By Sarita Harbour
Just about everyone occasionally buys in bulk to save money. But adopting a bulk-shopping mentality — in other words, making it a point to search for bulk-buying bargains every time you shop — can yield more advantages than you might think.
A recent Staples Business Advantage survey asked office managers about their experiences with bulk shopping. Here are the benefits they highlighted.
1. Be Less Likely to Run Out of Supplies
There's nothing worse than hurriedly searching for supplies when you really need them, whether it's to finish a project, make sure a client visit goes smoothly, or just help your coworkers do their jobs as seamlessly as possible. More than half of Staples Business Advantage survey respondents who bulk shopped listed this as their main motivator — when you buy in bulk, you're simply less likely to get caught short.
2. Save Time with Fewer Deliveries and Shopping Trips
Every time you run out of something, you have to take the time to re-order and then accept delivery — or, if it's a must-have item on short notice, take a trip to the store. Consolidating your orders into larger quantities means less time spent making these purchases. It also mean fewer individual items in your budget to account for. Having fewer small purchases on the company account means it's easier to review your expenses over time.
3. Reduce Packaging Waste
Getting rid of packaging waste is time-consuming and a hassle. Buying in bulk results in less packaging, and that means less time spent collecting and disposing of used packaging paper, plastic, tape, styrofoam, etc. Many businesses prefer to make environmentally friendly choices, and buying office supplies in larger quantities supports that goal.
4. Accumulate Significant Cost Savings
And of course, saving money is a big motivator for bulk shopping — more than 65 percent of Staples Business Advantage bulk shoppers cited cost as the biggest factor. By switching over as many purchases as possible to bulk shopping, you can accumulate big savings for your business over time. A few dollars here or there can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars' extra money at the end of the year. A recent study by cost management firm Dryden Group reported that companies could reduce their indirect spend — which includes office supplies — by up to 25 percent just by looking for savings opportunities.
Buying office supplies in bulk as often as possible makes good business sense, and it can lighten your workload, too. The next time you go to buy supplies, make high-quantity buying part of your strategy.