Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

The lowest quantity of a product that a supplier is willing to sell to a retailer in a single order, used to inform buying decisions and negotiate pricing.

What is Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)?

Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) is the minimum quantity of a product that a supplier is willing to sell in a single order. It helps suppliers optimise production and reduces costs. Retailers need to meet the supplier's MOQ to place an order, which can affect inventory management and costs. Negotiations with suppliers are common to find a suitable balance.

How MOQ works

  • Supplier Imposes MOQ: Suppliers set MOQs based on their production capabilities, economies of scale, and logistical considerations. The MOQ can vary depending on the product type, size, and demand.

  • Retailer Places an Order: When a retailer wants to purchase products from a supplier, they need to place an order that meets or exceeds the specified MOQ. For example, if the MOQ for a particular product is 100 units, the retailer must order at least 100 units to proceed with the purchase.

  • MOQ Benefits for Suppliers: Setting MOQs allows suppliers to manage their production processes efficiently. Ordering in larger quantities enables suppliers to achieve cost savings on manufacturing, packaging, and transportation, ultimately increasing their profitability.

  • Impacts on Retailers: For retailers, meeting MOQs can have both advantages and challenges. On one hand, ordering in larger quantities may result in volume-based discounts, which can lead to better profit margins per unit. It can also ensure a consistent supply of products. However, smaller retailers or those with limited storage space may face difficulties in meeting high MOQs, which can tie up capital and lead to excess inventory.

  • Negotiation and Flexibility: In some cases, retailers can negotiate MOQs with suppliers based on their specific needs. They can provide data on historical sales, demand forecasts, and inventory turnover to justify lower MOQs. Suppliers may be open to negotiation, especially if they value a long-term partnership with the retailer.

  • Phased Deliveries and Vendor Management: Some retailers manage MOQ challenges by requesting phased deliveries or spreading out the order over multiple shipments. This allows them to maintain a manageable inventory level while still meeting supplier requirements.
Overall, MOQs play a crucial role in supplier-retailer relationships, affecting order quantities, pricing, and inventory management in the retail industry. Retailers need to strike a balance between meeting supplier MOQs and ensuring efficient inventory control and profitability.

Pros of MOQ

  1. Cost Savings: By ordering products in larger quantities, retailers can often benefit from lower per-unit costs. Suppliers offer volume discounts, which can lead to significant cost savings over time.
  2. Reduced Shipping and Handling Costs: Ordering in larger quantities means fewer shipments, reducing shipping and handling costs for retailers. This can lead to improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the supply chain.
  3. Continuous Supply: Meeting the MOQ ensures a continuous supply of products. This is particularly important for retailers with high demand and ensures that popular items remain in stock, preventing stockouts and potential lost sales.

Cons of MOQ

  1. Higher Inventory Holding Costs: Ordering products in larger quantities to meet the MOQ can lead to higher inventory holding costs. Retailers need to allocate more space and resources to store the excess inventory until it is sold, which can tie up capital.
  2. Risk of Obsolescence: MOQs may lead to ordering more products than what the retailer can sell within a reasonable time frame. This can increase the risk of product obsolescence, especially for fast-changing industries or seasonal products.
  3. Limited Product Variety: Meeting MOQs may restrict retailers from offering a wide variety of products. Smaller retailers or those with limited storage space may face challenges in diversifying their product range due to the minimum quantities required by suppliers.


Below you will find answers to common questions
Why do suppliers impose MOQs on their products?
Suppliers often set MOQs to optimise their manufacturing and distribution processes. By encouraging retailers to order in larger quantities, suppliers can achieve economies of scale, reduce production costs, and streamline logistics. MOQs also help ensure that smaller, less profitable orders do not become burdensome for the supplier.
How can retailers negotiate MOQs with suppliers to meet their specific needs?
Retailers can negotiate MOQs with suppliers based on factors such as historical sales data, demand forecasts, and inventory turnover. Demonstrating a commitment to regular and larger orders may allow retailers to negotiate more favourable MOQs. Additionally, retailers can explore options for phased deliveries or volume-based discounts to make MOQs more manageable while still maintaining a positive relationship with suppliers.