While demand may ebb and flow for specific products, there’s always a customer base for beauty and wellness products.
One way to tap into the health, wellness, and beauty niche is with bulk essential oils. Pure essential oils are sought after for aromatherapy, self care, skin care, and even food and beverage.
But not all essential oils are made the same, and different types of oils are intended for different uses. That’s why it’s important to find the highest quality essential oils wholesale suppliers that sell the types of oils you’re after.
Whether you’re new to oils or not, this can all get overwhelming. This article will take you through setting up your essential oils business and finding the right suppliers to source your products from.
Why should I sell wholesale essential oils?
Plus, essential oils are typically small in size, making it easy to store, pack, and ship them.
Europe has the highest demand for essential oils, so if you’re targeting customers located in this region, essential oils is a safe bet. And as more consumers explore nature-based wellness and beauty products, essential oils fit neatly into that niche.
How to start a wholesale essential oils business
- Start with research
- Choose suppliers and source products
- Develop a brand strategy and brand identity
- Figure out your shipping strategy
- Build and launch your website
- Market your business
1. Start with research
Market research involves finding out more about your customers and your competition. Your target market is the people you want to reach—people who are most likely to become customers. Target market niches vary widely in the essential oils business. Some examples include organic oils, sustainably sourced oils, edible oils, oils for topical use, oils for aromatherapy, skin care oils, and more.
Even though some of these major categories have more common business types among them, that doesn’t mean they’re limited to that group. The key is figuring out which market you want to go after, and then finding out what kind of businesses are in that market already (i.e., what are customers already paying for and likely to buy from you).
2. Choose suppliers and source products
Unless you’re extracting and distilling the essential oils yourself, you’re going to need to work with a supplier. A good supplier understands your industry, knows packaging and labeling laws specific to your product or market, and can be a true partner in your business.
Some manufacturers will even be part of the product development process, advising you on best practices to get to your finished product. There are some great wholesale essential oil suppliers listed at the end of this article.
3. Develop a brand strategy and brand identity
Your brand is the differentiator and what helps your oils stand out from all the others out there. It’s more than a business name or a logo—it’s a guiding set of principles and design specifications that tell your story, create consistency, and build trust.
When you build your brand, think about how you want customers to feel when they interact with your brand, and what’s important to you (such as giving back, excellent customer service, fair wages for staff). You’ll also establish colors and design styles to represent the mood you’re trying to achieve.
Your branding should include the following components:
- The basics (who you are and what you sell)
- What you stand for (mission statement, brand values, and brand promise)
- Your unique selling proposition (why customers should choose you over the competition)
- Your brand story (sometimes one and the same with your personal story)
- Brand voice (the tone and language used consistently in brand communication)
- Your visual brand identity (logo, style guide, and brand name)
Create and maintain a style guide, a document that sets out clear dos and don’ts for your brand voice (as well as your visual brand requirements—more on those below). For example: “Our brand voice is confident. Our brand voice is not condescending.” That way, when you hire for or outsource marketing tasks, your brand voice will remain consistent.
4. Figure out your shipping strategy
When deciding on a shipping strategy for your business, you’ll first need to decide how to handle order fulfillment. For many new business owners, that means personally packaging and shipping orders one by one. Unless you choose a dropshipping or print-on-demand model, managing your own fulfillment in the early days helps you better understand all aspects of your business.
Shipping cost is often a factor in a customer’s decision to buy from your business. You can decide to offer free shipping and build that cost into retail prices or, if you’re passing on the cost, take steps to keep those costs as low as possible.
Ways to reduce shipping costs include:
- Reducing weight of packages (by, say, using poly mailers instead of cardboard, if applicable)
- Choosing the right-sized packaging for the product
- Using flat-rate shipping when possible
- Using Shopify Shipping to cut carrier costs
- Knowing when rates change so you can adjust accordingly
- Offering local delivery or pickup as an alternative for in-town customers
If you plan to ship internationally, there are a few more steps involved. First, be sure that your products are legal in their country of destination, that you adhere to labeling and packaging requirements in those places, and that you know how to complete customs paperwork.
Duties and taxes are often the responsibility of the customer upon the arrival of the package. You can elect to make those fees transparent at checkout by collecting them upfront.
5. Build and launch your website
A great place to start selling is on your own online store. When it comes to building an online store, Shopify is the easiest way to start. You can build an ecommerce website without any coding or a huge budget.
When you sign up to Shopify, you get a beautiful storefront, SSL certifications, high-speed web servers, cart abandonment recovery, and other beginner-friendly marketing and sales tools. You even get access to the Shopify App Store, which offers more than 4,000 plug-ins to improve your store and sell more online. (You can also sell services if you want to expand.)
6. Market your business
Different marketing strategies require various amounts of effort, but if you’re passionate about your business and the industry, you may find you’re already doing some of these activities. However, if you’re new to the industry, or marketing in general, the tips below will help you get started and help your business flourish.
Start by joining Facebook groups and local online communities. Participate in discussions. Offer expertise and services. But remember not to push for sales too hard, especially in early interactions with potential customers.
Trust is especially important in health and beauty, and people won’t trust you if they view your interaction as a disingenuous attempt to promote your business.
Use social media
If you’ve ever racked your brain trying to come up with social media ideas, you know that it’s challenging to consistently post while maintaining high levels of engagement.
You can create Facebook ads targeting shoppers in your local community. There’s also user-generated content, which is especially powerful at building trust. You could also start an affiliate marketing program and work with influencers to promote your products.
Each channel requires a slightly different content type. Start by marketing on one channel, become successful at it, then expand into another channel.
Attend industry events, trade shows, and conventions
Networking and professional development are important in any industry. Industry events such as workshops, conventions, trade shows, and lectures can be great for any entrepreneur looking to build new skills or become more connected within the industry.
There’s value for any business in a trade show, but they’re especially great if you’re selling unique or hand-made pet products. If you’re selling products you can’t get anywhere else, an effective trade show campaign can help you secure business relationships and get your product in stores.
Build an email list
The last, but certainly not least, method of marketing your pet business is building an email list. Whether you’re offering bestselling products or award-winning services, email is where you can have one-on-one conversations with your customers—no social media required.
Email marketing helps you build relationships with existing customers and rescue abandoned carts, and is easier to implement than most other marketing strategies. Literally more than half of the world’s population now uses email, and it’s much easier to convince someone to give you their email than to make a purchase.
With well-timed and clear messaging in your emails, you can convert the would-be customer into an advocate.
Tips for finding wholesale essential oils suppliers
When you begin your search for a wholesale essential oils supplier, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the industry. There’s a lot to think about. What do you look for? What are the red flags? Which oils are the best for your needs?
Know the essential oils’ intended use
Essential oils are a tricky bunch. Each oil has a very specific intended use, and even oils of the same scent can have different uses depending on a few qualities (more on that in a bit).
Here’s a quick look: Market share is spread across different uses, including spa and relaxation, food and beverage, personal care and cosmetics, and aromatherapy. These are different types of essential oils, so you need to be clear in your intended use and find a supplier who can fulfill that need.
Essential oils have grades, which are meant to help you choose the right one to correspond to the intended use. But according to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), essential oil grades are just a result of marketing tactics.
Instead, you should look for “genuine, authentic, plant-derived, and unadulterated.” The NAHA also cites a report, Aromatherapy Lifestyle, that classifies essential oils as follows:
- Genuine essential oils = completely unaltered
- Authentic essential oils = from a specified plant only
- Plant-derived essential oils = essential oils used in aromatherapy should all be extracted from a specified plant species
- Unadulterated essential oils = no additives, extenders, or price-reducing ingredients—just what’s left after distillation or expression
If it’s not listed on a supplier’s website, ask them directly. Specifically, request the batch-specific MS/GC spec report of each oil they sell. This will tell you about the molecular structure of the oil. If they can’t do that, look elsewhere.
Check other relevant and important product information
Essential oils are complicated products, and there’s a lot that goes into the “manufacturing” process. Many things can affect the end product, so you want to get a detailed overview of your potential investment.
The NAHA recommends collecting the following information:
- Common name
- Latin name
- Country of origin
- Part of plan processed
- Extraction method (distillation or expression)
- How it was grown (organic, wild-crafted, or traditional)
- Chemotype (when relevant)
You’ll also want to smell the oils to judge for yourself. Ask for oil samples before placing any bulk orders. Compare oils from a few different suppliers to make an informed and confident decision.
Here’s another logistic you’ll need to think about: climate-controlled storage. Find out what temperatures the oils need to be kept at, and ensure you have warehousing set up to accommodate those requirements.
Keep in mind oils are perishable, and they’ll expire if you hold onto them for too long. You’ll need to consider this when ordering products.
Also look at “fragrance.” According to the FDA, you can use this term in your list of ingredients when you’re trying to protect trade secrets. However, some wholesale suppliers have used this as a loophole to avoid disclosing all ingredients to the public. This is a red flag because fragrance can mean synthetic, which could contain allergens.
Some wholesale essential oil companies make this easy. Others, not so much. Before you buy wholesale essential oils, make sure you know exactly what’s in them.
Find a supplier with products that match your target market
Essential oils are a viable product for lots of businesses: You could be a beauty and wellness brand looking to incorporate essential oils into your existing product line, or a spa looking to add retail to your service-based business. You might even be in search of raw ingredients to make your own oil blends, cleaning solutions, or beauty and wellness products.
If you want to buy essential oils in bulk to sell, you need a product your target market will love.
Just like with soap, there are many different types of essential oils: organic, synthetic, natural, raw, vegan, fair trade, local—the list really goes on.
And consumers pay attention. In fact, they increasingly demand environmentally friendly and natural products, and the essential oils industry has seen a significant increase in demand for 100% plant-based oils—that means no synthetic or animal-based ingredients.
You need to find out which attributes matter to your target market and find a supplier who has the products that fit.
Choose an essential oil supplier that can grow with you
The NAHA recommends businesses choose wholesale essential oil suppliers that are “on the small size and not a large corporation.” It cites looking for a supplier that is passionate about the industry and sharing the industry with the general public.
But it’s important that they’re prepared to meet your needs—both now and in the future.
For example, you might need to change or introduce product offerings based on changes in demand.
According to Grand View Research’s market analysis, the top two oils remain consistent, but others, like eucalyptus, cedarwood, and peppermint, are expected to grow in popularity. And Statista data shows that the top oils are tea tree, rosemary, lavender, orange, mint, and eucalyptus.
Trends change all the time, and it’s important to keep up—and choose a supplier that can too.
Plus, as your business grows, you’ll need to place more frequent and larger orders. While minimum order requirements are usually easy to find, you might have to reach out to the supplier directly to find out what their maximum capacity is. It’s also a good idea to check how much lead time they need for large orders.
There’s always a potential that the bigger your order, the lower the cost per unit. Inquire about unit cost for orders of 50, 100, 200, and so on.
You might also have plans to grow your own branded product line in the future. If that’s the case, find a supplier who also offers private labeling as an option.
Basically, be transparent about your short- and long-term business plans and how it will affect your inventory needs.
Factor in import fees
Taxes and tariffs could affect your purchase of wholesale essential oils—particularly if you’re sourcing from a different country. When you import and export goods, you’re often subjected to government tariffs and taxes at customs.
Governments classify products and assign corresponding duties. Here’s the classification in the US:
Concentrates of essential oils; terpenic by-product of the deterpenation of essential oils; aqueous distillates & solutions of essential oils (HTS 33019050)
There are actually no import fees for essential oils. However, if you’re using them in products like soap, hair care, etc., additional classifications and taxes may apply.
Check official government websites for tariffs in the UK, EU, and US:
Or use an online calculator, like:
Vet your essential oil supplier
There are tons of essential oil wholesale suppliers out there. How do you sniff out the fakes?
The NAHA recommends finding one owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist.
Beyond that, you’ll want to do a background check of sorts on your potential essential oils supplier. Ask for documents and other resources to prove their legitimacy, like:
- Business license and registration
- Compliance certificates
- Proof of FDA registration
- MS/GC spec report for each oil
- Current customer references and their contact info
It’s also important to do your own online sleuthing—Google queries like “[supplier name] reviews” and “[supplier name] scam” to find the truth.
Verifying a supplier’s professionalism and trustworthiness isn’t always easy. Using a reputable wholesale marketplace that can handle the verification process for you can give you more peace of mind.
Best wholesale essential oils suppliers
- Bulk Apothecary
- Health & Beauty Natural Oils
- Jedwards International, Inc.
- New Directions Aromatics
- RainShadow Labs
- The Essential Oil Company
- Wholesale Botanics
- Wholesale Supplies Plus
1. Bulk Apothecary
Bulk Apothecary is a wholesale supplier of essential oils, soap-making supplies, and related ingredients. Essential oils, white label products, and full kits are among its product offerings. As far as oils go, you can find pure therapeutic grade, certified organic, standardized and commercial grade, dilutions, and blends.
Return products for a full refund within 30 days if you’re unhappy with the purchase. It also has a price match guarantee.
2. Health & Beauty Natural Oils
Health & Beauty Natural Oils is a sustainability-minded and certified B Corporation that sells both essential oils and carrier oils, perfect if you’re looking to make your own products using the oils. It also sells related skin care and beauty products, such as face serums, bottles and droppers, and lotions. You can also collaborate with the supplier on your own custom blends. Note that its oils are only for external use. HBNO also offers private labeling.
Order processing takes three to five days, and shipping up to a week. Unopened products are also eligible for a full refund.
3. Jedwards International Inc.
Jedwards International Inc. specializes in conventional and organic essential oils. In addition to oils, you can find materials for soaps, candles, and other body care products. It advises against ingesting its essential oils.
There’s a $100 minimum order quantity (MOQ), and you can return products within 10 business days, though you may have to pay a restocking fee. Jedwards also ships internationally.
4. New Directions Aromatics
Wholesale supplier New Directions Aromatics has essential and carrier oils in addition to soaps, spa products, candles, and ingredients for cosmetics. As far as oils go, its products are certified organic, 100% pure, and certified fair trade. You can also find jars and other containers here for packaging your products.
Flat rate shipping applies to all orders under $500 and takes up to 10 business days, or you can use your own courier. International shipping is also available.
5. RainShadow Labs
RainShadow Labs manufactures natural and organic private label and wholesale skin care products. It has therapeutic grade essential oils for topical or aromatic use. It also offers blends and products specifically for massage. Products include things like lotions, foaming gels, home care, and CBD products.
RainShadow Labs offers custom manufacturing if you want to collaborate on a product. Lab fees are $750 plus tax, and you can develop up to four products at a time.
6. The Essential Oil Company
Shopify merchant The Essential Oil Company has both a direct-to-consumer (DTC) and a wholesale business model. Its wholesale program is essentially a 10% discount on all orders over $100—including its essential oils and soap-making products. Wholesale customers also get early access to new products.
There are no MOQs. Lead times are two to three weeks. The Essential Oil Company also offers private labeling.
7. Wholesale Botanics
Wholesale Botanics is another supplier with a DTC business model as well as wholesale. Wholesale customers must subscribe and pay a monthly fee, starting at $14.99 per month, to get access to bulk discounts and many benefits. You can also collaborate with Wholesale Botanics on your own custom formulas or leverage its private label offering.
Wholesale Botanics doesn’t have any MOQs. Silver subscribers ($49.99/month) and above also get free shipping on all orders.
8. Wholesale Supplies Plus
Wholesale Supplies Plus has essential oils for aromatherapy, soap making, and handmade cosmetics. It also has a whole collection of materials for making soap, candle, and related products.
All orders are charged a $5.95 handling fee. Shipping is free for orders over $25, or $8.95 if less than $25. Refunds are only offered if there’s an issue with the product.
Summary: Finding a wholesale essential oils supplier
Finding a wholesale supplier for any product is an important but intimidating task. To make sure you choose the right one, consider these six things:
Who is your target market? Look for a wholesale essential oils supplier that has products with intended uses that fit your target market.
Understand what goes into the essential oils. Is it high-quality enough for your needs?
Consider import fees. While essential oils carry no tariffs, you might need to pay additional fees if you have hair care, skin care, and related products with essential oils.
Verify everything. Request documents, certifications, and verifiable references to ensure the wholesale essential oils supplier is reputable, reliable, and trustworthy.
Share your vision for the future. Make sure they can meet your growing needs.
It’s OK—and even recommended—to take your time in choosing an essential oils supplier.
Wholesale essential oils suppliers FAQ
Is an essential oil business profitable?
Yes, an essential oil business is profitable if you price strategically and position your brand and products favorably compared to the competition. It also requires minding business expenses.
How do you start a business selling essential oils?
- Start with research.
- Choose suppliers and source products.
- Develop a brand strategy and brand identity.
- Figure out your shipping strategy.
- Build and launch your website.
- Market your business.
Who is the largest essential oil company?
- Givaudan International SA
- Young Living Essential Oils
- Bulk Apothecary
What is the most-sold essential oil?
Lavender is the most-sold essential oil.