Buying raw materials is a labor-intensive process from sourcing to pricing the vast number of suppliers. Here are several ways to keep your costs low when it’s time to restock.

  1. Buy fresh or frozen. Dehydrators and manual labor that goes into the drying process are expensive. The con is that you’ll need the refrigerator or freezer space to store what you buy.
  2. Buy dehydrated. While the price is higher / per pound, you can purchase more at a time knowing that they’ll store for longer periods of time. The con is that you’ll lose some nutritional value through the drying process. Freeze-dried is an option but it’s the most costly of all ways to purchase elderberries.
  3. Buy in larger quantities. The larger the quantity, the lower your price will be. The con is that it ties up your cash flow; however, in the long run, you’ll be more profitable. Remember that suppliers have 3 ways of selling products to you: retail, wholesale, and bulk (1/2 and full pallets). Most of the time, you’ll have to ask to speak with someone who handles their wholesale and bulk divisions as they won’t be the same people you’d call through the 1-800 number on their website. Make sure to track the shipping costs and include them in the overall total when comparing prices
  4. Buy once or twice a year vs on-demand. See #2. The more you buy, the less often you’ll need to buy, saving you costly freight charges and the high price of smaller orders throughout the year.
  5. Buy in the off-season. Suppliers are trying to offload last year’s products. If it makes sense for your business and the materials have a longer shelf life, this is a good option.
  6. Combine orders with other makers or artisan businesses that are similar to yours. You can order more and split the shipping costs

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