a lot – you may want to consider seeing what’s available on Amazon and investing in a Prime membership. I’ve had everything from craft supplies to my flatbed dolly and even my canopy shipped to me for free. Not sure if it’s right for you? No worries, try it free for a month. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
Freecycle: This isn’t the first choice for craft supplies, but it can be a great resource for some things like small pieces of furniture to refinish, items for building displays etc. Freecycle also keeps items out of landfills and is a great service to the community. You can find your local branch by doing a search here.
Rummage and Garage Sales: Look for community yard sales and church rummage sales. Bigger sales or many sales in one area will save you a lot of time. Often people look to get rid of old crafting items in bulk at these events and you can get items for a real steal. We have a local flea market that carries yarns and very inexpensive bolts of fabric and I’ve found other interesting items like some of my pliers that I use to shape wire. You never know what you might find and there are always cool things to upcycle too, especially if you sew. If you join a swap, you can even pick up craft items you may not use to trade for stuff you will.
Daily & Weekly Deal Websites: There are some specialty websites that offer “daily deals” where you can buy items at a steep discount. Blitsy is a good one for paper crafters in particular, but they have many other items. If you go to the bottom of the main page, click on “today’s deals” and scroll through you’ll find a lot of nice discounts (as high as 40% off) and they offer free shipping on 30 dollar purchases. I don’t use this site personally (full disclosure) but a crafty friend of mine recommended it for paper crafting products. Other sites that offer craft related daily and weekly deals are Factory Direct Craft, Steals, and Createforless.